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At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson
In At Home, Bill Bryson, in his inimitable manner, examines the history of how we've come to live the domestic lives we do now. As he moves about his 150-year-old house in an English village, he discusses the history, invention, and modifications to the items he considers, veering down whichever tangents pique his curiosity. Each room is fodder for his imagination and research, expounding on our hygiene, our clothes, our spices, our furniture, and everything else that makes up our daily lives. At Home has received positive reviews with the Seattle Times saying, "Regardless of whether Bryson has been vested with similar authority, he comments on his chosen topics with charm and wit. Although the sheer amount of information presented in this 452-page book is daunting, it doesn't overtax our intellect. Most of all, Bryson succeeds in making us realize how much we take our material comforts for granted, as well as the colossal effort it took to achieve this level of affluence."