100 Most Dangerous Things in Everyday Life and What You Can Do about Them
Laura Lee. Broadway Books, $12.95 (240pp) ISBN 978-0-7679-1716-2
Lee dismisses the usual suspects (anthrax, razor blades, schoolyard violence) and limns the risk in the utterly pedestrian tasks, objects and occurrences to which we give nary a thought (bagels, salons, office supplies). Organized like an encyclopedia, Lee's field guide fingers culprits from the obvious (stairs) to the strained (a full moon), building her cases with statistics and studies both direct and tangential. This is no pedantic tome, though. Rather than breed paranoia, the book aims to adjust our perspective, diverting our paranoia for blue-moon events into a sensible vigilance toward our everyday lives. Ultimately, it's a clarion call for common sense, written with playful irreverence and several eye rolls at our society's inflated hysteria at risks and our bumbling attempts to diffuse them. The advice is useful--and often cheeky. To minimize the threat of germ-ridden currency, for example, Lee suggests we send her our money immediately.
Reviewed on: 05/01/2004