Bill Bryson is a famous author whose literary works are based mostly on travel, science and the English language. Bill was born as William McGuire Bryson on 12th December, 1951. His native town is Des Moines in Iowa, the United States of America. His mother, Agnes Mary, was of Irish descent while his father worked as a sports journalist. Bill had two siblings: an elder brother named Michael and a sister, Mary Jane Elizabeth. He is married to Cynthia Billen, a nurse he met at Holloway Sanatorium where he was working in 1973. Together, they have four children. The youngest of them all is Samuel, and he was born in 1990.
Order of Bill Bryson History Books
|1||At Home: A Short History of Private Life||2010|
|2||One Summer: America, 1927||2013|
Order of Bill Bryson Language Books
|1||Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words||1984|
|2||The Mother Tongue||1990|
|3||Made in America||1994|
|4||Bryson's Dictionary for Writers and Editors||2008|
Order of Bill Bryson Non-Fiction Books
|1||The Best American Travel Writing 2000||2000|
|2||The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir||2006|
|3||Shakespeare: The World as Stage||2007|
Order of Bill Bryson Science Books
|1||A Really Short History of Nearly Everything||2003|
|2||Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society||2010|
|3||Seeing Further: The Story of Science, Discovery, and the Genius of the Royal Society||2010|
Order of Bill Bryson Travel Books
|1||The Palace Under the Alps||1985|
|2||The Lost Continent||1989|
|3||Neither Here nor There||1992|
|4||Notes from a Small Island||1995|
|5||A Walk in the Woods||1997|
|6||I'm a Stranger Here Myself||1998|
|7||The English Landscape||2000|
|8||In a Sunburned Country||2000|
|9||Bill Bryson's African Diary||2002|
|10||The Road Less Travelled||2009|
|11||The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain||2015|
|12||The Best American Travel Writing 2016||2016|
Bill spent much of his adult life in Britain, despite being an American native. Some of his books tell of his experiences in Britain in impressive detail.
From a tender age, Bill had a curiosity that could simply not be satisfied. In fact, he dropped out of Drake University just so he could explore England. It is this holy curiosity that has perhaps made him stand out as one of the best authors of scientific books, which are characterized by simplicity and conciseness. He says that he was inspired to write scientific books in simple, every- day language, because such books were hard to come by. For him, it always seemed like those who wrote scientific material hid the beauty of science behind a mass of difficult words, which made science seem very boring.
Apart from scientific books, Bill has also written a number of books on travel, detailing his journeys and hikes across England and the United States. Bryson has also written about the history of the English language. The most notable books in this genre are The Mother Tongue and Made in America.
While working as a journalist in the United Kingdom, Bryson worked his way through the ranks, finally becoming the deputy national news editor for the business section of The Times. However, Bryson left the role in the late ’80s. After leaving the high pressure role of editor, Bill Brydon turned his hand to more freelance writing,doing it independently for various publications. In 1995, he returned to the United States, and he kept up his writing, doing a column about returning to America after spending almost two decades in the United Kingdom. The columns he wrote were to be the basis for his 1999 Book, Notes From A Big Country (or as it was known in the United States, I’m A Stranger Here Myself).
Notes From A Big Coutry was not the first book Bryson had published however. In fact, his first book was published a decade before, and was also in the travel genre, just like Notes From A Big Country, and it was entitled The Palace Under the Alps and Over 200 Other Unusual, Unspoiled and Infrequently Visited Spots in 16 European Countries.
Bryon’s work is mostly in the genre of travel, and his books tend to touch on being a fish out of water, such as Notes From A Small Island, and Notes From A Big Country, but he also touches on other sides of travel, looking at small-town America in The Lost Continent, and also looking at Australia in Down Under.
Outside of his travel writing, Bill Bryson’s most famous book is probably A Short History of Nearly Everything, where he looks at the beginning of the world, and then almost everything associated with it. It’s is a great piece of writing that makes science more accessible to the general public, and is eye-opening in both its simplicity and how it conveys so much information.
Bill Bryson Awards
Bill Bryson has received numerous awards in recognition of the many noble causes he supports, especially through his books. His book, A Short History of Nearly Everything, received critical global acclaim and won two different awards. In 2004, it won the Aventis award while in 2005 it won the Descartes Prize for science communication. It was also shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize in the same year. Some of other prestigious prizes that Bryson has won include the President’s Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry and the James Joyce Award by the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin. Bill also served as chancellor for the University of Durham between 2005 and 2011.
Bill Bryson Books Made Into Movies/TV
One of Bill’s books, A Walk in The Woods, has been adapted into a movie, starring Robert Redford as Bill Bryson and Nick Nolte portraying Bill’s friend and partner in the hike, Stephen Katz. Another of his books, Notes from a Small Island, was also made into a series.
Best Bill Bryson Books
A Short History of Almost Everything is arguably Bill Bryson’s best book, judging from public reception and the number of awards it has won. The book aims at explaining recent scientific developments to adults in plain and simple language, and in an engaging and enthusiastic manner. It is divided into five chapters. The first tries to explain the origin of the earth using the Big Bang Theory, while the second explores the size, shape and weight of the earth. Here, Bryson explains in simple words how the great geologist, Henry Cavendish used a delicate apparatus to accurately measure the weight of the world. The third chapter is dedicated to the theory of relativity and quantum physics, while the fourth explores the dangers that the earth faces every day, such as the possibility of a meteor hitting the earth several times a week, or the possibility of a super volcano occurring at any time, and at any place on the earth.
Another remarkable book by Bill Bryson is A Walk in The Woods. This book tells in an interesting way Bill’s attempt to hike on the world’s longest hiking trail, the Appalachian Trail. The trail is extremely long; it is nearly 2100 miles long, running all the way from Georgia to Maine. Bryson challenged himself to go all the way on foot, but he didn’t succeed. He was accompanied on this journey by his old friend and a recovering alcoholic, Stephen Katz. The story is told in an enchanting and attention- grabbing way that keeps readers turning the pages.
Bill’s other great book entitled Notes from a Small Island tells of the lives of the people in the island of Great Britain. It is because of this exceptionally well- authored book that Bill was made commissioner for English Heritage.