At Home

At Home

A Short History of Private Life

Book - 2010
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In "At Home", Bill Bryson applies the same irrepressible curiosity, irresistible wit, stylish prose and masterful storytelling that made "A Short History of Nearly Everything" one of the most lauded books of the last decade, and delivers one of the most entertaining and illuminating books ever written about the history of the way we live. Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote a lot more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business - eating, sleeping and merely endeavouring to get more comfortable. And that most of the key discoveries for humankind can be found in the very fabric of the houses in which we live. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, wandering from room to room considering how the ordinary things in life came to be. Along the way he did a prodigious amount of research on the history of anything and everything, from architecture to electricity, from food preservation to epidemics, from the spice trade to the Eiffel Tower, from crinolines to toilets; and on the brilliant, creative and often eccentric minds behind them. And he discovered that, although there may seem to be nothing as unremarkable as our domestic lives, there is a huge amount of history, interest and excitement - and even a little danger - lurking in the corners of every home.
Publisher: London : Doubleday, 2010.
ISBN: 9780385661638
0385661630
9780385608275
0385608276
Branch Call Number: 306.09 BRY
Characteristics: 536 p. :,map ;,24 cm.

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Excellent! As with any Bill Bryson book a huge amount of research and interesting facts presented in such a readable manner - love love love it!


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SPL_Michelle Jun 01, 2017

Bill Bryson takes the reader on a marvelous journey, exploring the history of everyday objects "At Home."

v
vv9
Mar 12, 2016

This is a fact-filled walk through the author's home, an 1800's parsonage modeled after british buildings of the time. How does Bryson do it? There are so many trivial history factoids, you wonder where the heck he researches everything. Or does he?

Love Bryson. Favorite book of his: A Walk in the Woods. That book is hysterical. Bryson is smart and funny, I believe. This book...meh. He writes so well that it's difficult for me to withhold the stars.

Recommended for New England residents living in old rectories, or anyone in the market for the same.

r
ryner
Feb 08, 2016

Bill Bryson, author of fascinating works on the English language, as well as a number of humorous travel and adventure tales, invites the reader in At Home to join him on a journey through the various rooms found in his home in the Norfolk countryside in England. In each, we learn how the space originated, the history of the items found within it, and how its usage changed throughout history.
If you enjoy Bill Bryson, you will also love this. In fact, Bill Bryson ought to be writing textbooks for all manner of subjects generally considered boring. I read the illustrated edition, which quickly surpassed my expectations, and was an experience I did not wish to end.

Chapel_Hill_KenMc Dec 22, 2014

Bill Bryson never fails to amuse, and to some extent, educate. He's all over the map with this one, but you'll come away with all sorts of awesome trivial information.

j
jazpur
Jun 04, 2014

The social history of England, based on the premise, 'There's no place like home' is presented with Bill Bryson's inimitable flair in a very palatable informative fashion.Ideal for either dipping or cover-to-cover reading.Most enjoyable.

z
zipread
Apr 03, 2014

At Home --- Bill Bryson. Well done! Well done! It’s difficult to know into exactly which pigeon hole to stick this work by Bryson. But perhaps it doesn't matter. Is it technical history; economic history; cultural geography; social history. It has snatches of all of these things and aa lot more too. The glue that holds all these disparate elements together is, as you might have guessed, the home. The book is focused on England with nary a nod to anywhere else on the globe and it is focused primarily but not exclusively on the Victorian era. John Snow; the Crystal Palace; the cotton jenny; Paladin architecture; maize; Charles Darwin; Monticello; tines on forks; country estates: these are all part and parcel of this book. Prepare to be enlightened as well as entertained.

c
carbonbusters
Aug 31, 2013

History of all the components that constitute a modern home, illustrated from the example of an old British parsonage (Bryson's home). Excellent.

d
delfon
Feb 10, 2013

http://www.amazon.ca/product-reviews/0385661630/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

thordora Oct 20, 2012

Fun read, like most of Bryson, full of little interesting tidbits to lead you in all sorts of directions. Really enjoyed this.

o
Oppa3
Oct 13, 2012

Bill Bryson is one of my favorites. I have read only his humor books in the past but after reading At Home I will have to read all of his books. Amazing how much interest stuff he is able to present based on his old 1851 house. Did lots of reading out loud to my husband.

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LudditeLord Dec 30, 2011

Other: Don’t try reading it in one sitting, or you’ll be overwhelmed by the details. Best sip this, one room at a time.

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LudditeLord Dec 30, 2011

"Open your refrigerator door and you summon forth more light than the total amount enjoyed by most households in the eighteenth century."

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