Bill Bryson has been our favorite read-aloud author (grown-up division) since the day I was looking for The Last Continent
by Terry Pratchett and came across The Lost Continent
instead. Evan just finished reading me The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
, which like many of Bryson's books, made me want to cry in between all the hysterical laughter.
"We had the tastiest baked goods at Barbara's Bake Shoppe; the meatiest, most face-smearing ribs and crispiest fried chicken at a restaurant called the Country Gentleman; the best junk food at a drive-in called George the Chilli King. (And the best farts afterwards; a George's chilli burger was gone in minutes, but the farts, it was said, went on forever.) We had our own department stores, restaurants, clothing stores, supermarkets, drugstores, florists, hardware stores, movie theaters, hamburger joints, you name it--every one of them the best of its kind."
"Well, actually, who could say if they were the best of their kind? To know that, you'd have had to visit thousands of other towns and cities across the nation and tasted their ice cream and chocolate pie and so on because every place was different then. That was the glory of living in a world that was still largely free of global chains. Every community was special and nowhere was like everywhere else. If our commercial enterprises in Des Moines weren't the best, they were at least ours. At the very least, they all had things about them that made them interesting and different. (And they were the best.)"
Labels: adult books