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Review: I’m a Stranger Here Myself

September 12, 2008

In 1995, Bill Bryson returned to live in the United States after living in England for 20 years.  A British newspaper asked him to write a weekly column about America and I’m a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After Twenty Years Away is a compilation of those columns.  His observations of America and family life are laugh out loud funny.  I read many of them to my husband.  He wrote these lines about his oldest child going off to college and they hit close to home for us:

“Once they leave for college they never really come back,” a neighbor who has lost two of her own in this way told us wistfully the other day.

This isn’t what I wanted to hear.  I wanted to hear that they come back a lot, only this time they hang up their clothes, admire you for your intelligence and wit, and no longer have a hankering to sink diamond studs into various odd holes in their heads.  But the neighbor was right.  He is gone.  There is an emptiness in the house that proves it.

The columns are short and each one is an individual read making this book easy to read when you have a lot going on.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 12, 2008 8:17 am

    Glad you enjoyed it! Bryson is one of my favorites, and I really liked this book.

  2. September 12, 2008 10:08 am

    I’m going to tell my husband about this one. I know he’s enjoyed Bryson’s books before.

  3. September 12, 2008 10:10 am

    ohh…I love his books! I haven’t read this one yet….but it’s in my TBR pile. I’m going to go dig it out. Have you read any others?

  4. September 12, 2008 10:56 am

    I have this one but have not read it yet. I have read his other ones though. He is such a funny writer. I find his books very entertaining.

  5. September 12, 2008 11:19 am

    I love Bill Bryson. I know I began reading this once, but must have gotten distracted as I never finished it. His book about Australia is hilarious and perhaps my favorite.

  6. September 12, 2008 3:01 pm

    The only other one of Bill Bryson’s books I’ve read is The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid.

  7. September 13, 2008 3:34 pm

    This does sound excellent. I think I saw it around awhile back, but forgot about it. Must read it now.

    -Lauren

    Charity Project for Marked Up Books: Info on Blog!

  8. September 15, 2008 2:03 pm

    I loved the book about Australia that Tara mentioned but it’s the only one of his I’ve gotten a chance to read and I hadn’t even heard about this one. As an American who lived in England once upon a time, I’m going to have to find this one. Thanks for the review!

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