Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl, Tales from an Allergic Life (Crown Publishers) by Sandra Beasley is more than a good read. It’s an insider’s look into living with life-threatening food allergies. Beasley, an award-winning poet, happens to be allergic to dairy, egg, soy, beef, shrimp, pine nuts, cucumbers, cantaloupe, honeydew, mango, macadamias, pistachios, cashews, swordfish and mustard. She’s also allergic to mold, dust, grass and tree pollen, cigarette smoke, dogs, rabbits, horses and wool. With this long list of allergens, Beasley successfully navigates the world, sharing stories of celebration and frustration. This is a memoir based on hard-won experience. From first dates that end in the emergency room to accommodations by her chosen university, Beasley writes with intelligence and humor. Sprinkled with practical advice, medical stats and research updates, this is a useful book that’s entertaining. A fun book that’s deadly serious.