With a subtitle of The prehistoric origins of sex, prurient curiosity will attract many a reader (including myself) to this book, but it is the author’s authoritative, yet approachable, writing style that will keep you reading.
Who hasn’t wondered how dinosaurs did ‘it’? Their size and/or attachments (think of the Stegosaurus) create a logistical conundrum (and odd mental images).
Get over any embarrassment about reading such a book (after all, if it wasn’t for sex, we wouldn’t be here), and be prepared for some fascinating, obscure, and truly bizarre facts (as evidenced by the Australian edition’s title Hung like an Argentine duck).
The author steps us back even further than the dinosaurs, to the earliest evidence of sex. He does so in such a way that the layperson will never feel lost or overwhelmed by jargon or scientific facts. But he also acknowledges, without over-indulging, the ‘snigger’ factor inherent in discussion about sex, even among academics.
I’ve been on a science reads binge recently, so there are a few similar titles I’d recommend for those with a science-bent:
- Why is the penis shaped like that?: and other reflections on being human by Jesse Bering
- Neanderthal man by Svante Pääbo
- Flying dinosaurs: how fearsome reptiles became birds by John Pickrell (and the book that referenced Dawn of the deed, hence leading me down this particular garden path)
- The universe within and Your inner fish by Neil Shubin
Title: The dawn of the deed: the prehistoric origins of sex. Also published as Hung like an Argentine duck: a journey back in time to the origins of sexual intimacy.
Author: John A. Long.
Recommended by Annie C, Helensville Library.
Annie C is a voracious and versatile reader, but her habitual reads are fantasy, romance, and a diverse selection of non-fiction subjects.