Tatyana Deryugina (Twitter: @TDeryugina)

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At Home

Posted 18 Jan 11 by Tatyana

As I promised a while back, here’s my short take on the book "At Home” by Bill Bryson.

"At Home” is not the best book I’ve read by Bill Bryson, but that’s not too informative because I find Bill Bryson’s books awesome (e.g. "A Short History  of Nearly Everything”, "A Walk in the Woods”, and "I’m a Stranger Here Myself”).

"At Home” was very well researched, very well written, and quite amusing. Disguised as a history of the modern house (and to be fair, it does talk about how various rooms evolved over the years), I would rather describe this book as a history of British society starting from the middle ages, but mostly focused on the 19th century. Bryson touches on the lives of various inventors and the true histories of their inventions (e.g. the cotton gin, telephone, and mass produced glass), childbirth, fashion, servants, landscaping, and much more. Along the way, he presents some quirky beliefs society held at various points in time (e.g. being dirty is good for you). As usual, he describes nearly everything with poignant humor.  If you’re someone who would enjoy a medley of interesting information about how society used to live, this book is for you.

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