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At Home: A Short History of Private Life
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13 sur 13 personnes ont trouvé le commentaire suivant utile
Bill Bryson has an inquisitive mind; when he sets out to learn the history of the dining room, for example, he does so by way of tracing the history of the spice trade as it impacted Britain, which of course leads to a discussion of the East India Company, but which also leads to an explanation as to why salt and pepper are the common condiments found on every dining room table, as well as the arrival of tea and coffee to the UK, the reason why dinner moved from a midday meal to one sometimes quite late at night and much much more. His new book, At Home: A Short History of Private Life, is a delightful wander through his own home, a former parsonage built in 1851, and while I'm not sure that I learned a lot about how specific rooms came to serve different purposes, I did learn a lot about, among other things, why the US became powerful when Canada did not (it has to do with the Erie Canal, which displaced the perfectly usable - and already existent - St. Lawrence Seaway as being the chief means of transporting goods to and from the interior of the continent), how cholera affected all classes though it was first considered a (deserved) disease of the poor, and why John Lubbock was so important to British history, yet so forgotten now. I read it straight through, but it would also work very well as a book to dip into from time to time, reading the odd chapter here and there, and giving one's brain the opportunity to absorb all the fascinating trivia included on every page. Highly recommended.
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le 2 janvier 2012
I had this book read to me, on cd,by the author Bill Bryson. I had me totally captivated and I was looking for excuses to go for a drive to listen to more.The book was recommeded by a friend in Viet Nam. I ordered it right away...it was in my mailbox within48 hours. The author starts his journey when he enters an old house in England and traces the history of every room in the house through out history and takes some very exciting trips tracing man,s history. It tought me so much about background of mans development and how things could have been so different if we had taken a slightly different direction in history. I was spell bound throughout. I ordered another book by the same author right away,also on cd. Cant wait!
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le 5 août 2011
What a wonderful book. I must admit the title didn't exactly grab my interest, and I might never have picked it up were it not for the fact that it was written by one of my favourite authors. I'm very glad I did. This is, to me, easily the most interesting work Bryson has done since his 'Short History of Nearly Everything'.
Bryson moves from room to room throughout his home and explains the history behind each both in a general manner and one specific to his actual house. The result is surprisingly fascinating. Who would have thought that a history of the fusebox could be so interesting?
I can't recommend this book enough. Treat yourself to a great read and buy this book.
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le 17 novembre 2010
At Home: A Short History of Private Life
This is classic Bryson. With the starting point being his own house in the UK, in Norfolk, Bryson delves into the history of all things common to everyday living, and opens up windows onto the past, and out into the world around us. His house in England is the inspiration for this study, but his scope is international. He takes us on a fascinating and highly readable exploration of the elements of our daily lives. His mastery of this sweep of knowledge is simply brilliant.
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le 28 février 2015
Fascinant!!! Tellement intéressant et instructif. Et Bill Bryson a un humour qui fait en sorte que ça se lit comme un roman. Maintenant, je veux lire tout ce qu'il a écrit. C'est mon coup de coeur pour cette année (bon, ok, l'année vient juste de commencer...mais le livre qui détrônera celui-là a besoin d'être super bon!!!). J'aurais peut-être cependant dû acheter la version illustrée, ça m'aurait évité d'arrêter de lire à tout bout de champ pour faire une recherche sur le web.
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le 13 mars 2014
What a fantastic book! The writer wrote in such a way that I felt like I was there. His easy to read style of writing makes that possible, I guess. I have a much greater appreciation for most of what I used take for granted in my everyday life. The information in this book in invaluable. I'm glad I chose to read it.
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le 29 novembre 2012
Bill Bryson uses the example of his English home, a Victorian parsonage, as he moves from room to room, to take us on a journey of the historical background of ordinary household rooms and objects. In his usual fashion, Bryson uses his enormous amount of research to amuse and amaze.
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le 2 janvier 2014
I am almost through the book - I am finding it to be completely engrossing (and sometimes gross - he is, after all, talking about housing and amenities going back centuries). I am amazed at the research that he does, and the humor with which he shares that research.
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le 9 août 2014
I enjoy reading interesting historical facts and how and why they affected the period in which they occurred.
The book is well written and humorous. Is explains a lot of the reasons we have certain rules of behaviour today.
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le 28 décembre 2011
With this book, it seems like Bill Bryson is trying to top 'Sunburned Country' for witty and interesting historical and quasi-scientific trivia. He hit it way out of the park. Extraordinary.
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