Book Review: The Book of Vice by Peter Sagal

I admit it – I am semi-addicted to NPR. That puts me on the nerd end of the geek spectrum, but I’m okay with that. My friend/rollerblading partner and I used to listen to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me on Saturday mornings on the way home from exercising. During this time, we developed a fondness for Peter Sagal and his sense of humor. So naturally, when his book came out, I thought, “Wow, what a perfect Christmas present this would be for Daniel.” Daniel, unbeknownst to me, was having the same thought. We had a good laugh on Christmas Eve when we exchanged presents and realized we had bought each other the same book!

The subtitle is Very Naughty Things (and How to Do Them). The book has chapters on swinging, strippers, gourmet dining, gambling, pornography, you know, all things generally described as vices. Personally, I think if you don’t dabble in a bit of vice, you’re not living, but that’s just me.

The best part about this book was all the vocabulary! Seldom do I get to read a “fun” book that teaches me new words, or causes me to have to remember the eight years of French I took in school. Thank you, Peter. You’ve made this self-described word whore very, very happy. However, you’ve put this book squarely into the niche market of folks with higher education and a thirst for the bizarre. Mmmmm… nice niche, though, if you’re going to be in one.

Sagal’s description of each vice is thorough and insightful, though there are some “duh” conclusions – you probably won’t get sex at a sex club if you’re a man, the casino will almost always win, fancy food isn’t worth the money when a tasty sandwich will do, and (*gasp!*) strippers like your money more than they like you.

My favorite paragraph has to be his description of “the Lifestyle” of swinging:

“We are told, via their occasional interviews in the press, that swingers or Lifestylers or whatever are no different from you and me…they meet up to socialize, talk, drink, and dance with their good friends, old and new. And then they have sex with them. Which makes me stop, and consider the various good friends my wife and I have, and then consider how it would be if one of our suburban dinner parties ended with us removing our clothes and performing sexual acts, and I have to put my head between my knees and take deep breaths.”
I’m with you there, Peter.

This is a fun book, especially if your idea of fun involves vices and vocabulary. Mmmm…. sweet, sweet vocabulary.

About e

Since 2008, E. Foley of Geek’s Dream Girl has been helping geeks from around the world find love. She writes amazing online dating profiles for her fellow geeks and guides them through the perilous waters of the dating scene and out the other side. She's totally proud to report that she's even caused a couple geek weddings! She lives in Maryland with DaveTheGame, her adorable cats, Mr. Peanut & Don Juan, and Titania, Queen of the Cocker Spaniels. (Email e, or follow @geeksdreamgirl on Twitter.)

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