OVERRIDE

How to Live Dangerously

The Hazards of Helmets, the Benefits of Bacteria, and the Risks of Living Too Safe

Warwick Cairns

St. Martin's Griffin

Afraid of flying?  Forty percent of Americans are. Yet you’d have to fly every day for the next 26,000 years to assure yourself of dying in a crash. A leisurely canoe ride is more than 100 times deadlier.

Think city streets are unsafe? You’re more likely to come to harm in your own home, where every year you stand a 1 in 650 chance of being injured by your bed, mattress, or pillows—and each year 800 Americans die in accidents involving soft furnishings.

We live in a world governed by fear, where packets of peanuts “may contain nuts” and children must be ever on the alert to "stranger danger." And yet, life expectancy has never been higher. Crime rates have plunged. Even unintentional injuries are down. So if we’re so safe, why are we so afraid?

How to Live Dangerously is a hilarious, straight-talking look at the things that terrify us. It considers life’s real risks, not to mention the often ridiculous methods we’ve contrived to keep ourselves “safe.” It encourages you to ignore fearmongers and embrace a new kind of freedom, in which we all worry a little less—and live a whole lot more.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Chapter One

Why it's never your own stupid fault

At an advertising agency where I used to work, one of the more high-powered account executives slipped, one day, on the stairs coming down from a fifth-floor meeting room and came down several steps rather quicker than she had anticipated, on her backside.

This came as a bit of a surprise to her.

She slipped on those stairs not because she was clumsy, or because she was wearing expensive high-heeled shoes, and certainly not because she was trying to find her wafer-thin cell phone in her oversized patent-leather handbag
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  • How to Live Dangerously - An Animated Short

    An animated short on the book HOW TO LIVE DANGEROUSLY by Warwick Cairns, produced by animator Roy Blumenthal

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REVIEWS

Praise for How to Live Dangerously

“A brilliant and wickedly funny book.” —Peter Schweizer, New York Times bestselling author of Do as I Say (Not as I Do)

“Droll, entertaining [and] witty…. Cairn’s lighthearted approach is informative and easy to read… and should briefly alleviate anxiety, if only because it’s hard to worry and smile simultaneously.” —Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Warwick Cairns

  • WARWICK CAIRNS was a warehouse worker, drilled wells on a Sioux reservation in South Dakota, and traveled in northern Kenya with a legendary explorer before settling on a career in advertising. He lives in Windsor, England, with his wife Susan and two daughters.
  • Warwick Cairns © Susan Cairns
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Available Formats and Book Details

How to Live Dangerously

The Hazards of Helmets, the Benefits of Bacteria, and the Risks of Living Too Safe

Warwick Cairns

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Griffin

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