Bryson, Bill "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid" - 2006
I don't know what I love most about Bill Bryson, his humour certainly is a big contender for number one. But it's not just that, he is a brilliant writer, I think even if he would write a cook book or a technical instruction, it would sound great.
Anyway, in this book we go back to his roots, meet his family, meet little William - or Billy - Bryson, his friends, his foes, his adventures as a young boy, his adventures as an older boy.
So we can visit school with little Billy, go to the local fair with him and find out why he wants to become thirteen so desperately, learn why he finally leaves for pastures new, all in all, get to know the author a little better with every page. And if, like me, you grew up at about the same time, he guides you back into all those memories form childhood that you almost forgot.
Bill Bryson puts a lot of thought into questions that I've been pondering about for ages. For instance, "How could we be sure that we all saw the same colours? Maybe what I see as green you see as blue. Who could actually say? And when scientists say that dogs and cats are colour-blind (or not - I could never remember which it was), how do they know? What dog is going to tell them?"
I always learn something from the author, even if it is the English word for a common root vegetable: Rutabaga. ;)
I can't mention it often enough, Bill Bryson is one of the funniest authors that ever lived and it will be hard to find his equal. If you like to read other books by him, you can find all those that I read so far on this page.
From the back cover: "Bill Bryson’s first travel book opened with the immortal line, ‘I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.’ In this deeply funny and personal memoir, he travels back in time to explore the ordinary kid he once was, in the curious world of 1950s Middle America. It was a happy time, when almost everything was good for you, including DDT, cigarettes and nuclear fallout. This is a book about one boy’s growing up. But in Bryson’s hands, it becomes everyone’s story, one that will speak volumes - especially to anyone who has ever been young."