Favoured book vol 2
There are some books which invite multiple re readings. I have a fondness for travel stories provided they are amusing, give a bit of insight into the country of visitation and don’t focus too heavily on authors with mid life crises who renovate old houses, get off with quirky locals or wax lyrical about how quaint the local people are (in clear comparison to the writer’s obvious sophistication). Not asking much right?
One of my all time favourite travel writers (though I’ve read his other works) is Bill Bryson. Notes from a Small Island recounts his trip through Great Britain prior to returning to America after a long absence. Some travelling writers practically swoon over rustic locals and produce in market places but Notes doesn’t follow these cliches (it works more on a tea and scones basis). Bryson does see the good side of his destinations, marvelling at British people, their lives and their creations.
This book is lifted by the personal touches – revelations of dislike for fellow hotel guests for eating all the cake, ruminations on just what it takes for one to become an ardent trainspotter and discussions on just how well the British could have done with Communism, if they’d just given it a try. Published in the mid nineties it may be a few years old now but provides an amusing and witty insight into the Britain of that time.