Monday, December 13, 2010

Review - At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson

 TITLE:    At Home: A Short History of Private Life
AUTHOR/EDITOR:    Bill Bryson
INFO:    Hardcover, Non-Fiction, 497 pages
PUBLISHED:   Doubleday, 2010
ISBN#:   978-0-7679-1938-8
HOW'D I GET IT:   Received from publisher for Review

From one of the most beloved authors of our time—more than six million copies of his books have been sold in this country alone—a fascinating excursion into the history behind the place we call home.

“Houses aren’t refuges from history. They are where history ends up.”

Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.” The bathroom provides the occasion for a history of hygiene; the bedroom, sex, death, and sleep; the kitchen, nutrition and the spice trade; and so on, as Bryson shows how each has fig­ured in the evolution of private life. Whatever happens in the world, he demonstrates, ends up in our house, in the paint and the pipes and the pillows and every item of furniture.

Bill Bryson has one of the liveliest, most inquisitive minds on the planet, and he is a master at turning the seemingly isolated or mundane fact into an occasion for the most diverting exposi­tion imaginable. His wit and sheer prose fluency make At Home one of the most entertaining books ever written about private life.

MY TAKE:   This was a fascinating book.  Bill Bryson was a new-to-me author, but I can definitely understand why he has such a large fan base.  His writing is quite humorous while being educational at the same time. 

As he takes us from room to room in his 1850's home in England, we gain insight into how people lived in various rooms throughout the years.  It was really interesting to see how we and our accommodations have evolved over the decades and centuries.  I also liked that he delved into the architecture and history of the builders as well.  The author's British wit is very apparent in his writing which just adds to the enjoyment of the book.

My hubby is currently reading this book and has agreed to do his own review for all of us when he's finished.  He's started reading a lot of my books so I'm going to put him to work here on the blog!
MY RATING:    3.5/5

WHERE TO BUY IT:    Amazon, The Book Depository, Powell's Books, IndieBound

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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.


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