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The semester’s picking up, and pleasure reading is a luxury on par with taking a private jet to a vineyard in the south of France. The cold season calls for fewer carefree evenings spent reading Gone Girl and sipping white wine; rather, we’re expected to read more and more Beowulf while softly sobbing into a cold tray of microwavable mac and cheese. What’s a kid to do, right?
If you’re looking for a teeny tiny literary pick-me-up that won’t eat up the hours you’re forced to devote to big boy college work, have no fear! Our very own Kenyon bookstore carries many, many titles pertinent to the two special topics we students love to hate: sex and relationships. Through seriously limited internet research (you think I read these things? I forgot to eat today), I’ve attempted to capture the essence of each of these books with my brilliant wit. Kick back and enjoy!
The Care and Keeping of You, by Valorie Schaefer. This is the quintessential puberty book, complete with drawings of nubbly bits and tips on how to manage your Aunt Flo. Though there’s no talk of Actually Having Sex With Humans, this little number is perfect for your future children, clueless coworkers or weirdly close nieces to whom you somehow have to explain “growing up”. Maybe you lost a coin toss or something, I don’t know.
I Suck at Girls, by Justin Halpern. Feeling weird about how you treat lady friends? Self-conscious about your odor or body hair or general stupidity? Suddenly lonely after reflecting on your mortality and the prospect of dying alone with no one to write your obituary? Laugh at the misfortune of someone much more financially successful than you! The author of Shit My Dad Says wrote this, so it’s bound to be at least a little bit funny. Also, there’s sex. Not Fifty Shades of Grey sex, but actual, human sex. Neat, right?
Dating for Dummies, by Dr. Joy Browne. The only two “Dummies” books in the bookstore are dedicated to dating and Moodle, which I find unreasonably hilarious. Anyway, this book is a many-legged beast, so I’ll just let the Amazon.com summary speak for itself:
With new and updated content, Dating For Dummies, 3rd Edition includes all the information you’ll need for navigating the contemporary, social media driven dating scene where women and men Google potential dates beforehand, Tweet after, and even meet on Facebook. You’ll find all you need to use these social media sites and take advantage of the ever-expanding ways to socialize, flirt, and date in the 21st century. With dating advice for singletons in all stages of life (including baby boomers), you’ll get the confidence to date someone who is significantly older or younger, someone who has been previously married, or someone with children. Author Dr. Joy Browne, America’s favorite psychologist, demystifies the whole dating process, from getting a date, plotting the place, and having a great time (or dealing with duds) to moving beyond a first date toward a budding relationship.
Ah, the comfort of a disembodied adult voice telling you how to navigate the internet in order to pick up members of the opposite sex. How beautifully heteronormative.
Flirting with French, by William Alexander. In a charming tale of love and cultural appropriation, an obsessive Francophile attempts to become French through intensive study of the language, all the while getting into Mr. Bean-like hijinks that are sure to entertain. Will he meet a special someone along the way? No, it doesn’t sound like it. But it has “flirting” in the title, so there might be a little something something in there.
Sex On Earth: A Celebration of Animal Reproduction, by Jules Howard. In this recent publication, a charming biologist details the “how” and “why” of sex and reproduction on this weird blue marble. Interested? I definitely am. I read a review that literally had the phrase “a billion penises ejaculate or snap off” in it. HOW COOL IS THAT? I’m completely sold and will probably purchase this within the week.