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At Home

A Short History of Private Life
Bryson, Bill (Book - 2010 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
At Home

Item Details

Bryson takes readers on a tour of his house, a rural English parsonage, showing how each room has figured in the evolution of private life.
Authors: Bryson, Bill
Title: At home
a short history of private life
Publisher: New York :, Doubleday,, c2010
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
Characteristics: 497 p. :,ill. ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Bill Bryson
Notes: Floor plans on end papers
Contents: The year
The setting
The hall
The kitchen
The scullery and the larder
The fusebox
The drawing room
The dining room
The cellar
The passage
The study
The garden
The plum room
The stairs
The bedroom
The bathroom
The dressing room
The nursery
The attic
Summary: Bryson takes readers on a tour of his house, a rural English parsonage, showing how each room has figured in the evolution of private life.
ISBN: 9780767919388
Branch Call Number: 643.1 B9166a 2010
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Report This Apr 03, 2014
  • zipread rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

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.

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


Report This Oct 20, 2012
  • thordora rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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

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.

Report This Sep 17, 2012
  • rsmbarlow rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great book! Funny and factual. I'd love to have Bill Bryson over for dinner!

Report This Sep 14, 2012
  • danomcd rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I don't normally give a 5 as a mark but this book will have you wanting to share every piece of what you read - even in the middle of the night! (I should note though that the first chapter was a little slow).

Report This Aug 26, 2012
  • gilljak rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Remarkable historical detail, shared through a witty and highly engaging writing style.

Report This Jun 27, 2012
  • cfried rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This may be one of my favorite books ever. I love to read history books, but they tend to be redundant and bland. In typical Bill Bryson style he takes a potentially boring subject and makes it accessible and interesting. This book is so witty and does an excellent job of covering such a wide range of time and topic.

Report This May 05, 2012
  • Osterhaus1 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

It took me about seven weeks to read this book, but I learned so much. While tedious at times, I am glad to find a fascinating book on history. I have a new appreciation for present day hygiene, medical treatment and so much more. I look forward to reading more books by Bryson.

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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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"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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Bill Bryson discussing his new book At Home

Bill Bryson discussing his new book At Home

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.

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