I’m A Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson is a collection of essays written for a British audience, reflecting on the author’s experience of returning to America after living in England for two decades.
The book is an exploration of the changes that occur when one moves back to their native land after a long absence, and how it can be a disorienting experience.
Through his observations, Bryson reflects on the differences between American and British culture, as well as the difficulties of adjusting to life in a new country.
The main themes of the book include nostalgia, sentimentality, and the difficulty of adapting to a new environment. Bryson’s writing style is humorous and lighthearted, but he also touches on more serious topics such as the loneliness of being a stranger in a strange land.
He also reflects on the joys of reconnecting with old friends and family, and the importance of finding a sense of belonging in a new place.
The book is a thoughtful and entertaining look at the challenges of moving to a new country, and the joys of reconnecting with old friends and family. It is a great read for anyone who has ever experienced the feeling of being a stranger in a strange land.
What I Liked
This book is just light, fun, and thought-provoking. It’s fascinating to hear cultural observations from someone who is deeply familiar with a culture’s context…but also has the distance to see what is strange.
The essay / newspaper column format was also good. Honestly, it kept Bryson from rambling too much and kept the observations tight and focused.
It’s also incredible how little the book has aged. There are a few chapters here and there that aren’t relevant 25 years on…but it’s telling how many are still so true.
What I Did Not Like
I wish there were more!