Google+ The Introverted Reader: Waiting on Wednesday: At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson

Waiting on Wednesday: At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Title: At Home: A Short History of Private Life
Author: Bill Bryson
Publication Date: UK May 27, 2010
                          US October 5, 2010
Synopsis from GoodReads:
From one of the most beloved authors of our time—more than six million copies of his books have been sold in this country alone—a fascinating excursion into the history behind the place we call home.

“Houses aren’t refuges from history. They are where history ends up.”

Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.” The bathroom provides the occasion for a history of hygiene; the bedroom, sex, death, and sleep; the kitchen, nutrition and the spice trade; and so on, as Bryson shows how each has fig­ured in the evolution of private life. Whatever happens in the world, he demonstrates, ends up in our house, in the paint and the pipes and the pillows and every item of furniture.

Bill Bryson has one of the liveliest, most inquisitive minds on the planet, and he is a master at turning the seemingly isolated or mundane fact into an occasion for the most diverting exposi­tion imaginable. His wit and sheer prose fluency make At Home one of the most entertaining books ever written about private life.
Bryson has missed a couple of times for me, but for the most part his books are at least fascinating and at best they leave me shrieking with laughter.  This sounds like it might be along the lines of A Short History of Nearly Everything, a non-fiction book that should have bored me to tears but that I actually liked. Of course, the first factoid I remember when I think about that book is that Sir Isaac Newton once decided to shove a big needle in his eye just to see what would happen, a bit of trivia that appeals to my sense of humor. Anyway, you just about can't go wrong with Bryson, so I'll be "eagerly anticipating" this one!

What are you waiting on this week?

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Jennifer G.


  1. I'm impatiently waiting for Dark Oracle by Alayna Williams. it should be available on May 25th, so here's to hoping my local bookstore gets my pre-ordered copy soon.

  2. I'm so excited to hear he has a new one coming, love his books! Yea!

  3. This sounds really interesting. Will have to add it to my nonfiction wish list.

  4. I've never read him but heard great things! Nice pick. My WOW is at The Crowded Leaf.

  5. I have actually never heard of Bill Bryson before. It sounds like a great read.

  6. Interesting pick.

    My Waiting on Wednesday pick "Other" is here.

    What are you waiting on?


  7. Love his books. I know this will find its way to our shelves eventually :)

  8. and Jenners both picked this one. I do like Bryson...great pick.

  9. Thanks for highlighting this one - I love Bryson's books - am actually listening to A Sunburned Country now and I think its great!


Thanks for taking the time to comment! Have a great day!


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