In “At Home,” Bill Bryson tells the fascinating story of private life over the millennia. Drawing on groundbreaking new research and a scintillating wit, Bryson takes us from ancient Rome to eighteenth-century England to modern-day America, illuminating our homes along the way. From intelligence-gathering Roman baths and Chinese water gardens to firefighting in seventeenth century London and air conditioning in twenty-first century Los Angeles, Bryson shows us how we’ve always striven mightily to control our environment – for reasons both practical and symbolic. With his trademark humor and unerring eye for detail, he brings readers inside such iconic places as Westminster Abbey (where Henry VIII lay with five wives) and Tutankhamun’s tomb (which held an embarrassing surprise for its discoverers). Illuminating human history where it intersects architecture, engineering, interior design, landscape gardeningers’), art history,’ At Home is peppered throughout with beguiling facts that will make you look anew at your own living space.
For who is this book for ?
This book is for people who are interested in the history of private life. It includes a lot of information on architecture, engineering, and other related topics.
- The author has a talent for making the subject interesting
- The book is full of interesting facts
- It provides a broad overview of private life
- The author’s tone is often belittling and disparaging.
- The content feels disorganized and meandering.
- There are too many irrelevant asides that slow down the narrative momentum
Learn more about the author
Bill Bryson is the acclaimed author of “A Walk in the Woods,” “I’m a Stranger Here Myself,” and other books. A former reporter for The Wall Street Journal and Time, he lives in Hanover, New Hampshire, with his wife and four children.
“I laughed, I learned, and I marveled at the brilliance of Bill Bryson’s scholarship in ‘At Home.’ This is a delightful history of private life that will entrance anyone who has ever paused to consider why we do the things we do indoors.”
“At Home is a masterpiece of popular history, as entertaining as it is enlightening.”
“At Home is Bryson’s masterpiece, a history of the home told through its architecture and interior design, but it’s also much more than that. It ranges widely over art, engineering, science (the section on indoor plumbing beggars belief), and even sex.”
“At Home is a marvelous work, displaying Bryson’s trademark wit and penetrating insight. This book provides an entertaining and highly informative history of private life from the ancient world to the present day.”