At Home

At Home

A Short History of Private Life

Book - 2010
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From the author of that classic of modern science writing, A Short History of Nearly Everything , comes a work of what you might call domestic science: our homes, how they work, and the fascinating history of how they got that way.

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 found 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 demostrates, ends up in our house, in the paint and the pipes and the pillows and every item of furniture.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Doubleday Canada, c2010
ISBN: 9780385661638
0385661630
Branch Call Number: 643.1 Bry 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 497 p. :,ill

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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."


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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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