Publisher: Brilliance Audio, 2008
Length: 9 hours and 28 minutes
Genre: Non-Fiction, Science
Where I Got It: Audible
Why I Read It: I love Mary Roach … and this is the last book of hers I hadn’t read. Sob.
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Like all of Roach’s books, Bonk takes a sideways scientific look at a broad topic. (In previous books, she’s tackled cadavers, the afterlife and space travel.) This time out, Roach is exploring “The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex.” With her boundless curiosity, willingness to ask the “hard” questions (pun intended) and trademark snarkiness, Roach is the perfect person to explore sex research … even going so far as to participate in a few experiments herself. From discussing the work of sex researcher pioneers Master and Johnson to visiting a pig insemination farm to observing a degloving surgery (you don’t want to know) to touring a sex toys manufacturing plant, Roach travels the world interviewing and exploring the work of sex researchers past and present.
I just adore Mary Roach and will follow her anywhere her witty and curious mind takes her. I love her sense of humor and how she isn’t afraid to ask questions that might make others blush. I love how she inserts herself into her books by sharing anecdotes about her experiences while researching the book. More than anything, I love how I learn stuff I never knew while being thoroughly entertained. Whenever someone says “I don’t enjoy non-fiction writing,” I always ask them “Have you read Mary Roach yet?”With sex being such a “taboo” topic, this book might not appeal to everyone. If frank talk about sex, sex organs, orgasms, penises, vaginas and so forth make you uncomfortable, this book is not for you. Although the material isn’t presented in a gratuitous or tasteless manner, it IS a book about sex.And speaking of sex, I don’t think you walk away from this book without thinking long and hard (again, pun intended!) about your own sexual experiences and reactions. To be honest, I felt like a little experimentation was in order after reading the book. (Mr. Jenners cheers!) After all, many women confess to not really being in touch with their clitoris—a critical element in achieving orgasm in women. And I must confess that I may not be as in touch with my clitoris as I could be. (How’s that for too much information?)
About the Narration
Sandra Burr was the perfect narrator for this book. She has a wonderful voice that was easy on the ears and injected the perfect amount of snark and humor to best serve Roach’s writing. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book on audio (though I wouldn’t recommend listening to it where others could listen in as I’m sure you’d raise some eyebrows!), and I’d seek out Burr as a narrator of other books. Here’s hoping she narrates Roach’s next book as that would definitely push me to listen to it on audio versus reading it in print form.
Roach fans, readers seeking scientific writing that is leavened with a sense of humor, people interested in learning more about human sexuality and sex research
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