Review By Veronica

I’m a Stranger Here Myself has all the wit and know-how fans have come to expect from a Bill Bryson book.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

After living in Britain for two decades, Bill Bryson recently moved back to the United States with his English wife and four children (he had read somewhere that nearly 3 million Americans believed they had been abducted by aliens–as he later put it, “it was clear my people needed me”). They were greeted by a new and improved America that boasts microwave pancakes, twenty-four-hour dental-floss hotlines, and the staunch conviction that ice is not a luxury item.

Delivering the brilliant comic musings that are a Bryson hallmark, I’m a Stranger Here Myself recounts his sometimes disconcerting reunion with the land of his birth. The result is a book filled with hysterical scenes of one man’s attempt to reacquaint himself with his own country, but it is also an extended if at times bemused love letter to the homeland he has returned to after twenty years away.

I love listening to Bill Bryson’s books. They have become my favourite go-to comfort audiobooks to listen to. I’m a Stranger Here Myself is a book composed of different articles that Bill wrote for Mail on Sunday from 1996-1998. Each chapter deals with a different topic or event that happened to Bill while living in the US. He talks about installing his new fax machine, dropping his son off to college, and how different the US is compared to the UK. Now, these articles were written during the mid to late 90s, so there are a lot of things in this book that can feel a bit dated (aka a fax machine). I adored the dated parts in this book, probably because it reminds me of when I grew up in the 90s. I had a lot of moments when I thought, “I remember that,” or I realized how much some things have changed. Anyone who grew up in the 90s can relate to dial-up internet or when your parents brought home that first home computer. 

One of the things that I love about Bill’s books is the sarcastic wit that is woven throughout his writing. He has such dry humour at times, and I just love it! I lost count of the times I laughed uncontrollably, especially when Bill started to veer off and complain about something. There is a lot of humour in this book, but you also are learning something at the same time. Bill is a master at weaving in the history of an event or a place in such an interesting manner. William Roberts is the narrator for this book, and he does a great job at capturing the tone book. I enjoy listening to him. 

I’m a Stranger Here Myself is a fun book that transports you back to the 1990s.