If one of these new books doesn't scare the bejabbers out of you, another one will.
Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You: A Lively Tour Through the Dark Side of the Natural World (Touchstone) by Dan Riskin is an evolutionary biologist and TV host's gruesomely entertaining look at everything from mind-control parasites to rough duck sex.
Scared Stiff: Everything You Need to Know About 50 Famous Phobias (Zest Books) by Sara Latta looks at some of the common extreme fears (heights, clowns, needles) plus new ones like nomophobia (fear of loss of mobile phone contact), with trivia, famous phobics and coping tips.
What Should We Be Worried About? Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up at Night (Harper Perennial), edited by John Brockman, surveys 150 notable scientific thinkers about what we should fret over (media's effects on children, new narcotics, global graying) and what we should forget about (the Singularity, alien attack, Armageddon).
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor