Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Review: HOME by Bill Bryson

If you've wondered where Monday's and Wednesday's posts were this week, you can blame Bill Bryson! Him and His book have completely annexed my week! But it's done now here's the review, and I'll get my butt back behind the computer, or behind a paint brush :)

I LOVED this book! I couldn't put it down, I would look at Lee each night and ask if he was tired  so we could go to be and I could . . . gets my read on! (clearly I read a lot because my English is soooo gooder).

Seriously though, it was a great read. Each chapter is on a different room, and although I would have never thought that you could write so many words about a room, Bryson manages to keep you interested with every word. The entire book is filled with tons of history,and not just history on the big stuff but the little things too, who new there was history behind the mousetrap! Bryson moves from subject to subject with un stoppable enthusiasm, and it's nothing if not contagious. I found myself dying to read on!
I can't really put into words why it was so amazing. I couldn't even begin to summarize what it was about ( a simpler route might be to tell you what it's not about), Bryson moves so seamlessly from topic to topic, room to room that you will at some point find yourself awake at 4am promising you'll go to sleep at the end of the chapter.

A couple snippets I found interesting:
-if you lived in America and needed windows for your house, you would order them from England and 6-9 months later you would get them, and most of them would be broken :(
-Thomas Jefferson ordered a fireplace surround for his home, when it finally arrived from England 6 months later,  he found the they had forgot to ship the top mantel piece.
-The glue they used for wallpaper was poisonous, and that's why Victorians think that everything can be cured with fresh air. Because if you were sick, you were put to bed where you would get worse until you went outside.
-I found the information about England's 19th century sewage system both interesting and disgusting.

I couldn't recommend this book enough!


  1. I saw this the other day at the bookstore, but will have to go back and get a copy! Your book reviews are fantastic. I have so enjoyed many a book you have recommended. I am currently (finally) finishing of the Art and Zen of Housekeeping and LOVE it!!

  2. This was a fantastic book. I loved the point about how the "Country vicar" class in England during the Victorian age were pretty much all scholars and people who studied things.

    I found myself googling "Marleborough house" and the other fine establishments he mentions. It's one of bRYSON'S BEST BOOKS.

  3. The first book of his I read was "A Walk in the Woods", which had me laughing out loud on my flight to Vegas. If you haven't read it, you should!

  4. If you haven't read them, his two books on the English language are fascinating. One is The Mother Tongue (about the evolution of the language in Britain) and Made In America (about English in the US). He's not (yet) written one about Canadian English but it would be interesting if he did.

  5. I have this book on my must read list but have yet to pick it up. Thanks for the reminder. I've read lots of good reviews on this book and I didn't realize he has written others. My must read list has now gotten longer.

    Really enjoy your blog and all your great projects. Loved the pebble boot tray!

    Have a great day!
    Shirlee from Alberta

  6. Sounds like a book I have read on homes in Victorian times, and like you I was fascinated with the whole arsenic in the wallpaper thing and hence many trips to the seaside or the country! And also the work involved in maintaining a range and fireplaces througout the house and how everything was basically covered in soot all the time! Life sure has improved in many ways since then! Must look out for the Bryson book at the library. My husband loved his Mother Tongue book.

  7. I was a history major in college for awhile. I have always loved the obscure, everyday life type of history. Just requested this book from the library. Thanks for posting a review. I had never heard of it before.

  8. Thank you so much for the recommendations everyone! I can't wait to read another one of his books! I think I've found my new favorite author!

  9. Judging from this and the other comments, I need to check this guy out! Sounds fascinating!



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