Sunday, October 18, 2015

After the storm …

I often pick up books at yard sales, etc. and my latest find is a Bill Bryson novel entitled, “At Home, a short history of private life”, published in 2010.

This is Bryson at his best in my opinion but it is definitely not a “short history” as the title states.  He invites us to join him as he goes back to the home and vicinity where he once lived in Scotland and, in true Bryson style, each page is fraught with historical facts.  Many of these were new to me (as was the area that he writes about) so, instead of writing a book review per se, I would like to relate this one instance that I found fascinating and is representative of the book as a whole.
On the west coast of Mainland, the largest island in the Orkney archipelago of Scotland there was a large grassy knoll that the natives had named Skerrabra.  In 1850 a severe storm hit all of Scotland and when it abated everyone was shocked to find that the top soil had been stripped away from the knoll leaving what appeared to be a small village of stone houses without roofs.  An amateur excavation unearthed more but it wasn’t until 1927 that it was decided to preserve the area and the true excavation began.
Skara Brae, as it is now known, was determined to be a stone-age settlement consisting of eight clustered houses.  It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is thought to be older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids.  

This is just a snippet of the hundreds of amazing facts that Bryson writes about in his entertaining novel.  Isn’t it fascinating and doesn’t it make you wonder what else there is in this amazing world of ours just waiting to be unearthed …
after the storm.   



Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

I have read a couple of books by Bill Bryson, the most recent one was "Summer 1927". A couple of months ago, I went to see a film based on one of his well known novels, "A Walk in the Woods."

5:12 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Nice segway. Sue has this book "on tape." I tend to listen near bedtime and fall asleep. So, I never finished it. I have read any number of his books, though.

2:58 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

I love Bill Bryson and somehow missed this one.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember when this little village was discovered. Wonderful!

11:06 AM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Love the title of your blog. I wasn't sure what I was going to read about...and you surprised me.

3:15 PM  
Blogger ellen said...

Fascinating..looks to be a wonderful read. It boggles the mind to think how long ago this all happened.

8:57 AM  
Blogger possum said...

Just ordered a book about this place. Never heard of it before now, want to know more. Ancient sites fascinate me. How I wanted to be an archeologist, sigh...
Thanks for the info. Can't wait to read more about this place.

5:18 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

So many good books out there to read. Thanks, Ginnie, for recommending this one.

6:22 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home