Mary Roach specializes in presenting scientific research into subjects that have a stigma or taboo attached to them. She has an amazing ability to present the information on these topics with a seemingly contradictory mixture of respect and wit. She managed to write a wonderful book on corpses that was thorough, interesting, highly enjoyable, engrossing and only occasionally morbid. I think she succeeds so well because she obviously has a deep respect for the legitimate and hard-working researchers who persevere in doing important work despite the fact that they are somewhat universally given the stank eye.
Anyway, her latest book, Bonk, attempts to pull together all the important sex research that has been done over the years. Ever wondered about whether the female orgasm has any purpose in reproduction beyond the obvious? Or what cause erectile dysfunction (it is only rarely psychological)? Or what kinds of crazy things early researchers believed about these things? One of the major points of the book is that because of the stigma attached to such research we actually know very little about the physiological details of sex and what we do know has been uncovered only in the last 60 years. Roach points out the folly of this considering what an important role sex plays in reproduction.
If you are a Mary Roach reader I would say Bonk is better than Spook but not as good as Stiff. It is an enjoyable read and it seemed to me to be quite a bit funnier than her other two as I suppose sex is more hilarious than corpses or the afterlife. I’d give it a 3 ½ if I could.