Thursday, Jul. 03, 2008

Mating Under a Microscope

For our next meeting, my book club has selected Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach. This is a guilty pleasure not in the sense that it's a dumb read but in the sense that if you found yourself on an airplane seated next to a nun (something that actually happened to one of the club members last time there was a naughty-themed selection), you'd probably think twice before taking it out of your bag. Roach is an entertaining, funny tour guide of past and current sex research — she good-naturedly refers to herself as a "sicko" — and the book is chock-full of juicy factoids you might, if you can manage to do so without blushing, drop at a dinner party. For instance, there's erectile tissue in the lining of the nose. I'm not yet finished reading, but I did flip ahead far enough to see an illustration of a rat wearing underpants; I can't wait to find out why.

Sittenfeld's new novel, American Wife, will be published in September