The Good Luck Book

Stefan Bechtel, Author, Laurence R. Stains, Author, R. O. Blechman, Illustrator
Stefan Bechtel, Author, Laurence R. Stains, Author, R. O. Blechman, Illustrator Workman Publishing $8.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7611-0541-1
Paperback - 978-0-7611-0620-3
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Despite its title, this rambling, good-natured assemblage of snippets about luck deals with bad as well as good fortune. But the book does address why we knock on wood (a tribute to the spirits in trees), why horseshoes are so esteemed (their crescent shape resembles that of the new moon, a symbol of the female life-creating force) and why the ladybug is a good omen (it was sacred to the Norse goddess of love and beauty), among numerous superstitions. Oddly, however, Bechtel and Stains never touch on such racy, contemporary theories, such as why the reason three is said to be a lucky number (according to some psychologists, for the number of external male genitals). Scattered throughout are apparently random quotations from such diverse luminaries as Pliny the Elder, St. Augustine and Merv Griffin. Though the book may disappoint some, most readers will at least rejoice in the authors' good luck in getting R.O. Blechman to draw the entertaining illustrations. Author tour. (Apr.)
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