Bryson, Bill "Icons of England" - 2008
A book about English Icons written by a true British Icon ... ehm fan. Besides me, he is probably the biggest fan of this beautiful island, only that he knows how to write about it so much better than I do.
Well, this book wasn't really written by Bill Bryson, he is just the editor. But he loves England so much that he thought of this brilliant idea to ask British writers and other celebrities to write about THEIR British Icon, the part of Britain they thought was most British. And that way, we get a collection of all things British and Beautiful, from the red postbox to cathedrals, magical and modern places, typically British animals, food, various different landscapes, forests, beaches, sports, art and history, and - of course - the most important topic of conversation: the weather. Everything together adds up to the wonderful country we all know and love.
And another fan of Rural Britain has written the foreword: HRH The Prince of Wales himself, if that isn't a recommendation, I don't know what is.
My favourite quote by the author himself: "There are particular places in England that come as close to perfection as you're ever likely to find on this planet."
If you want to read more by this fabulous author, I have an extra page for him, check here: Bill Bryson – Funniest Author Ever
If you are more interested in just Britain, I recommend you start with these two books: "Notes from a Small Island" and "At Home"
From the back cover:
"Bill Bryson invited over ninety of our best-loved writers, broadcasters and commentators to pick their 'icons of England'. The resulting celebration of the English countryside is an idiosyncratic and personal collection that ranges across landscape, history, cherished memories and that most English of subjects, the weather.
Contributions from, among others:
Antony Beevor * Alan Titchmarsh * Sebastian Faulks * Michael Palin * Andrew Marr * Rick Stein * Jo Brand * Sister Wendy Beckett * Jonathan Dimbleby * Wendy Cope * Joan Bakewell * Dick Francis * Robert Macfarlane * Melvyn Bragg * Eric Clapton * John Sergeant * Kevin Spacey * Kate Adie * Simon Jenkins * Simon Barnes * Zac Goldsmith * Ronald Blythe * Libby Purves"