I’m the weirdo who always thinks about the details of historical living. How exactly did they come up with indoor plumbing and how in the world did they create such a complex system to accommodate everyone’s plumbing needs? How was the infrastructure built to so many houses? Same with electricity. How in the world did they get everything set up so cities were connected to power? These are the dorky things I think about when I read historical books.
So when I heard that there was literally a book about the history of the home that delved into all these details I immediately checked it out. Because duh. Who wouldn’t want to read about plumbing? And electricity? And chairs?
Bill Bryson goes deep into the history of the modern home starting with the formation of different rooms. The hall used to be everything to the home and is now the lowliest of rooms. Then rich people wanted to get away from their servants and started creating all sorts of private rooms. A lot of our daily life is actually based on people trying to get away from each other.
I found all the history he laid out extremely fascinating. My only complaint is that I listened to the audiobook and it was sometimes hard to follow the way he organized the book in that format. If you’re going to read this one, I’d recommend picking up an e-book or physical book just so you have an easier time keeping everything straight.