Empty Shelf Book #2: How to Live Dangerously.

Empty 2

Above is the second book I read for the #EmptyShelf Challenge. (Read here to join us on this fun challenge!)

Below is the format I plan to do this year for each book I read.

Title: How to Live Dangerously. The Hazards of Helmets, the Benefits of Bacteria, and the Risks of Living Too Safe.

Author: Warwick Cairns

What’s it about: This short, but powerful book looks at the interesting truth of what happens when we live our too safely.

Why did I read it: I love books that challenge our established understanding of how life works. I’m also committed to living with more danger in my life.

Favorite idea: That you’re more likely to get in a bike accident if you wear a helmet. The reasons are that when bike riders wear helmets they make riskier decisions because they feel safer. The second reason is that cars drive closer to people who are wearing helmets. Does that mean you shouldn’t wear a helmet? Not at all, my kids will. But it does make you think how wonderfully risky you can be when you have the safety of a day job.

Where can you buy it? Right here.



  • Nick
    Posted at 04:47h, 03 January Reply

    Pretty interesting that people drive closer to bikes with helmets… I wonder if I do that…

  • LarryTheDeuce
    Posted at 04:52h, 03 January Reply

    Most car accidents happen close to home, I bet.

    • rob kirkpatrick
      Posted at 19:30h, 03 January Reply

      Makes a person want to move

  • David Mike
    Posted at 05:54h, 03 January Reply

    Jon, I use Audible because I work an early morning second job. This allows me to learn and grow while making extra money. Audible allows me to digest more books than I could ever read traditionally. I can always go back 30 seconds at a time if I miss something or just replay the whole book for saturation. You can even speed up the narrator. You should hear what you sound like on triple speed! I can even make bookmarks with notes. No, I don’t work for Audible but, I wanted those out there who say they don’t have time to read to know that there are other options.

    • Jesse Phillips
      Posted at 11:46h, 03 January Reply

      Yes! I use audible too. The books are a little steep for me, but I’ve consumed several books like that. However, I find I do like to sit and read a book too. Audible is a great way to consume content, but there’s also something nice about having it on your shelf – I love this idea, Jon!

    • S. Maddox
      Posted at 15:38h, 03 January Reply

      This blog comment brought to you by Audible. “Audibe.com–for when you don’t feel like reading.”

      • Lanakila
        Posted at 10:46h, 04 January Reply

        It’s not that we don’t feel like reading, it’s that we want to enjoy the books when our hands are busy. I listen to them while I garden, while I’m driving long distances, and while I’m cleaning the house.

  • ThatGuyKC
    Posted at 06:19h, 03 January Reply

    Love this idea! Let my reading get too fragmented toward the end of 2013. Looking forward to plowing through a number of great titles in 2014. Although, I’ve largely shifted to ebooks so my “shelf” photo will look a little different.

    Btw, I’m stealing the simple book review format as a template. Thanks. 🙂

  • Keith B
    Posted at 07:57h, 03 January Reply

    Would love to see a blog post/comments about how Jon (and others) take notes while reading a book and/or apply the ideas from the book into practical applications. Thank you.

  • David Johnston
    Posted at 08:00h, 03 January Reply

    I wonder how close Nascar fans drive to bikers. Might give them a nudge. Rubbin’s Racin.

  • Dan from Georgia
    Posted at 09:00h, 03 January Reply

    Are those Woody’s legs dangling from the shelf at the top of the photo?!?!?

  • Michael
    Posted at 09:01h, 03 January Reply

    My question is, who’s legs are those? Is it Jon on the Shelf that motivates you to start?

  • Jason
    Posted at 11:26h, 03 January Reply

    I was wondering where I can get a Jon Acuff plush doll…

  • Grace
    Posted at 13:17h, 03 January Reply

    English teachers everywhere are rejoicing — Jon has brought the “book report” back to life!

  • Kayla
    Posted at 15:06h, 03 January Reply

    Was the “What’s It About” supposed to be a cliff hanger so that we’ll read it for ourselves? Tricky, Jon, very tricky!

    • S. Maddox
      Posted at 15:41h, 03 January Reply

      I was wondering the same thing. “What’s it about: This short, but powerful book looks at the interesting truth of what happens when we live our…” Hello?

  • Melea
    Posted at 18:59h, 03 January Reply

    I saw this book when I was perusing Amazon the other day! I most definitely will read it now!

  • John
    Posted at 21:25h, 03 January Reply

    Could you finish the thought under “what’s it about”

  • Steve Nazarian
    Posted at 08:08h, 04 January Reply

    As a resident of the frozen north, I can tell you that drivers with big 4x4s drive faster in the snow. Of course they end up in a ditch that much faster. As my driver’s ed teacher taught me 25 years ago, “four wheel drive only gets you two more wheels connected to the engine that can’t get traction on ice and snow.”

  • Leslie
    Posted at 12:46h, 08 January Reply

    I just finished my first one! (I actually started it last year, but got sidetracked. Started back at the beginning and I’m so glad I finished! On to book two!

  • Lady Tam
    Posted at 23:16h, 08 January Reply

    Derp. Need to put the book I read on my shelf and snap a pic of it. 😛

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