Thursday, March 10, 2011

Julia Reviews "The Science of Kissing"

Title/Author:The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us by Sheril Kirshenbaum
Publisher/Year Published: 2011 by Grand Central Publishing
How I got this book: I received a review copy from the publisher
Why I read this book: It sounded interesting and when I started it was around Valentine's Day.
Rating: 4 stars

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?

Seeing those questions posed to me, I thought to myself, "This could be quite interesting! A scientific look into kissing." I am not going to lie; I was a little weary starting a book about kissing, thinking that the possibility could be high of it turning into a How-to book. (Not that I would turn down a few pointers.. which this book does give based on the context of the science)

This is not a How-to book. It is more of a "Why" book. Each chapter delves into a different aspect of kissing, for example: kissing among animals, how kissing evolves, the hormones involved, potential spread of diseases, etc. On the spread of diseases front, what I took from that chapter is that if I brush my teeth and floss regularly but my boyfriend whom I kiss does not, I can still get cavities from the mouth to mouth transfer. Gross.

I aprticularly enjoyed the chapters that talked about how kissing is percieved in men vs. women. She talkes about what hormones get going and what that means for our involentary responses.

Each chapter takes a scientific look at whatever the topic is. Why do men find lips attractive and the correlating aspect of why women highlight them? It's all in there. The Science of Kissing covers a wide range of topics separated by chapters so if one does not suit your fancy it would be easy to just skim passed to the next chapter.

If you are thinking, "This book sounds interesting, but I am not too into reading heavy science things," then worry not! This book, though it does contain the science, presents itself in a way that is not research paper-like, but instead flows well and doesn't talk over the reader. There are some times where I personally thought the science went on a little too long, but someone else may have really found that enjoyable. When that happened I would just skim along until I got to the next new and interesting topic.

If you are interested in reading more about the science behind why we kiss and all that comes with it, this is a really interesting read and I would highly recommend it.


  1. I'm not big into nonfiction, but this book sounds fascinating. With it not delving into the deep science, I think it would make for an interesting read. I'll have to see if we have it in our collection. Many thanks for the review. :)


  2. Wow, so interesting! I've always wondered about kissing - what on earth are we doing for each other by locking lips? It's such a strange thing, evolutionarily, but we love it.

  3. LOLOLOL. I'm trying so hard not to bust out laughing at work. "Not that I would turn down a few pointers"

    This sounds incredibly interesting..honestly..because I thought that kissing is such a weird concept and I always wondered who "invented" it. lol

  4. This sounds like a fascinating read. Its one of those topics that no one ever really thinks about. Thanks for sharing, will definitely have to hunt this one down!

  5. While people will probably raise eyebrows seeing this on my TBR pile, it does indeed sound fascinating and I am glad that you enjoyed it. Thanks for the recommendation!

  6. I'm always thinking I should read more nonfiction and this sounds like a fun pick! I don't think I've ever wondered who or what started kissing, but now I'm curious.

  7. I'm going to add this book to my 'to read' list. Thanks for posting this great review!

  8. Thanks Julia, I love non-fictions!
    Was there any part in the book suggesting why some people DO NOT like the kissing?! , just curious.....Sorilla

  9. Sorilla,

    There probably was a mention of it. I know there was during the history chapter and the spread of black death and all that. But as for some biological reason that was mentioned, I honestly don't remember.

    I remember random things actually. Like the preference for people to lean their head right when going in for the kill.

    You should check it out and then remind me lol!


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