Saturday, July 21, 2012

History Anywhere - Bill Bryson's "At Home"

Bill Bryson is a born storyteller, so much so that what he tells, even though when I already know it, sounds quite savory to the ears. In a book called At Home, Bryson takes us back to many eras in time when people lived quite differently from the way of our lives today. For example, when he looks around in the kitchen, he tells us about a time when ice makers could make astronomical amount of money because they supplied ice for the old-fashioned refrigerators in the Industrial Age. In the dressing room, he reminds us of a time in our history when people wore 20 kg or more of clothing. Quite a well-off man like Thomas Carlyle had to read in the Kitchen at night because it was the warmest spot in his house, because of which his sole servant had to stay in the cold back-kitchen till very late every night.

In this book, Bryson tells interesting stories on many different aspects of human history in relation with our private life, in such areas as anthropology, paleontology, history of science, invention, medicine, and government affairs. Also, the way he tells his story reveals what a sensible man he is, just like he did in his previous book, Short History of Nearly Everything. Most probably, I will revisit one of his books in the near future, once again to be educated and entertained at the same time.

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