Some authors have an amazing way with words, and Bill Bryson is definitely one of them. After a single false start, he proceeded to make me utterly homesick for a country I've in large part never visited at all (three weeks total in Cairns, Brisbane and Sydney is nowhere near enough). I learned a bunch of new things about Australia and new places I want to visit. Bill Bryson's love for the country is unmistakable, and makes this not only a fascinating memoir and travel-account, but also an adoring ode to a soul country.Interesting things I learned from "Down Under":- The concept of "Tomorrow, When the War Began" (John Marsden) wasn't actually as farfetched as I originally thought, but could have been based on a very real threat during WW2.- Racism is alive and well in Australia - the Aboriginals don't seem to be very accepted at all, and as late as 1970 their children was still considered wards of the state rather than of their parents and could be removed at will.- As of the time of writing, there was still a single territory that had declined becoming a state of Australia... meaning that though they could vote for elections, their votes didn't actually count for anything.- Australia is unique both from a geological and a botanical viewpoint and HUGE parts of it haven't been properly surveyed... if surveyed at all. Also, it has the coolest names for places, plants and animals :D- I WANT TO GO!!!