- Author Bill Bryson
I actually managed to read all of Bryson’s Short History of Nearly Everything but I can’t honestly say that I retained anything from it. This book is a similar endeavour, chronicling each room of the house and looking into the history of why it’s there, how its purpose has changed and how many of the things we find inside came to be.
That immediately makes it more memorable than talk of atoms and nanobots and suchlike. I really enjoyed the stories of how things evolved, the bits that debunked common myths, and the paragraphs that explained how sayings came to be - the limelight one was particularly interesting.
It’s quite long, so I was getting a little weary by the end, but overall it’s an interesting volume, written in a candid way that makes what could be dull subjects mostly fascinating. There’s a litany of names to remember, and I found myself turning to my search engine for more information at several points - on Skara Brae, and Otzi the mummified human to name but two. I think it’s the kind of book you could dip in and out of and learn new things no matter how many times you pick it up.