The Mother Tongue

For the most part, I’m going to focus on books that have been released within the past year for my reviews, but I will recommend some older books for you from time to time. For example, my first book recommendation for you was published in 1990. The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson is as old as I am, which gives it a nice kind of symbolism for my first recommendation, but more importantly than its age is its brilliance. And this book is, quite simply, brilliant.

Available on Amazon.

Bill Bryson is better known for his travelogues, especially A Walk in the Woods, but his clever wit shines through just as clear when he’s detailing the history of the English language. That might sound like a dull subject, but when Bryson is explaining it, it’s fascinating and hilarious.

Quick Disclaimer: I would find the history of the English language fascinating if it were being taught by Professor Binns from Hogwarts, (i.e. a dead guy). But even people who don’t have my odd obsession with English will find Bryson’s explanation of some of it’s quirkier bits ridiculously entertaining.

I laughed out loud while reading this book, a lot, which I’ll admit I didn’t see coming. I annoyed my family by reading large chunks of it out loud, since they were simply too good to not be shared. I threw this book onto my Christmas list on a whim and ended up finding an absolute treasure.

If you’ve ever wondered why this goofy language of ours is so, well, goofy, then read this book. You’ll be entertained for hours and you just might learn something along the way.


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