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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Book Review: Bill Bryson's African Diary by Bill Bryson

Okay, now I have officially read ALL of Bill Bryson's books (since his latest isn't out in the U.S.) Yes, I even have read his book of difficult words. This book is slight and cute and doesn't contain his trademark snark. But I couldn't just skip it.

In 2002 CARE asked Bryson to go to Kenya for 8 days to see their facilities and write this charity book. He visits some horrible slums in Nairobi, meets women with small businesses assisted by CARE, sees the water spigots CARE has installed, and visits Karen Blixen's house. Along the way he is terrified in a tiny propeller plane and is worried about some of the scare tactics he has heard rumor of from begging children, but he doesn't encounter anyone who isn't pleasant and warm, he finds nothing to tease and poke fun at, and instead for once (or maybe twice as I also found that to be the case in his Australia book), we are treated to a more earnest Bill Bryson, which to be honest, isn't my favorite Bill Bryson.

But this small book Bryson does try to intrigue and delight, and I'm sure it was a worthy effort for the nonprofit needs of CARE, which does seem like a good charity to support, if one is looking for those opportunities.

I checked this book out of the library.

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