Save for its ginormous brain, the human being is a pathetic excuse for an animal. Very few people have walked away from fights with bears, for instance, and our senses are pitifully dull. In The Well-Dressed Ape, science writer Hannah Holmes provides a cheerful—and brutally honest—examination of the monkey in the mirror. Topics discussed include simian sex, the joy of cooking, and prairie-dog language, making this the most lively and well-written science book since Mary Roach's Stiff. (Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main St, 624-6600. 7:30 pm, free.)

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