Friday, March 25, 2011

Books Read in 2011: "At Home" by Bill Bryson



Yeah, yeah, another unabridged audio. You know what? I just downloaded, like, eight more of them last weekend. Get used to it!

(I don't really know who I'm arguing with here.)

This book made me think of the James Burke series "Connections," in that it uses the rooms of the home that Bryson has moved into in Britain as a launching point for and examination of the evolution of the things that occupy it or have brought it into being. The chapter about the dressing room was about fashion, and what lengths people have gone to in order to look ridiculous. The bathroom wound up being about the disposal of waste, particularly human, and the control of the spread of disease. The bedroom was about sex, its consequences, and the mores that surrounded it. The whole house, in fact, was once a parsonage, and there's a chapter on what it meant to be a well-off rector, and the economics and politics that went with it.

One strange thing that I realized, though, as I was finishing up the book tonight, is that I started listening to it back in October or November of last year. I started it, got distracted by something(s) else, and then dipped back into it recently. Not that it's of any particular import, just something I realized.