After years of taking readers around the globe with his witty travel writing, author Bill Bryson has pointed his compass at his own house in the English countryside.
In At Home: A Short History of Private Life, Bryson explores the history of the world through the rooms of his home and the objects that fill them.
The book traces the history of hallways and attics and the origins of dining rooms and chimneys.
Bryson also finds historical surprises in everyday objects of domesticity — from the four-tined fork in the drawer to the mousetrap in the study.
And why, asks Bryson, have salt and pepper become the West's seasonings of choice, when cardamom and cinnamon dominate in kitchens elsewhere?
Bryson joins NPR's Jennifer Ludden, to share everything you wanted to know about your house, but probably never thought to ask.