"The Nature of Sex" by Dr. Carin Bondar (2015)
"Traditional thinking about the sexual process fails to take into account the fact that alternative systems exist."
Dr. Carin Bondar has a PhD in Population Ecology, and she's perhaps better known as a media personality. The Nature of Sex is something of an outgrowth of her web series, Wild Sex.
In The Nature of Sex, Dr. Bondar (she goes to great pains to remind you that she's a doctor) explores the mating habits of animals throughout the world. She discusses hermaphroditism in sea slugs, homosexuality in primates, and the eating of young in several bird species. Her descriptions of sexuality are skewed towards the humorous and sensational, though she's careful not to anthropomorphize where it's unwarranted.
I found the first few chapters of this book engaging, but after a while it all just seemed too random. There's no real theme in this book - no overarching structure - and what we get instead is a semi-random list of how animals find partners, how they have sex, and what they do with their babies after the inevitable occurs. Towards the end The Nature of Sex felt highly repetitive, and I was led to the conclusion that Dr. Bondar might be better at selling sex in media formats where she can show herself to better advantage. If this book sold well, I think it had more to do with a combination of the title and Dr. Bondar's reputation outside of print.
As science popularizers go, Dr. Bondar isn't the worst offender. She's fairly rigid in her definitions, and she's not afraid to go over people's heads. But I'm sure there are better books on animal sexuality, even if they aren't quite as flashy as The Nature of Sex.
"NeuroLogic" by Eliezer J. Steinberg, M.D. (2015)
"Make Way for the Super Humans" by Michael Bess (2015)
"Homo Deus" by Yuval Noah Harari (2015)
"Frozen Earth" by Doug Macdougall (2004)