The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us
  • The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us
  • The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us

The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us

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by Sheril Kirshenbaum
     
 

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From a noted science journalist comes a wonderfully witty and fascinating exploration of how and why we kiss.

When did humans begin to kiss? Why is kissing integral to some cultures and alien to others? Do good kissers make the best lovers? And is that expensive lip-plumping gloss worth it? Sheril Kirshenbaum, a biologist and science journalist, tackles these

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Overview

From a noted science journalist comes a wonderfully witty and fascinating exploration of how and why we kiss.

When did humans begin to kiss? Why is kissing integral to some cultures and alien to others? Do good kissers make the best lovers? And is that expensive lip-plumping gloss worth it? Sheril Kirshenbaum, a biologist and science journalist, tackles these questions and more in THE SCIENCE OF KISSING. It's everything you always wanted to know about kissing but either haven't asked, couldn't find out, or didn't realize you should understand. The book is informed by the latest studies and theories, but Kirshenbaum's engaging voice gives the information a light touch. Topics range from the kind of kissing men like to do (as distinct from women) to what animals can teach us about the kiss to whether or not the true art of kissing was lost sometime in the Dark Ages. Drawing upon classical history, evolutionary biology, psychology, popular culture, and more, Kirshenbaum's winning book will appeal to romantics and armchair scientists alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the vein of Stephen Pinker's The Language Instinct, scientist Kirshenbaum examines one of humanity's fondest pastimes. Divided into three parts, the book covers the evolutionary and cultural history of the kiss, the chemistry of kissing, and the future of kissing. In part one, "The Hunt for Kissing's Origins," Kirshenbaum examines the role kissing played in the Middle Ages--a businesslike kiss was employed as a legal way to seal contracts and business agreements. Many men did not know how to read and write, so their signature X was kissed to make it legal. Part two, "Kissing in the Brain," will appeal to anyone who has ever been curious about the chemical properties of butterflies in the stomach. Kirshenbaum writes just as gracefully about prostitutes in pop culture as she does the myriad of complicated biological and chemical processes that science uses to explain osculation. Part three, "Great Expectations," covers Kirshenbaum's personal attempt to further investigate the kiss and leaves a long list of fascinating questions that demand further research. (Jan.)
David Pitt
What's the big deal? You pucker up, and there you are-right? Turns out there's a lot more to kissing than you might think. For instance, you never forget your first kiss isn't just a sappy sentiment; it's apparently quite literally true, and the fact that we remember more details about that first kiss than about our first sexual experience speaks volumes about the nature of memory. Men and women kiss differently; that's also true, but you might be surprised to learn why. Why is kissing important to some human societies, and unimportant-just plain foreign-to others? University of Texas research scientist and Discover magazine blogger Kirshenbaum draws on psychology, biology, history, and other disciplines in this highly engaging, highly informative book.
Booklist
Jessica Gelt
Shows flashes of greatness.
Los Angeles Times
Catherine Ramsdell
[Kirshenbaum's] honesty, wit and creativity make reading this book a journey to treasure. Your desire to kiss will, happily, remain strong.
Chattanooga Free Press
Vanessa Woods
A beautifully crafted book, answering many of the questions you have about kissing, and many you haven't thought of, but are none the less fascinating.
PsychologyToday.com
Colette Bancroft
Like some memorable kisses, the book is short and sweet but teaches us something new.
St. Petersburg Times
Laila Barakat
Sheril Kirshenbaum wittily explores theories about the evolutionary beginnings of kissing. . . Science buffs and the everyday reader can enjoy Kirshenbaum's insightful commentary.
Sacramento News and Review
Michele Lent Hirsch
Playful yet comprehensive.
Psychology Today
Bret McCabe
Borders on the super genius . . . an entertaining and informative read about a practice that we should all spend more time investigating.
Baltimore City Paper
Cosmos magazine
This was the best science book I've read in a long time, offering a new level of understanding to an innate part of ourselves, and making it seem even more enchanting.
-Cosmos magazine
"This was the best science book I've read in a long time, offering a new level of understanding to an innate part of ourselves, and making it seem even more enchanting."
Jennifer Ackerman
"If you fear that knowing the science of kissing will unweave the poetry of it, fear not. This engaging book, chock-a-block with eye-popping science and fun stories not only makes for great reading but plumps up the pleasure of a smooch itself. You'll never think of kissing-what e.e. cummings called 'a better fate than wisdom'-in the same way again."
Robin Marantz Henig
"Sheril Kirshenbaum gives you everything you wanted to know about this wonderful way we use our mouths. If you've ever wondered why we kiss under the mistletoe, or why two out of three people tilt their heads to the right when they zoom in for a kiss, Kirshenbaum will tell you, in a way that is witty, wise, and pucker-perfect."
Laila Barakat - Sacramento News and Review
"Sheril Kirshenbaum wittily explores theories about the evolutionary beginnings of kissing. . . Science buffs and the everyday reader can enjoy Kirshenbaum's insightful commentary."
Colette Bancroft - St. Petersburg Times
"Like some memorable kisses, the book is short and sweet but teaches us something new."
Vanessa Woods - PsychologyToday.com
"A beautifully crafted book, answering many of the questions you have about kissing, and many you haven't thought of, but are none the less fascinating."
Adam Frank
"Wonderful."
Sam Kean
"They say you never forget your first kiss-it sears itself into your memory. The Science of Kissing will no doubt do something similar. From the neurology of smooching to practical tips on locking lips, Sheril Kirshenbaum makes reading about this strange and fascinating practice almost as much fun as doing it."
Bret McCabe - Baltimore City Paper
"Borders on the super genius . . . an entertaining and informative read about a practice that we should all spend more time investigating."
Michele Lent Hirsch - Psychology Today
"Playful yet comprehensive."
Catherine Ramsdell - Chattanooga Free Press
"[Kirshenbaum's] honesty, wit and creativity make reading this book a journey to treasure. Your desire to kiss will, happily, remain strong."
Jessica Gelt - Los Angeles Times
"Shows flashes of greatness."
David Pitt - Booklist
"What's the big deal? You pucker up, and there you are-right? Turns out there's a lot more to kissing than you might think. For instance, you never forget your first kiss isn't just a sappy sentiment; it's apparently quite literally true, and the fact that we remember more details about that first kiss than about our first sexual experience speaks volumes about the nature of memory. Men and women kiss differently; that's also true, but you might be surprised to learn why. Why is kissing important to some human societies, and unimportant-just plain foreign-to others? University of Texas research scientist and Discover magazine blogger Kirshenbaum draws on psychology, biology, history, and other disciplines in this highly engaging, highly informative book."
From the Publisher
"What's the big deal? You pucker up, and there you are-right? Turns out there's a lot more to kissing than you might think. For instance, you never forget your first kiss isn't just a sappy sentiment; it's apparently quite literally true, and the fact that we remember more details about that first kiss than about our first sexual experience speaks volumes about the nature of memory. Men and women kiss differently; that's also true, but you might be surprised to learn why. Why is kissing important to some human societies, and unimportant-just plain foreign-to others? University of Texas research scientist and Discover magazine blogger Kirshenbaum draws on psychology, biology, history, and other disciplines in this highly engaging, highly informative book."—David Pitt, Booklist"

Shows flashes of greatness."—Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times"

[Kirshenbaum's] honesty, wit and creativity make reading this book a journey to treasure. Your desire to kiss will, happily, remain strong."—Catherine Ramsdell, Chattanooga Free Press"

A beautifully crafted book, answering many of the questions you have about kissing, and many you haven't thought of, but are none the less fascinating."—Vanessa Woods, PsychologyToday.com"

Like some memorable kisses, the book is short and sweet but teaches us something new."—Colette Bancroft, St. Petersburg Times"

Sheril Kirshenbaum wittily explores theories about the evolutionary beginnings of kissing. . . Science buffs and the everyday reader can enjoy Kirshenbaum's insightful commentary."—Laila Barakat, Sacramento News and Review"

Wonderful."—Adam Frank, NPR.org"

Playful yet comprehensive."—Michele Lent Hirsch, Psychology Today"

Borders on the super genius . . . an entertaining and informative read about a practice that we should all spend more time investigating."—Bret McCabe, Baltimore City Paper"

They say you never forget your first kiss-it sears itself into your memory. The Science of Kissing will no doubt do something similar. From the neurology of smooching to practical tips on locking lips, Sheril Kirshenbaum makes reading about this strange and fascinating practice almost as much fun as doing it."—Sam Kean, New York Times-bestselling author of The Disappearing Spoon"

Sheril Kirshenbaum gives you everything you wanted to know about this wonderful way we use our mouths. If you've ever wondered why we kiss under the mistletoe, or why two out of three people tilt their heads to the right when they zoom in for a kiss, Kirshenbaum will tell you, in a way that is witty, wise, and pucker-perfect."—Robin Marantz Henig, contributing writer, The New York Times Magazine"

If you fear that knowing the science of kissing will unweave the poetry of it, fear not. This engaging book, chock-a-block with eye-popping science and fun stories not only makes for great reading but plumps up the pleasure of a smooch itself. You'll never think of kissing-what e.e. cummings called 'a better fate than wisdom'-in the same way again."—Jennifer Ackerman, author of Ah-Choo! The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold and Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body"

This was the best science book I've read in a long time, offering a new level of understanding to an innate part of ourselves, and making it seem even more enchanting."—-Cosmos magazine

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446559904
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
01/05/2011
Pages:
246
Sales rank:
636,033
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.00(d)

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