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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life

Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life: A Former CIA Officer Reveals Safety and Survival Techniques to Keep You and Your Family Protected - Jason Hanson

I'll admit the cheese-factor of the title caught my eye, but it was this, from the summary, that made me put the book on my wishlist:

In addition to escaping handcuffs, picking locks, and spotting when someone is telling a lie, he can improvise a self-defense weapon, pack a perfect emergency kit, and disappear off the grid if necessary. 


Ooh, practical skills knowledge!  You know me, I'm always interested in learning new skills, even if I might never use them.


As a practical handbook the book is chock-full of useful knowledge, both of the common sense and not-so-common sense variety and I'd recommend it to anyone.  Some of it does come across sounding a tiny bit paranoid or back-woods survivalist, but that's really only because most of us live by the odds (as in, what are the odds of that happening?!).  But as anyone who has been in a disaster would say, it only needs to happen once.  Most of the best information in this book is about being aware of options and strategies.


Oh, and learning how to pick locks; and escape duct tape and zip ties.  You can never have too many skills, y'all.


A couple of things dimmed the appeal.  There's an ever so slight prevalence of self-promotion.  It's never blatant, but the few sources he supplies are, I think, his own websites (and to be fair, not to sell anything - videos and freebies).  He does tell you what brands of deadbolts are better than others (Kwikset = bad) as well as a few other recommendations of what to look for in security.  But there's a bit too much "I" for my personal tastes.


I don't know who is running the editing circus at Penguin, but Hanson should be pissed.  There are more than a few silly, embarrassing errors throughout the text that a primary school kid could catch.


As a last note, if the sub-title doesn't give it away, this book is primarily aimed at Americans, although some of the stats are international and all of the skills and strategies are applicable to everyone.  But Hanson loves his guns (he doesn't advocate owning them though).  Look past that though and you'll find a lot of everyday, practical advice for keeping yourself and your loved ones safer.