Thursday, July 12, 2012

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

It's sometimes amazing what people write about and how a book can be generated from the most simple things. Bill Bryson writes about our homes - he takes us room-by-room though the family home and the fascinating history of some common household objects.

Image source:
Random House.
"At Home" is a good read - I read the Kindle version while on holiday and it is certainly an easy and enjoyable account of the many things we take for granted (eg, why we have salt and pepper on our tables instead of any of the other multitudes of spices available). Bryson's book might be more accurately described as "A Book if Interesting Facts" - it is full of curious people and their inventions. Bryson has a particular interest in the year 1851 when his own house was built.

Every page has something new and Bryson's style is witty and factual - no high brow scientific explanations of how things work or where they came from, there's just enough for the layman to understand. This book has something for everyone, though I read it from start to finish in a couple of days, it would also be a suitable book to dip in and out of when ever the moods takes you. It might even be a good reading book for the toilet - there's a very good chapter about toilets and how they came about!

Overall - very much recommended.

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