Book Bingeing: “The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way” by Bill Bryson

Book Bingeing
Tigard Public Library.

With library buildings closed, here is a review of a title available as a downloadable audiobook.

"The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way" by Bill Bryson.
“The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way” by Bill Bryson.

Bill Bryson’s “The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way” is a fascinating account of word history. The book is interesting but hard to listen to. The advantage of this book as an audiobook is you get the correct pronunciation. The drawback is the spelling out of words can be tedious. Besides the history of words, Bryson also addresses the randomness of the difference between good and bad English. And the fun chapters, Swearing and Wordplay, were saved for last. You may also enjoy Bryson’s “At Home;” a history behind the many things taken for granted in our daily lives. If language or non-fiction is not your thing, check out the digital library on the WCCLS site, www.wccls.org/e-books.