Bryson's memoir of growing up in Des Moines captures the optimism of American life in the 1950s. "My wife gave this to me," says Brian Williams. "She thought that I could use a little lightness in my reading. My memories as a kid are of a kind of clunky, grindingly middle-class America, where an American cheese slice individually wrapped was the biggest deal in the world. Also, a roasted marshmallow. And half a Popsicle—you had to get the crack absolutely right or someone got shortchanged. This book is how I grew up. I laughed through it in bursts, in paroxysms, in spasms."
— Mamie Healey