Beth G.'s Reviews > At Home: A Short History of Private Life

At Home by Bill Bryson
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really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2011, library-books, books-for-grown-ups, non-fiction, history, england, author-male

It is always quietly thrilling to find yourself looking at a world you know well but have never seen from such an angle before.

Bill Bryson turns his insatiable curiosity and boundless enthusiasm for research to a subject quite literally close to home. His home, to be precise, a former rectory in Norfolk, built in 1851. He takes the reader on a guided tour of the house, room by room, from the entry hall all the way up to the attic. Along the way, he discusses the history of just about every domestic subject: food, health, birth, death, gardening, etc. His knack for pointing out just the right absurd detail provides unexpected laughs in the midst of very serious subjects.

I was introduced to Bryson's work during the year I spent in Manchester. It was a year after the publication of Notes from a Small Island, and Notes from a Big Country was running as a weekly column in The Mail on Sunday. Reading those columns about his reentry to the nation I'd just left, I fell a little bit in love with his writing. Fifteen years later, I still love it. I can hardly wait to see what he comes up with next.

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Reading Progress

November 19, 2010 – Started Reading
November 19, 2010 – Shelved
September 24, 2011 – Shelved as: read-in-2011
September 24, 2011 – Shelved as: library-books
September 24, 2011 – Shelved as: books-for-grown-ups
September 24, 2011 – Shelved as: non-fiction
September 24, 2011 – Shelved as: history
September 24, 2011 – Shelved as: england
September 24, 2011 – Finished Reading
December 21, 2011 – Shelved as: author-male

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