The Wellcome Book Prize celebrating fiction and non-fiction with a medical theme was “paused” this year – a decision taken before the current pandemic, although even if it had gone ahead, it would have inevitably faced disruption anyway. Fortunately, Rebecca has organised an alternative Not the Wellcome Prize blog tour of books that would have been eligible had the prize taken place this year. Rebecca, Laura, Paul, Annabel and I will be selecting a shortlist over the weekend based on what we’ve managed to read between us and announcing a winner on 11th May based on our discussions and a Twitter poll. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Bill Bryson
Happy new year to you all! I have been continuing my recent spell of non-fiction reading over the Christmas holidays with Bill Bryson’s latest book ‘One Summer: America, 1927’, whose title is about as self-explanatory as it gets. As you might expect, it is indeed about the people and events which dominated the summer of 1927 in the United States of America. While it isn’t perhaps the most recognisably significant year in modern history in the same way that 1945 and 1989 are etched in the collective memory as turning points in the twentieth century, Bryson shows that this particular summer was a very important one in the social and economic history of the United States.
The subtitle of ‘At Home’ by Bill Bryson is ‘A Short History of Private Life’ – in other words, a history of all aspects of domestic life including eating, cleaning and sleeping and so on. As well as exploring how the modern idea of the home has developed over history both in its architecture and our daily habits, each chapter covers a different room in the house – the kitchen, the dining room, the cellar (even the fusebox) and the stories behind how we live. ‘At Home’ covers an ambitious amount of history without ever being overwhelming or tedious and Bryson’s characteristically dry humour makes it a thoroughly entertaining read. Continue reading