I’ve not yet read Mary Roach, and David Sedaris sometimes makes me squirm- but I picked this one up at random off a library shelf because well, the cover immediately caught my eye (it’s my favorite color), and the title was sure attention grabbing. It’s a bunch of essays that I think were originally magazine articles, written by a research psychologist. The chapters are short, speckled with humor and sometimes really get too personal. A lot of them are about taboo subjects- why the shape or mechanism of our private parts have evolved that way- men and women alike. What’s different about the brain in people who are attracted to things the rest of us find inappropriate- feet, animals, young children, the same gender, pain. Why do we have hair down there, and its texture. Why do we get acne and other primates don’t. What are the circumstances and mindset that can lead someone to end their own life. It even veers into subjects that don’t seem related to the rest- such as laughter in rats and gorillas, the cruelty of teenage girls to their peers, and some odd discussions on religious fervor. I didn’t always agree with the author’s opinion on things, but it was interesting to think about some of this stuff. He lists a bunch of notes and sources but some reviewers question the science behind his conclusions. Note: the author is homosexual, which very clearly influences his attitude and perception of the topics. This book is such a mix- lighthearted, snarky, astonishing and cringeworthy by turns. Answers some questions on things you might have had fleeting curiosity about, including many I had never ever considered but now know of in spite of myself. Frustratingly, there’s a few essays where he just muses on the question and never has any answers or explanations at all.
Borrowed from the public library.