January non-fiction book: Bonk

When I did my year end review of books I read in 2008, I mentioned that it was my goal to read 12 non-fiction books this year–one per month. On Last Monday, it occurred to me that January was almost over so I needed to get my ass in gear and pick up something non-fiction. So, I headed to the bookstore and picked up Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach.

I’ve been wanting to read Bonk for awhile. I’ve read Stiff and Spook, both by Mary Roach and both funny as hell, so I figured Bonk would be along similar lines. It didn’t disappoint. Scicurious at Neurotopia has already written a stellar review of the book that I pretty much agree with so I’ll just give you a few of my impressions.

It’s a fast and fun read (which is what I need in a book these days).  The style of the book is such that you feel it’s as though your best friend went and did a whole bunch of research about sex and now you’re talking about it over lunch. (Although, when I was telling R about the book over lunch the other day, at one point she said, “This subject makes me uncomfortable.” So, I guess it would have to be a pretty uninhibited best friend.)  Roach has the kind of sense of humor and curiosity that I can relate to. And she’s not shy about it. If I met a man whose job it was to artificially inseminate pigs I’m pretty sure that there would be some questions in my head that I simply wouldn’t ask. Roach doesn’t have that kind of inhibition. And you got to admire someone who was so curious about a particular study that she went and participated in it herself (btw, her husband must be a saint; if I asked my husband to participate in a study where we have sex while a doctor stands next to us operating an ultrasound machine and giving us instructions, I’m absolutely certain he would look at me like I’d been smoking crack).

So, all in all, I would highly recommend Bonk to anyone looking for some interesting and lighthearted non-fiction to read.  Next on the non-fiction agenda:  The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell.

P.S.  On the fiction front:  still mostly reading vampire smut.  I think I may have a problem.

3 thoughts on “January non-fiction book: Bonk

  1. Hi! I am new to your blog- but I wanted to say hi! I am also a *senior* grad student in molecular biology with dreams of graduating in 2009…
    I have been reading a bunch of vampire smut recently as well- so I want to let you know you are not the only one out there with a vampire “problem” 🙂 I am reading the vampire chronicles by Anne Rice now, but I think I will check out Bonk at your recommendation.
    Thanks and good luck with your writing!

  2. I thought I was alone in my vampire smut addiction! I’m also looking forward to checking out Bonk…I don’t usually read a lot of non-fiction, so maybe it’s time to broaden my horizons a bit.

  3. I love Mary Roach’s books. I’m actually reading “Bonk” right now. It’s been sitting on my shelf, but I didn’t want to read it right away because then it would be over. I can’t tell you quickly I devoured “Spook” and laughed outloud. And it must be good if I want to read anything related to science while in the 9th circle of hell known as graduate school!

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