wizard of oz glinda

A Short History of Private Life
by Bill Bryson

When at the end of the movie version of The Wizard of Oz, Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, asks Dorothy what her fantastical journey has taught her, Dorothy contritely replies that: “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard.” Similarly chastened, perhaps, by the experience of writing 2004’s ambitious and immensely popular A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson’s latest book trades up quarks and protons for fish knives and salt cellars, attempting to do for the domestic realm what he once tried to do for the universe (explain it). Read more…