New York : Doubleday, c2010
1st U.S. edDescription:
497 p. ; 25 cm ISBN/ISSN:
9780767919388, 0767919386, Language:
Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything) takes readers on a tour of his house, a rural English parsonage, showing how each room has figured in the evolution of private life
The year -- The setting -- The hall -- The kitchen -- The scullery and the larder -- The fusebox -- The drawing room -- The dining room -- The cellar -- The passage -- The study -- The garden -- The plum room -- The stairs -- The bedroom -- The bathroom -- The dressing room -- The nursery -- The attic
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Bryson, having moved into an old English parsonage, goes goes through the house room by room and begins to wonder about just how domestic lives evolved into what they have become. In typical Bryson fashion, there's a lot of dry humor, saucy details and fascinating diversions. For example, a discussion about the dangers of the stairwell shifts into thoughts about many of the other things around the house that can kill us (and how dangerous paint and wallpaper once were). Thinking about the lawn leads to a brief history of gardens and public parks. If you're the kind of reader, like me, who often goes through a book in bits and pieces, rather than in a single multi-hour session, then At Home works well--its structure and parade of facts almost welcome occasional breaks.
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