This is Bill Bryson’s tale of how he came to live in the UK and met his wife, told as reflections during a walk through a lot of the English and Scottish countryside. My UK geography is terrible, so I may not have this all down correctly, but Bryson goes to a lot of nifty little towns and writes about what he finds there, occasioanlly interpersing these details with stories about his first trip to England when he was a young man. It’s a fun collection of trips with a little travelogue tossed in for good measure. Not as out and out hilarious as some of his other books, but still a great read and made me want to take a trip to England.
A really slow book from Petroski. While I was hoping for a lot of in-depth looks at engineering failures, this book was way more full of metaphors for engineering processes -- many relying on cute stories about Petroski’s own family -- than looks at specifics. The stories he does relate, about the design and building of the Crystal Palace and the Kansas City Hyatt walk way collapse, are worthwhile but the rest of the book doesn’t hold together as interestingly as those chapters.