Ok Jeff Szpirglas is one of my people, I can tell. Is it the pinstripe suit (below)? No. Ironic deployment of business wear is, at best, a heavily qualified predictor. Is it because, in a set of factoids about acceptable public behavior, he advises young people about proper comportment at a rock show ("Stand up, punch the air with your fist")? Not that either, although I will take this as evidence that he is one FUN classroom teacher.
No. I know that Jeff Szpirglas is of my tribe because he refers to The Naked Ape in his introduction, citing Desmond Morris's titularly tempting landmark book that analyzes human behavior from a behavioral zoologist's perspective as inspiration for this current work.
Not only did I read that book as a kid, and probably for the same reason Jeff Szpirglas did (Naked! Hee!), but I read it again as an anthropology major in college, and it's on my shelf now.
CONSIDERABLY less long-winded, You Just Can't Help It presents many of the same concepts (facial expressions, color associations, body language) in an all-sidebar, graphically heavy design that is both engaging and educational. Szpirglas doesn't shy away from vocabulary with a capital V: readers learn about disfluencies, gargalesis, and aposematic coloring.
Eminently browsable, entertaining, with facts ripe for sharing (did you know that most people elected to Congress are first-borns? interesting!), this book may also help young people gain a deeper understanding of some of their own puzzling behavior.
Tammy is hosting Nonfiction Monday today at Apple With Many Seeds.