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May 13, 2022 - Friday the 13th

I hope you are enjoying this Friday the 13th and are not suffering from triskaidekaphobia. If you care to use a rare term for this phobia, try “paraskavedekatriaphobia” or the even rarer “friggatriskaidekaphobia.”

All three terms describe the fear of the number 13. While 12 has always been considered a good, complete number – think the 12 days of Christmas, the 12 Apostles, the 12 months, the 12 signs of the zodiac—the number 13 has been considered an unlucky number. Possibly from the 13th guest at the Last Supper and Loki being the 13th guest at a dinner in Vahalla that upset the balance of the gods. Some point to that rueful day in October, 1307 when 100s of Knights Templar were arrested by King Phillip IV of France, the organizations treasurers ransacked, and many of the knights were executed. That’s a pretty bad Friday the 13th and may have given rise to the superstition around that day and date combination being extremely unlucky. I would have to say that this Friday the 13th is somewhat unlucky for you, dear reader. I only have 8 – count them 8—new books for you to contemplate adding to your wish lists. I will point out that eight is considered the luckiest number in China and in numerology is a highly desired number. Enjoy these few new titles this week and, if we’re lucky, there will be many more books to tell you about next week.

“Call Me Chef!: A Veteran’s Journey from the Rural South to the White House” by Andre Rush. A former White House head chef, who made his way from a farm in rural Mississippi to West Point and a 24-year military career, chronicles his time holding one of the most prestigious culinary positions in the United States.

 

“Killing the Killers: The Secret War Against Terrorists” by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard. Explores and chronicles the global war on terrorism.

 

“Fire and Flood: A People’s History of Climate Change from 1979 to the Present” by Eugen Linden. An award-winning science journalist looks at the last thirty years of climate change and the shocking failure by governments and key business interests to address the issue despite the evidence in front of our own eyes.

 

“Breaking the Age Code: How Your Beliefs About Aging Determine How Long and Well You Live” by Becca Levy. A Yale professor and leading expert on the psychology of successful aging draws on her ground-breaking research to show how age beliefs can be improved so they benefit all aspects of the aging process, including the way genes operate and the extension of life expectancy by 7.5 years.

 

“The Upgrade: How the Female Brain Gets Stronger and Better in Midlife and Beyond” by Louann Briendine. The “New York Times” best-selling author of “The Female Brain “ analyzes the latest research to show women how they can be their best selves at the second stage of life due to an upgraded female brain that is centered, direct, validated, focused, fearless, expansive and free.

“Breathless” by Amy McCulloch. A journalist who sacrificed everything on a career-making opportunity to interview an internationally famous mountaineer on the last leg of a record-breaking summit must battle the elements and an apparent killer, who is picking off climbers in her party.

 

“Murder on Madison Square, No. 25 (A Gaslight Mystery)” by Victoria Thompson. When Alfred Bing, whose wife wanted Frank to manufacture evidence so she could end their marriage, winds up dead, pinned beneath one the wheels of his very own motorcar, the former policeman and his wife find nothing is what it seems as they search for the truth.

 

“Shadow Fallen, No 6 (Dream-Hunter)” by Sherilyn Kenyon. A knight of William the Conqueror and son of one of the deadliest powers in existence, Valteri is the necessary key to holding back evil if only he can work with the woman who stands for everything in the universe he hates.