Regular readers and my twitter family will know that recently I made the joyous discovery of the work of George R. R. Martin. It was a happy day for me (seriously, where has he been all my reading life?). I am however stalled in my reading of the Song of Ice and Fire books, being unable to obtain a copy of the next one, due to a combination of funds, and lack of library copies.
Thus, I turned to my to-read pile. Alas, it was empty! I know, I was shocked too. In desperation, I looked to my bookcase. Here, I keep all the books I cannot bear to part with or know I will read again. I picked out a Terry Pratchett that I hadn't looked at in years but the next day something else caught my eye.
It was Bill Bryson's 'At Home'. I had bought it on a whim one day at Toombul, it was $10 and I had seen it some weeks before selling for $40 so I figured it was a bargain. I had lent it to mum first, and she had handed it back saying it was suprisingly good. I had put it on my bookshelf, forgetting that I hadn't read it yet.
I have only ever read Bryson's travel journals before, but found them highly entertaining. I read the Australian one whilst on holiday in Europe just because I liked the irony of the thing.
For some unknown reason, I abandoned Pratchett (sorry, Pterry) and picked up Bryson. And was delighted. This book is highly entertaining, for all the subject matter sounds dreary and dull. He manages to make the evolution of domestic life something utterly fascinating, and the stories he has unearthed while writing it are simply amazing. At the beginning there was a lot of stuff I had forgotten being taught from my Archaeology subjects at uni (the Olduwan, the Levant, Catal Huyuk!) but there were still a lot of surprises. For instance, did you know that noboby knows how people genetically modified corn? No wild plant even remotely resembles it; it must have taken centuries for folk to breed a corn plant that produced the cobs we know today from available fauna. Amazing stuff.
So I'm thoroughly enjoying this tome, for a tome it is - quite hefty to lug around in my bag but well worth the effort. I'm learning such fascinating things about electricity, furniture and rooms.
What are you reading at present? Would you recommend it?