“I won’t tell you my name or that of the village where I spent that spring and summer when I was nine,” an unnamed boy says at the beginning of A Green and Ancient Light. “I won’t because you should realize there were towns just like it and boys just like me all around the sea…”
I discovered Bill Bryson as a high school student in the far-off Chicago suburb of Iowa. I deprived myself of the dreary existential exploration promised by the classics and instead following the adventures of a middle-aged family man as he putters around the world, spending most of his time in pubs or complaining about train schedules.
When we think of the Galápagos Islands, we think of giant tortoises, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, finches, and the dim memory of a seventh-grade biology lesson on Charles Darwin’s visit to the islands in 1835 and the subsequent formation of his Theory of Natural Selection.