A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. He takes subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry, and particle physics, and aims to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. In the company of some extraordinary scientists, Bill Bryson reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.
"Not what I expected but brilliant!"
Australia has more things that can kill you than anywhere else. Nevertheless, Bill Bryson journeyed to the country and promptly fell in love with it. The people are cheerful, their cities are clean, the beer is cold, and the sun nearly always shines.
"It's OK but --------------------"
In Neither Here nor There Bill Bryson brings his unique brand of humour to bear on Europe as he shoulders his backpack, keeps a tight hold on his wallet, and journeys from Hammerfest, the northernmost town on the continent, to Istanbul on the cusp of Asia.
"If you are amused by sexually deviant things"
This is a story from the Fall of the House of Usher collection. The horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, with its dungeon of death, and the overhanging gloom on the House of Usher demonstrate unforgettably the unique imagination of Edgar Allan Poe. Unerringly, he touches upon some of our greatest nightmares: Premature burial, ghostly transformation, words from beyond the grave. Written in the 1840s, they have retained their power to shock and frighten even now.
After nearly two decades in Britain, Bill Bryson, the acclaimed author of such best sellers as The Mother Tongue and Made in America, decided it was time to move back to the United States for a while. This was partly to let his wife and kids experience life in Bryson's homeland, and partly because he had read that 3.7 million Americans believed that they had been abducted by aliens at one time or another. It was thus clear to him that his people needed him.
"Just not for me"
Hardly anyone ever leaves Des Moines, Iowa. But Bill Bryson did, and after 10 years in England he decided to go home, to a foreign country. In an ageing Chevrolet Chevette, he drove nearly 14,000 miles through 38 states to compile this hilarious and perceptive state-of-the-nation report on small-town America.
The Appalachian Trail covers 14 states and over 2,000 miles, snaking through some of the most spectacular landscapes in America. Reluctant adventurer Bryson recounts his gruelling hike along the longest continuous footpath in the world.
"Great audio book for a car journey"
New England, 1890. Doctor John Shepherd arrives at a women's mental hospital to begin work as assistant to the owner. As Shepherd struggles to conceal his secrets, he finds the asylum has plenty of its own. Intrigued by a girl who is fascinated by books but cannot read, Shepherd embarks upon an experiment to help her. In this chilling literary thriller everyone has something to hide and no one is what they seem.
In Made in America, Bryson de-mythologizes his native land, explaining how a dusty hamlet with neither woods nor holly became Hollywood, how the Wild West wasn't won, why Americans say 'lootenant' and 'Toosday', how Americans were eating junk food long before the word itself was cooked up, as well as exposing the true origins of the G-string, the original $64,000 question, and Dr Kellogg of cornflakes fame.
"Very entertaining account of American vocabulary"
After moving back to the States, Bryson started to write a column for The Mail on Sunday Night and Day magazine. This is a collection of these column entries. Bryson writes about everything from everyday chores, to suing people, the beach, TV, movies, air conditioners, college, Americana, injury dangers, wasting resources, and holiday seasons.
At the heart of these stories, as with all the best of Lovecraft’s work, is the belief that the Earth was once inhabited by powerful and evil gods, just waiting for the chance to recolonise their planet. Cthulhu is one such god, lurking deep beneath the sea until called into being by cult followers who – like all humans – know not what they do.
At the Mountains of Madness first appeared in 1936, in the February, March and April editions of the American magazine Astounding Stories. One of H.P. Lovecraft’s most chilling works, it draws on Edgar Allan Poe’s Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, as well as Lovecraft’s deep fascination with the Antarctic. The sinister discoveries made by a group of explorers in At the Mountains of Madness are testament to the author’s enormous powers of imagination.
What are the arguments for and against religion and religious belief - all of them - right across the range of reasons and motives that people have for being religious, and do they stand up to scrutiny? Can there be a clear, full statement of these arguments that once and for all will show what is at stake in this debate? Equally important: what is the alternative to religion as a view of the world and a foundation for morality?
The time, 1993. The place, Washington, D.C. Of the adversaries in the Gulf War, the sole survivor is Saddam Hussein. And Saddam is planning a revenge so diabolical that the United States will be left with no choice but to retaliate.
Larry's Party covers the life of Larry Weller, a modern man in the 20th century. Following Larry between the ages of 27 and 47, from 1977 to 1997, the novel illustrates what it’s like to be a man in Larry’s era, and how men have had to change; exploring how masculinity is defined in the post-feminist world. Read by William Roberts.
This collection of classic horror stories is sure to give you goose bumps, raise the hair on the back of your neck, and put some fright in your night. Includes Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper by Robert Bloch, Coin of the Realm by Charles L. Grant, Something Had to be Done by David Drake, The Graveyard Rats by Henry Kuttner, The Small Assassin by Ray Bradbury, Calling Card by Ramsey Campbell, The Words of Guru by C.M. Kornbluth, and Passengers by Robert Silverberg.
The horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, with its dungeon of death, and the overhanging gloom on the House of Usher demonstrate unforgettably the unique imagination of Edgar Allan Poe. Unerringly, he touches upon some of our greatest nightmares - premature burial, ghostly transformation, words from beyond the grave. Written in the 1840s, they have retained their power to shock and frighten even now.
The truth weighs nothing… Klara Walldeen, orphaned as a child and brought up by her grandparents, is now a political aide in Brussels. And she has just seen something she shouldn't. On the other side of the world, an old spy hides. Once, he was a man so dedicated that he abandoned his daughter. Now the only thing he lives for is swimming. Then Klara is thrown into a terrifying chase through Europe. Only the Swimmer can save her. But time is running out.
The Shadow Over Innsmouth and The Whisperer in Darkness are counted amongst H.P. Lovecraft's most popular stories. In the first we are transported to the decrepit coastal town of Innsmouth, whose amphibian-like citizens betray a dark and sinister secret. The second takes us to Vermont, where a university professor becomes embroiled in a mind-bending celestial mystery after strange things are seen floating in the rivers.
Seventy-year old avant-garde composer Peter Els opens the door one evening to find the police outside. His DIY microbiology lab has come to the attention of Homeland Security. Panicked by the raid on his house, Els flees and turns fugitive, waiting for the evidence to clear him and for the alarm surrounding his activities to blow over. But alarm turns to national hysteria.