cover image Blue Monday and Friday the Thirteenth

Blue Monday and Friday the Thirteenth

Lila Perl. Clarion Books, $13.95 (96pp) ISBN 978-0-89919-327-4

Sprinkled with anecdotes, laced with folklore, Perl's book entices readers into thinking about familiar territory in a new way. After first discussing the way a seven-day week was settled upon, the book launches into elaborate chapters on how each day received its name, and the traditional events associated with specific days. The Anglo-Saxon sunnandaeg became Sunday, Dies saturni is more readily known as Saturday. The ""blue Monday'' connotation occurred when housewives faced their washday chores. There are many short tellings of Norse, Greek and other mythologies; various religions' holy days are also included. All descriptions are lucid and informative; Perl provides complete descriptions explanations of the origins of names, even if she has to cover several languages to complete the task. Weihs's pictures, which resemble woodcuts, help to make this an accessible, lively book. (8-11)