Judy's Reviews > At Home: A Short History of Private Life

At Home by Bill Bryson
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Sep 09, 12

Read from August 06 to September 09, 2012

My first Bill Bryson read was "A Walk in the Woods," his decidedly unromanticized account of attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail. I fell in love then with his ability to tell a tale with honesty and witty humor.
"At Home" purports to be a room-by-room tour of the English rectory he and his wife call home. And while he relates a good many interesting tidbits about the evolution of various rooms in the modern home, the book is much more the subtitle, "A Short History of Private Life." He has an amazing knack for digging up obscure facts and making the slimmest of connections to the room by which the chapter is titled. Case in point, the last chapter, "The Attic" is a lengthy expose on Charles Darwin, the fact that the life-changing voyage which was the starting point for his seminal work, "Origin of the Species," almost didn't happen due to his father's objections. From there Bryson traces the rise of modern archaeology and the role of scientists. All fascinating reading, but it's relevance to the attic difficult to follow. Nevertheless, I'm proud to call him a fellow Iowan as he was born and raised in Des Moines. See - some good things do come from there!
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08/06/2012 page 102
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