At Home: A short history of private life


I’m a big fan of Bill Bryson, his books generally have me flicking between laughing out loud and sucking up remarkable stories and facts from the places he visits. He has an accessible style that allows him to take complex subjects and present them in a way that is both interesting and understandable to anyone. If you have any interest in science I urge you to check out A Short History of Nearly Everything, where he traces a path through human development.

So I was very excited about At Home, which charts the rise of the modern housing and homes, while detouring through much of the surrounding social and economic changes of the times.  Bryson basically walks you through each room of his house to tell you how it came about, from how chairs previously were only employed at the edges of rooms and how salt and pepper came to be the only condiments on everyone’s table.

As usual, he delivers it in an engaging and enlightening style.  Even more engaging if you listen to the audiobook as I did, which is read by Bill himself.  You will not be disappointed.

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This was an copy of the book

Reviewed: 19th May 2011