Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

Tell us the title:
Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

Who penned this work?:
Mary Roach

How did this piece find it's way to your nightstand?:
I picked it up at Barnes & Noble after reading 3 pages in the store and laughing hysterically.  To be forewarned: If you buy this in person in a small conservative town, the clerk will look at you like you are a heathen. 

Number of pages:

Time passed from start to finish?:
About a week and a half

Describe the cover:
Light blue background with a microscope looped through the word "bonk" in bright yellow letters.  There are also two small people making out in the tray of the microscope. 

In what section of the bookstore would a reader find this?:
Ooh good question!  Non-fiction... science, humor, relationship advice? (sort of kidding on the last one)

Summary of the basic plot:
An in-depth look at the science of sex, essentially.  Mary Roach covers a variety of topics, many of them common arguments or misconceptions, and uses science to try to gain answers.  She provides references from a wide variety of texts and interviews, and even volunteers for a study or two herself!

Background information on the story/author:
Roach is also the author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers and Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife.

What did you think of it? (your general response, what you liked or didn't like, what you learned, anything else you want to share about it):
I really loved the author's open and blunt honesty, as well as her use of wit and humor to make it easier to discuss topics that typically make people rather uncomfortable.  Roach uses a tremendous amount of footnotes to sneak in her humorous tidbits, which makes me feel like we're watching a film about the topic and she keeps leaning over to whisper her thoughts.  She's a great writer, so the whole things flows smoothly.  I laughed a lot, but I also learned a lot and didn't have to feel awkward about it.  

Which page was your favorite? Share why:
Impossible to choose!

If the story was made into a movie, who would you cast as the main characters?
Yeah...not that much of a relevant question here, but I guess that the plot line of her researching all of this could be made into a pretty funny movie.  I'd cast Cameron Diaz as the author. And Jason Bateman as her husband, who continues to get roped into her experiments. Actually that would be a great movie!

Share a quote that was worth reading twice. Explain why:
"Unattached hiccuppers were advised that 'masturbation might be tried.' *Or, if they are followers of sixteenth-century naturalist Li Shih-chen, sun-dried, powdered wolf epiglottis.  Li's hiccup remedy, found in the Chinese Materia Medica, is probably quite effective, for in the time it takes to track a wolf and sun-dry its epiglottis, even the most stubborn case of hiccups will invariably have passed."

            Choose your rating:
          - Changed. My. Life.
 - I laughed, I cried, I want you to read it
          - A definite page-turner
          - Good to check out but don't spend the cash.
          - Why did I waste my weekend on this?
          - A disgrace to paper everywhere

 Flip to page 2, 22, or 202. Share the 7th sentence on the page: 
"My point is that if you want to understand human sexual response, then studying animals is probably not the most productive way to go about it."

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