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At Home: A Short History of Private Life

At Home: A Short History of Private Life

Book rating: 05 Hardback

By (author) Bill Bryson

List price $31.33

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  • Publisher: DOUBLEDAY
  • Format: Hardback | 544 pages
  • Dimensions: 164mm x 236mm x 48mm | 907g
  • Publication date: 27 May 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0385608276
  • ISBN 13: 9780385608275
  • Illustrations note: B&W illustrations throughout
  • Sales rank: 1,605

Product description

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. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, wandering from room to room considering how the ordinary things in life came to be. Along the way he did a prodigious amount of research on the history of anything and everything, from architecture to electricity, from food preservation to epidemics, from the spice trade to the Eiffel Tower, from crinolines to toilets; and on the brilliant, creative and often eccentric minds behind them. And he discovered that, although there may seem to be nothing as unremarkable as our domestic lives, there is a huge amount of history, interest and excitement - and even a little danger - lurking in the corners of every home.

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Author information

Bill Bryson's bestselling travel books include The Lost Continent, Notes from a Small Island, A Walk in the Woods and Down Under. His acclaimed book on the history of science, A Short History of Nearly Everything, won the Aventis Prize for Science Books and the Descartes Science Communication Prize. He has written on language in Mother Tongue and Made in America, and his latest bestsellers are Shakespeare and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. www.billbryson.co.uk.

Customer reviews

By Christie Gulbis 19 Jan 2011 5

I love books that combine the historical with the domestic, and when the writer is Bill Bryson, it's a winner. Fascinating historical detail on every page. Witty storytelling. I didn't want it to end.

Review quote

"Delightful. . . . Bryson's enthusiasm brightens any dull corner. . . . Hand over control and simply enjoy the ride." -"The New York Times Book Review" "An exuberant, shared social history. . . . Told with Bryson's habitual brio. . . . A personal compendium of fascinating facts, suggesting how the history of houses and domesticity has shaped our lives, language, and ideas." -"The New York Review of Books""A treasure trove. . . . Playful, yes, but Bryson is also a deft historian." -"Los Angeles Times""If this book doesn't supply you with five years' worth of dinner conversation, you're not paying attention." -"People" "Bryson is fascinated by everything, and his curiosity is infectious. . . . You can take this class in your pajamas--and, judging by the book's laid-back, comfy tone, I have a sneaking suspicion that Bryson wrote much of it in his." -"New York Times Book Review" "The experience of reading a Bill Bryson book is something you don't wa