Here we are in the middle of February (it is, indeed Valentine’s Day) and if the weather predictions hold true as I am writing this, we shall have had 3 snows with cummulations of up to 8 inches. Way back in November (the 15th to be precise) I wrote about the folklore for predicting the number of snows a winter had in store based on when the first trackable snow arrived which was November 9th. I shall reproduce here, the various methodologies: 1) Count the number of foggy mornings in August. This number will be the same as the number of snowfalls for the following winter, according to my calendar/ journal there were 8 foggy mornings. We shot by this number months ago. 2) Count the number of days from the first snowfall until Christmas. This number will also give the correct number of snowfalls to expect (which would be 46). This one may prove to be closest to the actual number3) Count the number of days from the first snowfall of the season to the preceding New Moon. This will tell you how many snows the coming winter will bring. The preceding New Moon was actually November 7th but two snows makes absolutely no sense around here, so let’s calculate from the October 8th, new moon. That would be 32 days or 32 snows. We passed this number at the end of January. 4) The date of the month of the first snowfall in which the paw prints of a cat can be seen predicts the number of snowstorms for that winter season (that would be November 9th or 9 snows. Cf. above. Counting the snows recorded on my calendar since that first trackable snow on November 9th, we have had 37 snows not counting the three we may be getting at the beginning of this week. Assuming method two, above, could be correct, we only have 9 more snows to endure (and three may already be done with by the time you read this). Perhaps spring is just around the corner. In the meantime, there are lots of new books to help you while away the time until that white stuff quits falling from the skies. Enjoy!
“Never Grow Up” by Jackie Chan. The martial artist, actor, director and stuntman from Rush Hour and The Karate Kid reflects on his life, including his childhood at the China Drama Academy, his lucky breaks, setbacks and near death experiences both on and off movie sets.
“The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction” by Meghan Gurdon. A Wall Street Journal writer looks at how reading aloud makes adults and children smarter, happier, healthier, more successful and more closely attached, even as technology pulls in the other direction.
“The Orchid and the Dandelion: Why Some Children Struggle and How All Can Thrive” by Thomas Boyce. A leading researcher and pioneer of pediatric health shares strategic recommendations for teachers, developmental helpers and caregivers on how to work in more nurturing, environmentally supportive and customized ways for children with developmental challenges ranging from anxiety to ADHD.
“Code Name: Lise: The True Story of the Woman Who Became WWII’s Most Highly Decorated Spy” by Larry Loftis. Tells the true story of Odette Sansom, the British spy who operated in occupied France and fell in love with her commanding officer during World War II. By the internationally best-selling author of “Into the Lion's Mouth”.
“Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974” by Kevin Kruse & Julian Zelizer. Two award-winning historians trace the origins of today's divided America to pivotal events in 1974, from Watergate to the energy crisis, to explore how long-standing disputes over income inequality, racial division and gender roles fueled a polarized political landscape.
“The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington” by Brad Melzer & Josh Mensch. The best-selling author of The Inner Circle presents the lesser-known story of an assassination attempt against pre-Revolutionary War George Washington by some of his own bodyguards, exploring how the plot catalyzed the creations of the CIA and FBI.
“Death of an Eye” by Dana Stabenow. Queen Cleopatra, pregnant with the child of Julius Caesar and co-ruling with her brother Ptolemy, turns to her childhood friend Tetisheri to find a shipment of new coins and discover who murdered the Queen's Eye in 47 BCE Alexandria.
“The Only Woman in the Room” by Marie Benedict. A beautiful woman escapes her Austrian arms-dealer husband to become Hollywood legend Hedy Lamarr while hiding a secret double life as a Jewish scientist and sharing vital information about the Third Reich. By the author of “The Other Einstein”.
“That Churchill Woman” by Stephanie Barron. A tale inspired by the life of Winston Churchill's scandal-marked American mother follows the experiences of a wealthy and fiercely independent New Yorker whose whirlwind romance with a duke's son sweeps her disruptively into British royalty and politics.
“A Time to Scatter Stones (Matthew Scudder)” by Lawrence Block. Mathew Scudder tries to help a sex worker who wants out of the business but remains ensnared by an abusive client. By a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master and Edgar Award-winning author.
“An Anonymous Girl” by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen. Participating in a psychological study under the mysterious Dr. Shields, Jessica endures intense, invasive sessions and oppressive behavioral restrictions before she begins to lose her grasp on reality. By the best-selling authors of “The Wife Between Us”.
“The Burglar” by Thomas Perry. An elite young burglar stumbles on a grisly triple homicide while stealing from a wealthy art dealer and must solve the crime to prevent becoming a next victim. By the best-selling author of the Jane Whitefield series.
“Wedding Guest, No.34 (Alex Delaware)” by Jonathan Kellerman. Psychologist Alex Delaware and LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis investigate the morbidly staged murder of an unknown young woman at a run-down former strip joint during a raucous Saints and Sinners-themed wedding reception.