Candid instruction and enthusiasm buck any notion that readers are ever too old for satisfying sex.

SEX AFTER SEVENTY

IT GETS BETTER

A debut manual rejects the idea that the elderly can’t have active and exciting sex lives.

Grant’s perceptive guide puts a strong focus on senior men—who can no longer rely on the energy of youth or even reliable erections to sustain their passion for sexual activity—and post-menopausal women, shrugging off the idea that with age must come celibacy. More of a self-help and instructional resource than a scholarly one, the book nonetheless provides extensive background for many of its conclusions, looking at the history of the sexual revolution, the proliferation of blunt advice and pornography on the internet, the chemical responses humans share with animals, and the physical reactions the human body has to stimulation. Information on the work’s 16 types of orgasms and ways to reach them are included as well. In addition, the author provides techniques that range from the romantic to the clinical in discovering how to stimulate a partner or oneself, emphasizing the normalcy of such practices while answering age-old questions like “Does size matter?” and examining the “vital skill” of female ejaculation. Not purely physical in its interests, the book also seeks to inform monogamous couples on how to keep tensions and conflicts low in their relationships while encouraging a self-study of inhibitions and their origins. Much as it encourages readers to do so, the guide likes to tease the audience, offering bits of advice only to follow up with more detailed instructions later. This repetition is explicitly intended to help with retention but will likely be discouraging to readers who wish to easily revisit specific tips. While the manual supplies a short bibliography, stronger in-text citations would have helped to separate the anecdotal from the factual, and photographs or illustrations might have better conveyed certain techniques. But the guide’s commitment to ending the stigma of conversations about sex, particularly among seniors, active or not (there’s even a brief chapter on performing with physical limitations), remains admirable and effective in its straightforward ardor.

Candid instruction and enthusiasm buck any notion that readers are ever too old for satisfying sex.

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5320-4581-3

Page Count: 276

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2019

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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