Overview (Spoilers Abound):
I routinely recommend Bryson’s, The Body or A Short History of Nearly Everything due to their overflowing cornucopia of facts and emphasis highlighting the people behind the key discoveries. At Home follows in the same format as the aforementioned titles, with the focus on being within the home. That said, At Home is an ambitious collection of loosely connected facts, spanning an intimidating plethora of topics. While the progress of the narrative goes room by room through an old English house, it is often hard to remember what room we are currently suppose to be occupying, or how the topic at hand could be associated. That said, this rambling, sprawling storytelling somehow manages to connect seemingly countless other nonfiction reads that I’ve enjoyed over the years. I can hardly fathom how daunting this project would have been for Bryson, or how he managed to bring everything together in some semblance of being related within one book. Needless to say, I loved it! As with his other books, I feel as though I need a reread to better absorb the many facts he provided throughout At Home. Additionally, I found myself wishing that I had been taking notes or highlighting key facts that I wanted to look up more about, which is always a sign of a fantastic nonfiction read. I might have driven my husband a bit crazy while listening to At Home while on a road trip as I would repeatedly pause the book to discuss the topic being covered. Not to mention, when he fell asleep during one section about the creation of plated glass and woke up in another chapter detailing the lifestyle of rats he couldn’t believe I was listening to the same book. Overall, while the organization of At Home was sometimes sometimes as messy as my house, the vast range of topics and facts that are included in just over 500 pages make for an impressive feat by Bryson and a treat for the reader.