One of the best books of the year is David P. Barash, Homo Mysterious: Evolutionary Puzzles of Human Nature (OUP, 2012).
Three good things about it:
- the subject being human nature, it is intrinsically interesting;
- the style is witty and lighthearted;
- the author presents a plethora of potential explanations for each phenomenon, including the most conjectural, without foisting any particular conclusions.
(This is the coverage: Sexual Mysteries: I. Menstruation, Concealed Ovulation, and Breasts; Sexual Mysteries: II. Female Orgasm, Menopause, and Men; Sexual Mysteries: III. Homosexuality; Art: I. Cheesecake, Byproducts, and Groups; Art: II. Play, Practice, and Sex (again); Religion: I. Genes, Memes, Minds, and Motives; Religion: II. Social Bonding and Morality; On the Matter of Mind [ie the mystery of intelligence and consciousness]; Digging for Treasure.)
Earlier I blogged here about an extract from the book on homosexuality.