There are no accidents.
Steve Casner, author of “Careful: A User’s Guide to Our Injury-Prone Minds,” maintains that almost every unintentional injury and death is preventable.
He knows whereof he speaks. The NASA research psychologist has dedicated the past 20 years of his life to ensuring the safety of people who are hurtling through space.
Casner’s mission statement in “Careful” (Riverhead Books, $26) is to point out everyday dangers and to provide tips to help “keep the casts off our legs and the tags off our toes.”
The book is informative, funny and frightening. After reading, you’ll want to wrap yourself in protective bubble wrap.
But the perils, he promises, can be sidestepped if we pay attention to the world around us.
One of Casner’s favorite soapbox topics involves texting and driving.
Conceding that he can’t persuade overly confident (delusional) drivers to stop texting for safety’s sake, he tries a different tack: “Wichita State University recently published a study that shows how the quality of our texting suffers when we are distracted by the task of driving a car.”
How’s that for a reason to put down the device?
Also new in bookstores this week
“The Only Child” by Andrew Pyper (Simon & Schuster, $25). This creepy thriller introduces readers to Dr. Lily Dominick, a forensic psychiatrist whose weird patient claims to be more than 200 years old. He also says he personally inspired the 19th-century horror classics “Frankenstein,” “Dracula” and “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Could it be true?
“Never Call Me a Hero” by N. Jack “Dusty” Kleiss (William Morrow, $26.99). A WWII dive-bomber pilot recounts his exploits (and those of fellow fliers) during the Battle of Midway. Kleiss helped sink three Japanese warships during the crucial 1942 U.S. victory in the Pacific. He died in 2016 at age 100 as the book neared completion.
“Enemy of the Good” by Matthew Palmer (Putnam, $28). The author of this diplomatic thriller is a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service. Kate Wallander, a Foreign Service officer who doesn’t play by the rules, moves from Havana to the Kyrgyz Republic, where a dangerous mission awaits: She must infiltrate an underground democracy movement.