One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson | Audiobook Review

Why Did I Listen To This Book?

Remember that whole secret project that I keep going on and on about? Well, the audiobook of One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson and narrated by Bryson as well was a part of that secret project. However, listening to this book did not feel like homework or like some huge requirement or task. Instead, I was beyond excited to listen to Bryson’s latest book given that I have never read any of his books before and that he came highly recommend by quite a few bloggers I read. Suffice to say, I actually enjoyed One Summer: America 1927 the most out of all of the audiobooks I had to listen to for the secret project. There’s just this nice mix of interest, narration, and writing that kept me riveted to the book.

What’s One Summer About?

First off, I have to say, isn’t it kind of neat that a British man would write such a long, fascinating book about one summer in AMERICA. I am sorry for being amused by that. One Summer: America 1927 is about this amazing summer that America went through — all of these huge things were accomplished. We weren’t in the Great Depression yet. There was murder! There was baseball! There was the invention of TV! There was prohibition! There were flappers! Basically, this whole book comes off as all the interesting things your history textbook left out about one summer during the roaring twenties. Like, for real, it makes me sad kids don’t get to go in depth and explore the richness that history has to offer. Instead it’s rush headlong through some interesting stuff and some boring stuff (I would know, my bachelor’s is in social studies education). If only we all had Bill Bryson as our history teacher, you guys. If only.

What Did I Learn?

  • Television was actually invented by a high school student who then got screwed over by RCA. If you invent something, patent it and do not trust big companies.
  • Babe Ruth is LIVING THE DREAM. He is awesome at baseball, a womanizer, and someone I would love to have a beer with. Really, I just thought he was cool.
  • Lou Gehrig was a momma’s boy.
  • It’s amusing to listen to British people explain baseball.
  • This was the summer that baseball caught on like wildfire. Like, it was SOOOOOOOO popular, I cannot even.
  • Herbert Hoover was a total dick.
  • Calvin Coolidge was mad chill.
  • People would put the type of alcohol that you use for medicine into prohibition alcohol and it would cause you to go blind as a way to stop people from drinking.
  • Credit was like the cool new thing — like people bought vacuum cleaners on credit because why not.
  • Charles Lindberg made a solo flight and was like this huge celebrity.
  • This one guy sat on a flagpole for twelve days straight and apparently earned money for that, but then ended up in poverty.

How’s The Narration?

Usually I am not too keen on authors narrating their own audiobooks. However, I think that Bill Bryson does a fine job narrating his book. He actually sounds kind of like a posh American while reading. His voice is interesting, he’s got a good cadence and made me want to listen. I wasn’t like, ugh, a heavy breather, or ugh a slow talker. I quite liked this one and am thinking about checking out Bryson’s other books on audio.

Who Would I Recommend This Audiobook To?

I think that if you are a history buff you need to listen to One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson. Like the official summary says, this book is all about America stepping out and it is awesome. Also, sports fans would also like this as there is so much about baseball. Theoretically, I love baseball, at least movies about baseball and books about baseball. In reality, I cannot sit through a game of it. However, I really loved the Babe Ruth and baseball bits of One Summer: America 1927. Basically if you are similar to me, you will dig this book.

Sum It Up With A GIF:

Essentially Bill Bryson hits this non fiction book about American history right out of the park. Also, the Sandlot forever!

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. April, DO IT. Listen to everything Bryson has ever recorded. I liked this one okay, but his other ones are gold. My favorite is The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. Listen to that, you won’t be sorry.
    Tahleen recently posted..Giveaway! Signed copy of “Don’t Even Think About It” by Sarah MlynowskiMy Profile

  2. Glad to see your thoughts on this-my parents both read this and are obsessed. I almost feel like I don’t even have to pick it up because they’ve already told me about all the cool things detailed within!
    Bookworm1858 recently posted..Check-InMy Profile

  3. I love your review (and the audiobook, which I’ve also listened to) – especially your list of what you learned, and the closing GIF, which is perfect! (I found your review while searching for the running time of the audio for my own review, which is finished and will post in the next few weeks.)

    One minor correction, though: Bryson is American, not British. He was born and raised here, and moved to the UK as an adult. His wife is English, though!
    Lark @ The Bookwyrm’s Hoard recently posted..In the Dragon’s Eye: Blood MagickMy Profile

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