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At Home by Bill Bryson []



At Home: A Short History of Private Life is not particularly short, and it is too rambling and unfocused to be a useful history, but it is full of surprising facts and entertaining anecdotes about our homes and how they got that way. We learn about architecture, gardening, furniture, food, sanitation and much else besides. Although we learn a little about life in ancient times, and a wee bit about homes in the Middle East and in North America, the bulk of the content focuses on British homes in the last few hundred years. Many sections of the book tell us little about the lives of all but the most wealthy, which is disappointing but also understandable, but Byrson makes up for this imbalance by keeping the text engaging, readable, and always interesting.

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