Book Review: A Voyage Long and Strange

We’re reading this one alongside our American History textbook. I read somewhere that it’s used in AP classes and I can see why. It has a sort of Bill Bryson tone, part history, part travelogue, and if you like it, you like it, and if you don’t it will drive you crazy. I read it aloud and found myself editing on the fly. It’s not content related it is simply to speed things up. Sure, his modern day observations are wry and witty, but I only have an hour for this class and something has to give. Our schedule has it set for 3 weeks and I think it may take us longer to finish it.

If you had the kind of substandard history education that I had, you may find yourself nodding when I explain that this book tells what happened here in North America after it got “discovered” in a way you probably haven’t heard it told. Columbus was over this way in 1492 and the pilgrims didn’t show up until 1620. That’s quite a long commercial break even for a reality show.

As an adult, I liked the way the author weaves historical facts in with today’s sense of humor and my teen likes it because it reads like a book, not like a textbook.

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