Friday, October 14, 2011

You Just Can't Help It! (nonfiction)

From the "oohh!" to the "ewww!!!" on Fun Friday, we're taking an off-beat (but very well-researched) look at curious and confusing aspects of human behavior.

If you've ever wondered whether birth order really makes a difference in how people behave as adults or how colors affect our moods, you'll love perusing this lively book from Canadian author Szpirglas, whose previous titles include Gross Universe (more ewww) and They Did What?! (more oohh).

You'll understand yourself, your friends, and your family better after learning that You Just Can't Help It, plus some fun animal behavior facts and unusual scientific research studies, too.


Book info: You Just Can't Help It! Your Guide to the Wild and Wacky World of Human Behavior / Jeff Szpirglas; illustrated by Josh Holinaty. Maple Tree Press, 2011. [author's info] [publisher's site]

Recommendation: Ingredients of human tears? Ten million shades of color? Birth order and cattle egrets? Dive into the world of senses, emotions, communication, and human interaction.

Human behavior can be accurately predicted in some areas – body language of liars, organization of army ants, gesturing while talking – while it’s variable in others – most annoying sound or what makes someone laugh.

Find answers to puzzlers like “why can’t you tickle yourself?” and “why do stores play music?” while you learn about your senses. Learn how to detect fake happiness and true fear, as well as the one hand gesture that means the same thing in almost every culture (and it’s not the one you’d expect).

What facial muscle helps your nose avoid stinky stuff? Why do we use “um” and “uh” and “like” when we speak? Why do crowded elevators make us nervous? And what about that whole birth order thing, anyway?

Canadian author Szpirglas helps you understand more about why you, your friends, your pets, and other creatures act the way that they do with this funny and factual book of wacky information and cool experiments. (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy courtesy of the publisher.


  1. @Amber - It's a hoot! Spzirglas is an elementary school teacher too - can you just imagine his science lessons?!

    **Katy M
    Recommending YA books beyond the bestsellers at
    Follow me on Twitter @BooksYALove

  2. My son would have loved this - about 10 years ago. Now, if I'm ever a grandmother....


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