A Shapely Prose review

July 20th, 2009

Fillyjonk of Shapely Prose reviewed Mind over Manners today! Go check it out, and thanks, Fillyjonk!

How FJ got a copy of the book in the first place is a sort of amusing story. Since I’d long been friends of Shapely Prose, and we’ve linked back and forth a lot, I probably would have sent one of the bloggers there an advance copy anyway. But Fillyjonk won hers fair and square. I had a few advance copies to play around with, see, and since both Darwin and Lincoln had their birthday on February 12 of this year, I decided to start a contest, the Emancipation v. Evolution Love Smackdown:

So, today is the 200th birthday of both Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln. Tomorrow is Friday the 13th. Saturday is Valentine’s Day. Put it all together and it might … look … something … like … this:

It’s always bad luck to be put in an awkward dating situation. If both Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln asked you out for the same night, which one would you choose go out with, and why?

I think I’m going to give a prize to the most creative answer for this one, so make it good, folks. (If you don’t date men, your answers are still only limited by the power of your imagination!)

And Fillyjonk won for this entry:

I’m a fan of Darwin, run-on sentences and all, but I think the people opting for Chuck don’t know much about Darwin the man. Abe was clever, calm, and expansive; Charles was anxious, neurotic, and preoccupied with his ill health. Abe would take you to a John Hodgman reading and then out for ice cream, Charles would take you to Chili’s and spend the whole time looking at his tongue in a hand mirror. Sure, if you ever went back to his house he’d turn out to have lots of great creepy taxidermy and volumes of brilliance in Big Chief tablets under his bed — and to be fair to the man he was a devoted-to-the-point-of-neurosis father. But you WOULDN’T go back to his house, let alone have children with him, because you already would have crawled out the bathroom window after the seventeenth time he asked you if you thought he looked a little jaundiced. And then you would have called Abe and gone to ride the bumper cars.

That still makes me laugh, especially the line about the hand mirror. So there you have the backstory of How She Got That Review. I totally agree with her, too–I was shocked how many people picked Darwin in that poll, when Lincoln would clearly be a much better date. It’s also a bit of amusing backstory because Fillyjonk’s one criticism of my book is that it contained too much evolutionary psychology!


4 Responses to “A Shapely Prose review”

  1. Fillyjonk on July 20, 2009 8:05 am

    Hey, I like evolution. But you gotta talk to some of the other people who are slinging evo psych out there — they’re giving it a bad name.

  2. Robin on July 20, 2009 8:42 am

    Tell me about it! I’m glad you pulled the quote you did, about that “hardwiring” nonsense. And the ridonkulous gender stuff that goes on in that field don’t even deserve comment, except to say that the next time someone tries to make the case that 1950s gender roles represent a state of nature I’m gonna bust a cap in their thesis.

  3. Shannon on July 20, 2009 9:14 am

    That’s hilarious!

  4. Robin on July 20, 2009 9:37 am

    There’s only four comments up at SP thus far, but I think the review might turn into a REALLY interesting discussion of evo psych, so those of you who are interested in that topic, keep checking it out.

    I’m not saying don’t comment HERE about it, obviously, but SP has a bigger readership that is fairly scientifically-minded, and is also a blog famous for the quality of its comments sections (thanks to a draconian moderating policy!). So I’m betting chances of a good discussion over there are very high.

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