There are those questions in life, imponderables, if you will, that we all ask each other and ourselves from time to time. Some of the questions might be too embarrassing to ask out loud, and some sound just too silly. If you have ever found yourself in a situation where you just had to know the answer to such questions, then you might want to pick up “Why Do Men Have Nipples?” by Mark Leyner and Dr. Billy Goldberg. With tongues firmly planted in cheeks, Leyner and Goldberg answer all those questions we have thought of, from the ridiculous (Can you get scared to death?) to the serious (Is it smart to put butter on a burn?) and everything in between.
The authors utilize their extensive knowledge of medicine, as well as their obviously keen research skills to provide explanations that are thorough, yet entertaining. Long practiced old wives’ tales are debunked (it turns out that Grandma was wrong, you cannot catch a fever from being wet or cold), and seemingly silly questions are answered with candid validity (It seems that yes, your stomach just might explode if you eat too much). The writing is quick and smart, and full of pop culture references, which help keep the pace even and the tone light.
This type of book is what my father would have called good bathroom reading. You know, the kind of reading that can be done in short time periods, while you are doing your, um, business? Well, no matter where you choose to read this amusing little book, it is highly entertaining, easy to put down and pick up later without the book having lost any of its appeal. A few of the chapters (“Bathroom Humor” and “All you (n)ever wanted to know about sex) are frank and unapologetic, but enjoyable nonetheless, as well as educational. You might even find yourself wondering as you read, “Why didn’t someone tell me this stuff in middle school health class?” or “Oh, that’s why that happens!?” Don’t be bashful about reading this book, though. You will be the hit of the next dinner party when you will be able to spout out responses to all those questions that always seem to come up while sitting around chatting with a few friends over a few cocktails.
The real meat of the book is, of course, the questions that we are all dying to know the answers to. These little gems of information are interspersed with light-hearted dialogue that is intended to supplementary. Rather than complimenting the chapters, I found this to be a distraction, and would rather have read answers to even more burning questions. The authors’ humor and candor, though, is what makes this book a perfect way to pass an afternoon.