This week I read In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson.
- It is listed in Book Lust 2
What You Should Know:
- Bryson is a travel journalist.
- His books are a mix of his experience as a traveller and history of what he is covering.
- In this case: Australia.
- He is funny, but it is observational and sarcastic humor.
Look, discussion questions! I know, it’s been a while.
1- Did Bill introduce you to an Australia that was different from your mental image of the place? What was unexpected in his account of the land and people?
I am not sure if I have a mental image of Australians. Since I have never been there, I rely on those who have as well as media to help me understand what they may possibly be like. That being said, I assume media is showing me a stereotype that suits the story. I was struck by Bryson’s description of some areas being stuck in the 1950s. I had to imagine that maybe some of the US politicians would enjoy moving there since so many seem to want to return to life as it was in the 1950s. I was struck by his explanation that the Sydney and Melbourne we know now are a result of efforts during the 1950s when Melbourne hosted the 1956 summer Olympics.
2- Did Bill succeed in describing people and places such that you could picture them in your mind?
Yes, it is one of his strengths as a writer. What I like is that he tells you what he expected and then what he found. He does this for people and places. It was a little different with an audiobook though. Bryson reads his own audiobooks and he doesn’t do more than simply read. There are no voices and little inflection. I often had to go back and re-listen to a few things to see if I could guess the tone it may have originally had.
Who Will Like This:
- Those who like travel non-fiction
- Those who like or want to learn more about Australia
- Those who enjoy Bryson already.
Other Books I Read This Week:
- King Lear – I find is far easier to do Shakespeare as audiobooks. I just do better with the performance rather than the words.
In Other News
It is the end of January, so it means a recap of what was read and not read. A few things happened this month. First, I actually paid to get my blog its own domain. The blog can now be found at: http://bookclubof1.com/. Here was what I planned to read this month:
Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft
- Carry On: I am still on the waiting list for this one. It’s being moved to the remainders list
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking In a Sunburned Country
What of that remainders list:
- The Martian – now that the movie is on DVD, I can get back on the book wait list.
- The Golden Bowl – I have the ebook, but it’s not an easy read.
- Revealing Hannah: The Myth of Cassandra – started reading for Book Club
- The Road from Coorain – have not started yet
- Dead Wake – still on the waiting list
Last, what do I have planned for February?
- Holes– I am reading this for the Read Harder Challenge
- Blanche on the Lam– for both the Read Harder Challenge, the Book Lust challenge and for Black History Month
- The Aeneid – This is part of the Book Lust Challenge
- Smile – this is part of the Read Harder Challenge
- Dreaming in Cuban – I started reading it in January, but this month I will finish it.