Brief History of the Female Body
Deena Emera's delightful (2023) book A Brief History of the Female Body: an evolutionary look at how and why the female form came to be delivers precisely what its title promises. It's a scientific overview of how evolution by natural selection drove the emergence of human physical designs, reproductive systems, and developmental strategies. And in additional to sharp technical commentary, Dr Emera is funny and engaging in discussing her personal experiences as a mother and evolutionary biologist. She reviews how life in other species on Earth met analogous challenges over the eons. She is meticulous in describing current research, open questions, alternative hypotheses, and gaps in the data. Key topics include everything from chromosomes to breasts, menstrual periods to orgasms, pregnancy to menopause, and children to grandmothers. All are treated with a light touch as well as, when needed, deep detail (though no equations). Worthwhile reading on many levels!