Tag: Format

Bill Bryson – Notes from a Big Country | Review

Title: Notes from a Big Country

Author: Bill Bryson

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 320

Rating: 4/5

This book is basically a collection of short columns that Bryson wrote after returning to live in America after spending most of his life in the UK. Because of that, it has a lot of insights to offer on the cultural differences between the two countries. Better still, it still mostly holds true today, despite the fact that it’s now a little dated. In fact, there was a reference in there about programming a VCR.

For the most part, though, I thought this was a lot of fun, and Bryson’s sense of humour is on top form. Believe it or not, I’ve actually found him to be a little bit whiny in some of the previous books of his that I’ve read, but he’s back at his best again here and to be honest, this was just what I needed at just the time that I needed it.

I guess that’s because it was easy to read through and I got through the whole thing in just a couple of days. I’m trying to get through the last of the books on my unread pile and so I was kind of worried that the only books that I’d have left would be boring reads that couldn’t hold my attention. And then I picked this one up and it was just a true joy.

I think part of that is because of the format of the book, which is essentially a collection of articles that Bryson wrote for the newspapers. That keeps it short and sweet and while there’s no overall theme other than the investigation of America through the eyes of an ex-pat, other than that it’s all just a bunch of fun little vignettes. And what is there for you not to like about that?

Learn more about Notes from a Big Country.

 


EUPL – Nine Prize Winning Authors from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania | Review

Title: Nine Prize Winning Authors from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

Author: EUPL

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 164

Rating: 3.5/5

 

EUPL - Nine Prize Winning Authors from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

EUPL – Nine Prize Winning Authors from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

 

This collection brings together nine different authors from The Baltics including a few Latvian authors that I heard about during my visit to the country. On top of that, I’d already read Breathing into Marble by Laura Sintija Cerniauskaite, a Lithuanian author, and so at least part of this was a re-read for me.

The only real problem with this book is from the format itself, because it only contains excerpts of longer works. That said, it’s made me want to look into some more of them, including Doom ’94 by Janis Jonevs, who I was lucky enough to meet in Riga.

I also liked that each of the stories was accompanied by the initial, untranslated text of the excerpt. It was fascinating to see the languages differing from English and each other.

 

EUPL

EUPL

 

Click here to buy Nine Prize Winning Authors from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.