A delightfully audacious anthology of carnal confessionals.

A creative appreciation of human sexuality through art and anecdotes.

Inspired by the sexy stories of others, Rothman began gathering anonymous submissions of people’s intimate tales, and she presents the material in a narrative diversified across location, gender, ethnicity, age, and sexual orientation. In this attractive volume, she teams up with frequent New York Times co-collaborator Feinberg, hitting the streets of New York and New Orleans to solicit stories about people’s carnal desires and apprehensions. The result is a book brimming with titillating, provocative artwork and essays about the vast terrain of the human sexual experience. Among the most memorable topics and sections: gender and sexual fluidity; the trials and triumphs of an intersex advocate; Feinberg’s poignant essay about the “twisted mindset” caused by her body dysmorphic disorder; a section about a “professional masturbator” who “teach[es] groups how to masturbate”; a female contributor’s list of “10 Things To Do When You’re Horny & Lonely”; a 67-year-old man’s first experience with gay sex; a gay man’s celebration of his HIV-positive status, which “gave me the gift of having to look at myself….It saved my life”; and the enigmas of vaginismus and sexsomnia (“While asleep, not consciously, I will initiate sex with the person I’m in bed with”). An impressively diverse blend of artistry and perspective, Rothman and Feinberg’s book is an entertaining and insightful voyeuristic playground affording a sneak peek inside the bedrooms of everyday people divulging their unbridled desires, fetishes, and complex relationship dynamics. These stories mirror the sexual conventions of a mostly liberated modern society—though some contributors have been challenged by conservative religious upbringings or racial polarization, and others emerged from cultures that shame or restrict the pursuit of sexual fulfillment. Most of the material is explicitly frank and features a liberating body-positive honesty sure to delight any reader fascinated by stories of human sexuality.

A delightfully audacious anthology of carnal confessionals.

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-42658-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Voracious/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020


Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011


The lessons to draw are obvious: Smoke more dope, eat less meat. Like-minded readers will dig it.

The chef, rapper, and TV host serves up a blustery memoir with lashings of self-help.

“I’ve always had a sick confidence,” writes Bronson, ne Ariyan Arslani. The confidence, he adds, comes from numerous sources: being a New Yorker, and more specifically a New Yorker from Queens; being “short and fucking husky” and still game for a standoff on the basketball court; having strength, stamina, and seemingly no fear. All these things serve him well in the rough-and-tumble youth he describes, all stickball and steroids. Yet another confidence-builder: In the big city, you’ve got to sink or swim. “No one is just accepted—you have to fucking show that you’re able to roll,” he writes. In a narrative steeped in language that would make Lenny Bruce blush, Bronson recounts his sentimental education, schooled by immigrant Italian and Albanian family members and the mean streets, building habits good and bad. The virtue of those habits will depend on your take on modern mores. Bronson writes, for example, of “getting my dick pierced” down in the West Village, then grabbing a pizza and smoking weed. “I always smoke weed freely, always have and always will,” he writes. “I’ll just light a blunt anywhere.” Though he’s gone through the classic experiences of the latter-day stoner, flunking out and getting arrested numerous times, Bronson is a hard charger who’s not afraid to face nearly any challenge—especially, given his physique and genes, the necessity of losing weight: “If you’re husky, you’re always dieting in your mind,” he writes. Though vulgar and boastful, Bronson serves up a model that has plenty of good points, including his growing interest in nature, creativity, and the desire to “leave a legacy for everybody.”

The lessons to draw are obvious: Smoke more dope, eat less meat. Like-minded readers will dig it.

Pub Date: April 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4478-5

Page Count: 184

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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