I am pretty well known at the dinner table for throwing out random facts tangenitally related to the conversation taking place. So even though this book took me an abysmally long time to read (8 days!! 8 DAYS!!), I liked it, because it gave me lots of little factoids to throw out and continue my reputation as the most random person in the house.
So far I have entertained people telling them about the tax on glass during a Suns game, the whole "chairman of the board" thing while my husband and I were waiting to meet our realtor, and various other tidbits from this book.
I didn't like all of it. If I had liked it more I would have read it more quickly, I think. It lagged a lot for me in particular when Bryson was discussing architecture. I know, it's a book about houses and buildings and other miscellanea so architecture can be considered something important to talk about, but for me... it was dry. Although I did enjoy learning about why so many important government buildings have that look that screams what they are.
I would also have liked a bit more about the specific house Bryson was living in, his inspiration for the book. Sure, at times he talks about various strange bits in the plans for the house, but then in the next sentence he'll explain that those weren't actually built. I got the feeling the plans look nothing like how the house actually ended up. A little more about his current house and how it tied in to the facets of history he discussed would have been nice - it would have given the book a little more cohesion.
Other parts of the book are enjoyable and readable. It's definitely not a dry history textbook; the way Bryson writes, combining English and American history and giving historical figures personalities reminds me of why I like history so much.