M.A. Psychology, Oxford. McKinsey Alum. Founder & Editor at TAoL.
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Who Is Bill Bryson?
Bill Bryson born 8 December 1951) is an American–British author of books on travel, the English language, science, and other nonfiction topics. Born in the USA, he settled in England in 1977 and worked in journalism until he became a full time writer.
The Best Bill Bryson Books of All Time
Why these best Bill Bryson books and not others? To stay objective, I rank all my book recommendations by a combination of what’s most loved (Goodreads rating), what’s most popular (Goodreads review count) and what’s proven timlessly relevant (first publication date).
This isn’t a whimsical list. It’s a data-driven, crowdsourced collection of the best Bill Bryson books ever published as decided by book lovers like you.
And if you think something's missing? I LOVE book recommendations so if there are any other books by Bill Bryson that you think deserve mentioning, email me and I’ll be sure to include them in the next round of updates.
Until then, here are the best Bill Bryson books of all time...
Best Bill Bryson Quotes
Here are some of the best Bill Bryson of all time...
"The most remarkable part of all is your DNA. You have a metre of it packed into every cell, and so many cells that if you formed all the DNA in your body into a single fine strand it would stretch ten billion miles, to beyond Pluto. Think of it: there is enough of you to leave the solar system. You are in the most literal sense cosmic."- Bill Bryson, The Body
"Just sitting quietly, doing nothing at all, your brain churns through more information in thirty seconds than the Hubble Space Telescope has processed in thirty years. A morsel of cortex one cubic millimeter in size—about the size of a grain of sand—could hold two thousand terabytes of information, enough to store all the movies ever made, trailers included, or about 1.2 billion copies of this book."- Bill Bryson, The Body
"There are thousands of things that can kill us—slightly more than eight thousand, according to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems compiled by the World Health Organization—and we escape every one of them but one. For most of us, that’s not a bad deal."- Bill Bryson, The Body
"The only thing special about the elements that make you is that they make you. That is the miracle of life."- Bill Bryson, The Body
"For each visual input, it takes a tiny but perceptible amount of time—about two hundred milliseconds, one-fifth of a second — for the information to travel along the optic nerves and into the brain to be processed and interpreted. One-fifth of a second is not a trivial span of time when a rapid response is required—to step back from an oncoming car, say, or to avoid a blow to the head. To help us deal better with this fractional lag, the brain does a truly extraordinary thing: it continuously forecasts what the world will be like a fifth of a second from now, and that is what it gives us as the present. That means that we never see the world as it is at this very instant, but rather as it will be a fraction of a moment in the future. We spend our whole lives, in other words, living in a world that doesn’t quite exist yet."- Bill Bryson, The Body
"People act as if skin color is a determinant of character when all it is is a reaction to sunlight. Biologically, there is actually no such thing as race—nothing in terms of skin color, facial features, hair type, bone structure, or anything else that is a defining quality among peoples. And yet look how many people have been enslaved or hated or lynched or deprived of fundamental rights through history because of the color of their skin."- Bill Bryson, The Body
"All that is really going in your mouth is texture and chemicals. It is your brain that reads these scentless, flavorless molecules and vivifies them for your pleasure. Your brownie is sheet music. It is your brain that makes it a symphony."- Bill Bryson, The Body
"Make no mistake. This is a planet of microbes. We are here at their pleasure. They don’t need us at all. We’d be dead in a day without them."- Bill Bryson, The Body
"In breathing, as in everything in life, the numbers are staggering – indeed fantastical. Every time you breathe, you exhale some 25 sextillion (that’s 2.5 × 1022) molecules of oxygen – so many that with a day’s breathing you will in all likelihood inhale at least one molecule from the breaths of every person who has ever lived.1 And every person who lives from now until the sun burns out will from time to time breathe in a bit of you. At the atomic level, we are in a sense eternal."- Bill Bryson, The Body
"An interesting thing about touch is that the brain doesn’t just tell you how something feels, but how it ought to feel. That’s why the caress of a lover feels wonderful, but the same touch by a stranger would feel creepy or horrible. It’s also why it is so hard to tickle yourself."- Bill Bryson, The Body
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