I read these two the wrong way.
Bill Bryson's At Home: A Short History of Private Life, on the other hand, is just the sort of cultural anthropology/historical trivia that's fun to pick up and peruse and come back to later, and instead I powered through the whole thing. It really did me a disservice as a reader, and I should have known better. In addition to bringing back memories of my Anthro 101 research paper about the use of space in the double rooms in my dorm (I concluded, with no bias at all, that my roomie and I were not destined for a lifetime of friendship), Bryson's latest is a charming and interesting treasure box in its own right. Especially when handled correctly, there are lots of "wow, I'd never have guessed that about 'sleep tight'!" and "Got it: India cotton = Indian-derived words for fabric and fashion" moments to tickle your mental funny bone.
So there you have it - two good reads, which can be made better or (if ye heed not my warning) worse by your approach to reading them.