Cause of Death: A Perfect Little Guide to What Kills Us

Cause of Death: A Perfect Little Guide to What Kills Us

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Death becomes you, and it's just another fact of life explored in Cause of Death, a revealing abundance of startling data, false perceptions, bizarre fallacies, and some totally unexpected statistics about how, why, when, and where we all bite the dust, check out, buy the farm, kick the bucket, and all those other euphemisms for perishing after falling out of bed (roughly 1,800 fitful sleepers a year). It also answers questions most people never even consider (but should):

Do crocodiles kill more people than alligators?
Are we more prone to commit suicide or murder?
How many still die from leprosy?
Does salmonella have anything to do with salmon?
Can the condition of your toenails predict your mortality?
What's the connection between kitty litter and brain damage?
Has irony ever killed anyone?*

Disease, accidents, occupational hazards, poisons, plagues, infections, murder, fauna and fungi, insect bites, war, and even bison. What's the most popular killer of the decade? The rarest? How many deaths per year by age? Gender? Location? Time of day? Stupidity? All this and more in a book you really shouldn't be living without.

* Yes! While experimenting with the safe preservation of food in snow, Sir Francis Bacon caught a cold and died.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416592334
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 12/15/2009
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 464
File size: 13 MB
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About the Author

Jack Mingo is the author of fifteen books including How the Cadillac Got Its Fins, The Whole Pop Catalog, and The Couch Potato Handbook. He has written for countless publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Boston Phoenix, Reader's Digest, The Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times. Together with Erin Barrett, they are the cofounders of the popular Ask Jeeves series and authors of the series' first book, Just Curious, Jeeves.

Erin Barrett is the author of a kids' trivia book from Klutz Press; she has written for magazines and newspapers, such as Icon and the San Jose Mercury News, and has contributed to several anthologies, including the Uncle John's Bathroom Reader series. She and Jack Mingo have also designed numerous electronic and online games. They live in Alameda, California, with their family.

Lucy Autrey Wilson began her career with Lucasfilm in 1974, typing the script to the first Star Wars movie on an IBM Selectric typewriter. Over the years, she developed her accounting skills in areas as diverse as construction, gas and oil exploration, special effects, film, and licensing. In the late 1980s, she established a completely new Star Wars publishing program and worked on more than 1,500 titles, including sixty-three New York Times bestsellers, before moving on to new challenges in nonfiction publishing. With a BA in English Literature and an MBA in Finance, she has recently been able to combine her love of words and numbers doing the editorial and research required to translate George Lucas's intellectual curiosity into books.

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Cause of Death: A Perfect Little Guide to What Kills Us 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
veranaz22 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Statistics on causes of death. I wouldn't go out of my way to read this, maybe if I really have nothing else to read or if I'm waiting on something/someone. Nothing really special unless you're doing research. One and a half out of five.
GuilhermeSolari on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book delivered what it promised. Some of the death statistics were a bit uninteresting for me, but that just comes to show how complete the book is.
The sections come with a nice introduction to explain the nature of the problem. Most of the chapters have somewhat comical names, like "Broken Heart" or "Bad Plumbing".
The tone of the book is an interesting one. It uses a greater degree of humor (sometimes black) than I thought had expected. At the same time, it shows a kind of fascination with death, a subject that is very much taboo, but also a very common occurrence.
I appreciated the little boxes showing some bizarre ways people have died. Like the death of "fashion victim" Isadora Duncan, who chocked after her long flowing scarf became entangled in the back wheel of her roadster. As a curious side note, a small introduction is written by George Lucas.
Now, I was very impressed by the "big cats" stats. Wow, I had no clue tigers killed, and still kill, so many people! Cancer statistics are a scary wake up call for smokers. A guy at work quit after I showed him some passages.
GuilhermeSolari More than 1 year ago
“Face it. We can go anytime. But in so many different ways!” Poor death, so misunderstood. We feel bad for dying patients when ultimately we are just as dead as they are. Doctors talk about saving lives, when they are actually just delaying death a bit. I always found it strange how talking about our inevitable fate is often considered morbid and taboo. I appreciated how Cause of Death it treats this dark theme with a lot of good humor. The book is a compilation of curious statistics of death in the United States and the world. It is divided in chapters like cancer, vascular diseases, hormones, bugs, war, starvation, murder, etc. As you can see, it is the perfect gift for that hypochondriac aunt of yours. What I liked the most about the book where the boxes of curious historical deaths. Like literal “fashion victim” Isadora Duncan, suffocated by her long flowing scarf when it became entangled in the back wheel of her roadster. There are several other weird ways people have died, but my favorite is martial arts teacher Tran Quoc Dong’s, the world’s only known victim of karaoke, electrocuted by his microphone while singing in 2003. Perhaps what got me more impressed was the Big Cats section. I had no idea tigers and lions killed – and still kill to this day – so many people. Cancer statistics are also good to scare smokers a lot. A friend of mine stopped smoking after I nagged him reciting a few passages. Another curious fact is that Cause of Death has a brief introduction by Star Wars killer George Lucas. I did miss a bit more in-depth information, but that would contain the broad scope of the book. As it is, Cause of Death is good guide for the curious or perhaps writers trying to find creative ways to kill their darlings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its way more math than book dont recommend it