At Home (Bryson)

Discussion Questions 
Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:

How to Discuss a Book (helpful discussion tips)
Generic Discussion Questions—Fiction and Nonfiction
Read-Think-Talk (a guided reading chart)

Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for At Home:

1. This book is a series of loosely-connected essays about ... well, what has made life comfortable, indeed, habitable for all of us. What was your experience reading At Home—did you find the loose structure of the work enjoyable, or did find it disjointed and overly digressive? How did you read the book—sequentially, chapter by chapter...or did you "skip and dip," reading ones you felt might be interesting while skipping others?

2. What do you find most interesting in Bryson's historical accounts? What surprises you the most...or impresses you the most? Horrify you? Anything make you laugh?

3. Sometimes it seems as if historical events are inevitable, but Bryson seems to suggest otherwise. Talk about the ways in which coincidence has influcenced history.

4. Progress happens inspite of oursleves. Find examples in Bryson's book of those who resisted new ideas—and insisted that their traditional notions of how the world worked was the only correct way. (Hint: approaches to hygiene...)

5. Some have pointed out the lack of documentation for many of Bryson's claims. Does that bother you...or are footnotes unnecessary in a non-academic work like At Home?

6. Overall, what have you taken away from Bryson's book? Have you read other Bryson works...if so, how does this stack up?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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