Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America after 20 Years Away

     I’m a Stranger Here Myself will have you laughing out loud, reading passages to your family, friends, and co-workers, and marveling at these amusing anecdotes reflecting American culture in all of its glorious splendor.
     A few years back, I read Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, and found myself laughing so hard I was fighting back tears, so when I saw this book sitting on the shelf at my sister-in-law’s house, I was fairly certain that there’d be passages within that would be so hilarious my stomach would hurt from laughing so much.  I must say my assumption was 100% accurate—without any substitutions, exchanges, or refunds.     I read most of I’m a Stranger Here Myself out loud to my husband because laughing together is one of our favorite pastimes.  In retrospect, I probably should have saved certain chapters for when he wasn’t driving.  (We made it home safely and in relatively good spirits for such a long car trip.)
     Even the introduction revealing how Bill Bryson came to write this series of columns about life in the United States after living elsewhere for twenty years is quite entertaining.  I intend to keep a copy of this book on hand, so I can share my favorite chapters with more of my family and friends.  I don’t know that I could pick one favorite, but two of the ones that I have shared with others most often are “Your New Computer” and “Your Tax Form Explained.” 
     I find it ironic and quite fitting that I discovered this book at my sister-in-law and her husband’s house when we were there to help them set up their new e-mail accounts.  Both of them help people prepare their taxes, but neither of them is particularly high-tech, computer-savvy.  Fortunately, it took a lot longer than expected for my husband and I to get their new accounts set up, which is why I got to checking out the books on their shelf and came across this gem.    
     I can definitely see and appreciate Bill Bryson being compared to another fabulous humorist, Dave Barry.  Click here to order your copy of I’m a Stranger Here Myself.
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