Five Star February: In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

In a Sunburned Country
 Title:  In a Sunburned Country
 Author:  Bill Bryson
Summary: Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out. His previous excursion along the Appalachian Trail resulted in the sublime national bestseller A Walk in the WoodsIn A Sunburned Country is his report on what he found in an entirely different place: Australia, the country that doubles as a continent, and a place with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather, and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet. The result is a deliciously funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiousity. Despite the fact that Australia harbors more things that can kill you in extremely nasty ways than anywhere else, including sharks, crocodiles, snakes, even riptides and deserts, Bill Bryson adores the place, and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond that beaten tourist path. Wherever he goes he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, and unfailingly obliging, and these beaming products of land with clean, safe cities, cold beer, and constant sunshine fill the pages of this wonderful book. Australia is an immense and fortunate land, and it has found in Bill Bryson its perfect guide. [1]
Why I Loved It: As most of my other 5 star picks show I rarely read non-fiction and I rarely read funny, but Bill Bryson is both.
Who would like this:  Part travelogue, part history, part humor, a must read for everyone.
Favorite Quotes: “It is not true that the English invented cricket as a way of making all other human endeavors look interesting and lively; that was merely an unintended side effect. …It is the only sport that incorporates meal breaks. It is the only sport that shares its name with an insect. It is the only sport in which spectators burn as many calories as the players-more if they are moderately restless.”
“I had also read in Jan Morris’s engaging and cheery book “Sydney” that the harbor teems with lethal goblin fish. What is notable about this is that in all my reading I never came across a single other reference to these rapacious creatures. This isn’t meant to suggest…that Ms. Morris was being inventive; merely that it isn’t possible in a single lifetime to read about all the dangers that lurk under every wattle bush or ripple of water in this wondrously venomous and toothy country.”