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“This literary horn-of-plenty is brimming with an astonishing amount of information, all related with Bryson's trademark clarity and humor. To read this is to embark on a wonderfully meandering journey through history, sociology, science, and more. The thread that connects it all is Bryson's own house. He guides us through his home, a charming former church rectory in a small English village. His kitchen, for example, inspires writing on the rise of tea as a favored beverage, the huge portions consumed by Victorian diners, the grueling work expected of servants, and even the use of imported ice as a food preservative. Enjoy the tour!”
— Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA
“Using his own home, an 1851 rectory in England, as a jumping off point, Bryson focuses his immense curiosity and incomparable writing skills on every aspect of 'home' to explore the history of why we live where we do and how we live. He takes us from room to room in this dynamic survey. You'll immediately want to share this with someone else. It's an 'Oh, let me read you just one more thing!' kind of book.”
— Banna Rubinow, The River's End Bookstore, Oswego, NY
PRAISE FOR AT HOME: A Short History of Private Life:
"...a delightful stroll through the history of domestic life. Now living in a 19th-century church rectory in Norfolk, England, the author decided to learn about the ordinary things of life by exploring each room in his house.... In a sense, Bryson’s book is a history of “getting comfortable slowly".... Informative, readable and great fun."—Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"[D]elightful.... Considering our homes means a dash through history, politics, science, sex, and dozens of other fields. If this book doesn't supply you with five years' worth of dinner conversation, you're not paying attention."—PEOPLE magazine
"Fascinating.... Join this ambiable tour guide as he wanders through his house, a former rectory built in 1851 in a tranquil English village.... [It] takes a very particular kind of thoughtfulness, as well as a bold temperament, to stuff all this research into a mattress that's supportive enough to loll about on while pondering the real subject of this book -- the development of the modern world.... Bryson is fascinated by everything, and his curiosity is infectious...[his] enthusiasm brightens any dull corner.... You'll be given a delightful smattering of information about everything but...the kitchen sink."— Dominique Browning, The New York Times Book Review