Book of the Month
The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
“Is it the funniest travel book I’ve read all year? Of course it is.” Daily Telegraph
Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation’s heart and became the bestselling travel book ever, and was also voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain.Now, to mark the twentieth anniversary of that modern classic, Bryson makes a brand-new journey round Britain to see what has changed.
Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath, by way of places that many people never get to at all, Bryson sets out to rediscover the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly unique country that he thought he knew but doesn’t altogether recognise any more. Yet, despite Britain’s occasional failings and more or less eternal bewilderments, Bill Bryson is still pleased to call our rainy island home. And not just because of the cream teas, a noble history, and an extra day off at Christmas.
Once again, with his matchless homing instinct for the funniest and quirkiest, his unerring eye for the idiotic, the endearing, the ridiculous and the scandalous, Bryson gives us an acute and perceptive insight into all that is best and worst about Britain today.
“Bill Bryson’s new book The Road to Little Dribbling is warm, funny, thoughtful, sometimes grumpy. An absolute joy.” Clare Balding
“Fans should expect to chuckle, snort, snigger, grunt, laugh out loud and shake with recognition…a clotted cream and homemade jam scone of a treat.” Sunday Times
“There were moments when I snorted out loud with laughter while reading this book in public…He can be as gloriously silly as ever.” The Times
“Bryson has no equal. He combines the charm and humour of Michael Palin with the cantankerousness of Victor Meldrew and the result is a benign intolerance that makes for a gloriously funny read.” Daily Express
“At its best as the history of a love affair, the very special relationship between Bryson and Britain. We remain lucky to have him.” Financial Times
“The truly great thing about Bryson is that he really cares and is insanely curious… Reading his work is like going on holiday with the members of Monty Python.” Mashable
“The observation, the wit, the geniality of Bryson’s inimitable words illuminate ever chapter.” Terry Wogan, Irish Times
“Everybody loves Bill Bryson, don’t they? He’s clever, witty, entertaining, a great companion… his research is on show here, producing insight, wisdom and startling nuggets of information… Bill Bryson and his new book are the dog’s bollocks.” Independent on Sunday
“Stuffed with eye-opening facts and statistics….. Bryson’s charm and wit continue to float off the page….Recognising oneself is part of the pleasure of reading Bryson’s mostly affable rants about Britain and Britishness.” Daily Mail
Book of the Month
Sugar Man: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez by Craig Bartholomew Strydom and Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman
In the summer of 1972, during a compulsory stint in the South African military, Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman heard the music that would forever change his life. A decade later, on yet another military base, Craig Bartholomew Strydom heard the same music. It would have a profound effect. Who was this folk singer who resonated with South Africa’s youth? No one could say. All that anyone knew was his name – Rodriguez – and the fact that he had killed himself on stage after reading his own epitaph.
After many years of searching in a pre-internet age, Strydom with support from Segerman found the musician not dead but alive and living in seclusion in Detroit. Even more remarkable was the fact that Rodriguez, no longer working as a musician and struggling to eke out a blue-collar existence, had no idea that he had been famous for over 25 years in a remote part of the world…
Open Book Focus
Spotlight on Africa
We are delighted to have a number of very highly regarded authors joining us from our very own African continent. From 9th – 13th September you can look forward to seeing these authors (click on their names for a list of events) –
Okey Ndibe, from Nigeria, is tha author of two highly acclaimed novels – Arrows of Rain and Foreign Gods. He teaches African and African Diaspora literature at Brown University.
“Told with a fable s deceptive lucidity, this original debut is packed with darkly humorous reflections on Africa’s obsession with the West, and the West’s obsession with all things exotic.” Daily Mail
Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean writer with law degrees from Cambridge, Graz University and the University of Zimbabwe. Her debut story collection, An Elegy for Easterly, won the Guardian First Book Prize in 2009. Her debut novel, The Book of Memory, is this month’s Book of the Month at the Book Lounge. If you buy it in August you will get a 20% discount plus a FREE ticket to see her at the festival on September 1oth.