Some of the last books before my break were two Bryson books so it's perhaps fitting to start again with another one from him. I read At Home in the meantime and really liked that and now I had this one in mind for some time, about the English language. Luckily my favourite bookshop in Berlin (Dussmann's) had it so I could start it straight away. It's another very good read by Bryson, although I liked this one a bit less than the other three so far. Perhaps you can tell this is one of his first books. The humor is there, the crazy anecdotes (about weird scholars mostly), and the overall great quality of his writing (it looks so simple, it reads so well, but I think it's pretty difficult to actually do that!). But some parts and chapters were a bit boring because of too much summing up. This made the book less coherent. Maybe it used to be some articles first, added together to make a book. Anyway, I liked it, especially as a reminder what interesting things I've learned in my studies. Bryson always makes you enthusiastic about a topic! I quite like that.

27 July 2012


A gift from English book importer Van Ditmar and my first (finished) Bryson. Quite a plus, such an illustrated edition, with lots of portraits, sketches etcetera to make things go down smoothly. Rather a light book, but in a good way; I read it in a nice flow. Really makes me want to read Shakespeare again (which is too long ago!) and A Short history of nearly everything as well. Maybe an illustrated edition could help me finish it this time.

7 May 2010


reading now