Save Your Own Life
Gavin de Becker
If you heard there was a weapon proven to prevent most crimes before they happen, would you run out and buy it? World-renowned security expert Gavin de Becker says this weapon exists, but you already have it. He calls it "the gift of fear."

One chapter in Gavin's book, The Gift of Fear has stuck with Oprah since she first read it. The story of a woman named Kelly begins with a simple warning sign. A man offers to help carry her groceries into her apartment—and instantly, Kelly doesn't like the sound of his voice. Kelly goes against her gut and lets him help her—and in doing so, she lets a rapist into her home.

"We get a signal prior to violence," Gavin says. "There are preincident indicators. Things that happen before violence occurs."

Gavin says that unlike any other living creature, humans will sense danger, yet still walk right into it. "You're in a hallway waiting for an elevator late at night. Elevator door opens, and there's a guy inside, and he makes you afraid. You don't know why, you don't know what it is. Some memory of this building—whatever it may be. And many women will stand there and look at that guy and say, 'Oh, I don't want to think like that. I don't want to be the kind of person who lets the door close in his face. I've got to be nice. I don't want him to think I'm not nice.' And so human beings will get into a steel soundproof chamber with someone they're afraid of, and there's not another animal in nature that would even consider it."