Bill Bryson Quotes

Enjoy the top 740 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Bill Bryson.

Bill Bryson Quotes

We live on a planet that more or less has an infinite capacity to surprise.
— Bill Bryson —

It was the kind of pure, undiffused light that can only come from a really hot blue sky, the kind that makes even a concrete highway painful to behold and turns every distant reflective surface into a little glint of flame. Do you know how sometimes on very fine days the sun will shine with a particular intensity that makes the most mundane objects in the landscape glow with an unusual radiance, so that buildings and structures you normally pass without a glance suddenly become arresting, even beautiful? Well, they seem to have that light in Australia nearly all the time.

— Bill Bryson

When you grow up in middle America you are inculcated from the earliest age with the belief - no, the understanding - that America is the richest and most powerful nation on earth because God likes us best. It has the most perfect form of government, the most exciting sporting events, the tastiest food and amplest portions, the largest cars, the cheapest gasoline, the most abundant natural resources, the most productive farms, the most devastating nuclear arsenal and the friendliest, most decent and most patriotic folks on Earth. Countries just don't come any better. So why anyone would want to live anywhere else is practically incomprehensible. In a foreigner it is puzzling; in a native it is seditious. I used to feel this way myself.

— Bill Bryson

When you consider it from a human perspective, and clearly it would be difficult for us to do otherwise, life is an odd thing. It couldn't wait to get going, but then, having gotten going, it seemed in very little hurry to move on.

— Bill Bryson

The dandelion was long popularly known as the 'pissabed' because of its supposed diuretic properties, and other names in everyday use included 'mare's fart', 'naked ladies', 'twitch-ballock', 'hounds-piss', 'open arse', and 'bum-towel'.

— Bill Bryson

More recently, during a debate in the House of Lords in 1978 one of the members said: "If there is a more hideous language on the face of the earth than the American form of English, I should like to know what it is." (We should perhaps bear in mind that the House of Lords is a largely powerless, nonelective institution. It is an arresting fact of British political life that a Briton can enjoy a national platform and exalted status because he is the residue of an illicit coupling 300 years before between a monarch and an orange seller.)

— Bill Bryson

Perhaps nothing speaks more eloquently of the variability of spelling in the age than the fact that a dictionary published in 1604, A Table Alphabeticall of Hard Words, spelled "words" two ways on the title page.

— Bill Bryson

Of course, you'll have to fly to the refugee camp at Dadaab," Will observed thoughtfully at one point. He glanced at me. "To avoid the bandits," he explained.
Dan and Nick nodded gravely.
"I beg your pardon?" I said, taking a sudden interest.
"It's bandit country all round there," Will said.
"Where?" I asked, peering at the map for the first time.
"Oh, just there," Will said, waving a hand vaguely across most of east Africa. "But you'll be fine in a plane."
"They only rarely shoot at planes," Nick explained.

— Bill Bryson

So woods are spooky. Quite apart from the thought that they may harbor wild beasts and armed, genetically challenged fellows named Zeke and Festus, there is something innately sinister about them, some ineffable thing that makes you sense an atmosphere of pregnant doom with every step and leaves you profoundly aware that you are out of your element and ought to keep your ears pricked. Though you tell yourself it's preposterous, you can't quite shake the feeling that you are being watched. You order yourself to be serene (it's just a woods for goodness sake), but really you are jumpier than Don Knotts with pistol drawn.

— Bill Bryson

Linguist say parties in the conversation will tolerate silence for four seconds before interjecting anything, however unrelated.

— Bill Bryson

The state of New York had just one important advantage-an opening to the west through the Appalachian Mountains, the chain that runs in rough parallel to the Atlantic Ocean. It is hard to believe that those soft and rolling mountains, often little more than big hills, could ever have constituted a formidable barrier to movement, but in fact they afforded almost no usable passes along the whole of their twenty-five-hundred-mile length and were such an obstruction to trade and communications that many people believed that the pioneers living beyond the mountains would eventually, of practical necessity, form a separate nation.

— Bill Bryson

One less happy practice Vanbrugh introduced with Carlisle at Castle Howard was that of razing estate villages and moving the occupants elsewhere if they were deemed to be insufficiently picturesque or intrusive. At Castle Howard, Vanbrugh cleared away not only an existing village but also a church and the ruined castle from which the new house took its name. Soon villages up and down the country were being leveled to make way for more extensive houses and unimpeded views. It was almost as if a rich person couldn't begin work on a grand house until he had thoroughly disrupted at least a few dozen menial lives. Oliver

— Bill Bryson

Whatever the losses in warmth and comfort, the gains in space proved irresistible. So the development of the fireplace became one of the great breakthroughs in domestic history: they allowed people to lay boards across the beams and create a whole new world upstairs.

— Bill Bryson

If you drive to, say, Shenandoah National Park, or the Great Smoky Mountains, you'll get some appreciation for the scale and beauty of the outdoors. When you walk into it, then you see it in a completely different way. You discover it in a much slower, more majestic sort of way.

— Bill Bryson

To me, the greatest invention of my lifetime is the laptop computer and the fact that I can be working on a book and be in an airport lounge, in a hotel room, and continue working; I fire up my laptop, and I'm in exactly the same place I was when I left home - that, to me, is a miracle.

— Bill Bryson

There is always a little more toothpaste in the tube. Think about it.

— Bill Bryson

Taking a scenic route in Southeast Iowa is like talking about a good Barry Manilow album. You have to make certain allowances.

— Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson Quotes Pictures

Want to see more pictures of Bill Bryson quotes? Click on image of Bill Bryson quotes to view full size.

Bill Bryson Quotes Pictures 1
Bill Bryson Quotes Pictures 2
Bill Bryson Quotes Pictures 3
Bill Bryson Quotes Pictures 4