This book is incredible for many reasons. Like flipping on a lantern in a dark room. Read this, for all your lovers ever and the future of your sex li...moreThis book is incredible for many reasons. Like flipping on a lantern in a dark room. Read this, for all your lovers ever and the future of your sex life. It's the kind of sex education you never got in school, partially because it wasn't invented yet. The study of desire and sexuality (especially as expressed by women) has remained a surprisingly "risky" professional move for social scientists, even though the mass media oozes with blatant sexuality. Finally, this paradox is deconstructed by a couple of neuroscientists who hold up the media (the internet in this case) as a mirror, revealing steadily human patterns with irrefutable and informative insights. These are the things you kind of knew anyhow, but reading it makes you go "OHHHH Yeaaaah!"... On top of the voyeuristic snickering at other people's semi-anonymous google searchings ("shemales in prom dresses," "Jake Gyllenhal shirtless," and "my friend's hot mom"), there comes a layer of enlightenment on sexuality - it all starts to make better sense. Lightbulbs of understanding for the opposite sex, and any lover you've ever had ever. Clarification and separation of the biological and social processes at work. Another skeleton key to secret garden of self-awareness.
"The greatest hurdle to sexual harmony is ignorance of the fact that members of the opposite sex (and other sexual orientations) are fundamentally different from ourselves."
"Our brain has a conscious, thinking cortex that is fully capable of pondering human sexuality and forming its own judgement. That's part of the joy of being human - figuring out what to do about the unique pattern of cues that nature and experience have endowed us with. We can accept our fantasies without becoming slaves to them. Maybe you'll explore your own cues in solitude; perhaps you'll seek those places where your cues intersect someone else's...But a lucid consideration of our unique suite of cues holds tremendous potential for deep personal fulfillment -- a fulfillment that we may not be able to experience from anything else." (less)
A dark tale about the Circus Tresaulti, a band of travelling carnies with metal bones and cold hearts, from somewhere in the future of the distant pas...moreA dark tale about the Circus Tresaulti, a band of travelling carnies with metal bones and cold hearts, from somewhere in the future of the distant past, trying to keep magic alive at all costs throughout a war torn countryside. (less)
The captivating story of sisters Ada and Minna Everleigh and their world-famous Everleigh Club, the classiest brothel in Chicago at the turn of the ce...moreThe captivating story of sisters Ada and Minna Everleigh and their world-famous Everleigh Club, the classiest brothel in Chicago at the turn of the century. Abbott clearly did her homework and does a super job of fleshing out the main characters against the background of the Victorian socio-political climate. As we already know, the crazy preachers won the political game in the end. They managed to blow up a destructive storm of tall tales on "white slavery" to enrage the terrified conservative Victorian public - describing scores of poor helpless women who got trapped into lives of sin and vice against their will. Actually, the Everleigh sisters were independent, intelligent entreprenuers - pioneers whose club deserved the international acclaim and prestige. They set the standards high for everyone involved in the game. The privacy of high profile clients was respected and the girls were treated very well by the clients and their employers. The "Everleigh Butterflies" were all given a good education, access to medical care, and got paid extremely well. Not to mention the fact that they lived in a cozy mansion surrounded by priceless art, perfume-spurting fountains, champagne and five star gourmet meals every night for dinner. Uh...sign me up? ha.
Well of COURSE our Western social mores and values developed as Darwin (and others) attempted to sift data on his already controversial theory of evol...moreWell of COURSE our Western social mores and values developed as Darwin (and others) attempted to sift data on his already controversial theory of evolution through the lens of uptight Victorian culture. This book frankly disucusses human sexuality and unravels a way more likely story of biological evolution without the cultural shame or guilt associated with sex. Apparently, human and animal societies that embrace a more communal style of living and loving are often happier and healthier. Transcend the western culture smackdown. Embrace your inner bonobo. (less)
Explicit memoir of an intelligent woman's career as a professional dominatrix. Febos' writing is deadly honest. She over-glamourizes nothing. More abo...moreExplicit memoir of an intelligent woman's career as a professional dominatrix. Febos' writing is deadly honest. She over-glamourizes nothing. More about the personal journey through this experiential minefield than the actual sex - but the sex is a curious sidestory. I didn't really like her very much until halfway thorugh(because she didn't like herself very much either). I wanted to smack her down from her strange egotistical pedestal a lot, but was glad to go uphill with her at the turning point when she chose to start confronting her darkness and working it out. It's about the author finding her path to personal integrity and loving herself, and she clearly owns the fact that working in the sex industry contributed to who she became. (less)
Mary Roach is one of my favorite writers, she is a total super-research-heroine. Her creative non-fiction literally turns the topics of her fascinatio...moreMary Roach is one of my favorite writers, she is a total super-research-heroine. Her creative non-fiction literally turns the topics of her fascination inside out. Also, she is game to try almost anything new and crazy herself in the name of research and delivers matter of fact essays on her findings in an amusing relevant way. Respect! This is a study of the tenuous dance (historically and today) between science and sexuality, the twisty documentation and study of an elsuive cultural taboo. (less)
Great historical fiction about the infamous "Leper Colony" on Moloka'i, off the coast of Oahu in HI. The story begins at the turn of the century with...moreGreat historical fiction about the infamous "Leper Colony" on Moloka'i, off the coast of Oahu in HI. The story begins at the turn of the century with the Hawaiian Royalty being "phased out" by the "provisional government" and follows the turn of the century story of Rachel Kalama from the time she is "arrested" at age 7 and institutionalized as a "Leper" on the island of Moloka'i through her entire lifespan when she passes away in her '60's. The story was great, but it inspired me to do some background historical research, the details of the time period could have been fleshed out a bit more, but appreciated the attention and devotion to telling the main characters story through those she interacted wtih over the years. (less)
A happy-go-lucky little "blog to book" primer on the wonderful world of bicycles. Includes a brief history of the sport, hilarious composites of the d...moreA happy-go-lucky little "blog to book" primer on the wonderful world of bicycles. Includes a brief history of the sport, hilarious composites of the different types of characters that populate the bicycle universe, the different bicycle subcultures (Messengers, Roadies, Urbanites, etc), and the bikes we all ride. Despite allusions to snobbery in the title, the author doesn't take himself or any of the other "bike snobs" too seriously and sets out to demystify biking. He re-iterates often that what makes one a "cyclist" is first and foremost the love of riding (ANY kind of bike ANYWHERE you ride it) and the fact that a "cyclist" will ride their bike places because they want to (not because they HAVE to). Also, anyone who wants to become a "cyclist" absolutely should - don't be intimidated by cliquey "bike snobs," just get out there and ride! (less)
The first "Bookwormen Lex" selection! It was a fast, intriguing, educational read. Henrietta Lacks was an African-American cancer patient at Johns Hop...moreThe first "Bookwormen Lex" selection! It was a fast, intriguing, educational read. Henrietta Lacks was an African-American cancer patient at Johns Hopkins Hospital who died in 1951 - however her cancer cells proved to be indestructable. Since 1951 quadrillions of her cancer cells (HeLa) have been distributed as specimens to research labs worldwide and used for testing and development of everything from medicines and vaccines to commercial products. However, her family was unaware that her tissue samples were being used this way and they spent years trying to sort it all out (often intimidated and without the education to understand the science behind the explanation). This is the true story Henrietta Lacks, her cellular contribution to science, her family's quest to understand (along with the irony that they cannot afford healthcare today and some of the treatments Henrietta's cells helped establish), the developing system of medical ethics and emerging legal precedents of patient privacy concerns. (less)
A great collection of short stories, initially a benefit for schools for autistic children in England (editor Hornby's neck of woods) and America. A b...moreA great collection of short stories, initially a benefit for schools for autistic children in England (editor Hornby's neck of woods) and America. A bunch of stories as diverse as the authors who penned them. (less)
I often like to put myself at the mercy of others when it comes to reading materials, especially when i'm in between books. BF recommended this book t...moreI often like to put myself at the mercy of others when it comes to reading materials, especially when i'm in between books. BF recommended this book to me months ago as a personal fave. I haven't read a whole lot of fantasy, a great reason to explore a new genre anyhow. It did take me several months to get "into" the story, mostly because the narrative switches constantly between characters with each chapter and this initially got on my nerves. However if you make it about a quarter of the way through you get used to this and actually become more intimate with the characters in a soap-op "Oh-no-she-didn't!!!" kind of way. You also get a bird's eye view of this entire imaginary kingdom and what's happening at different places on the map. There's a ton of mystery, intrigue, treachery, action, romance and suspense. This is the first of I think 5 in the series (and I will read the rest!), with a new one coming out this summer and an HBO series too - read it now so you can have ultimate nerd points for comparing and contrasting the cinematic with the literary presentation of the material. (less)