FIELD GUIDE TO LUCK
By Alys R. Yablon
[BOOK] My nose is big enough, but it would certainly grow to a ginormous size if I denied that I was superstitious. I always pick up pennies lying in the street, look for meaning in my day whenever a Pueo flys past my car, never walk under ladders, try not to cut my nails at night, avoid cracks in the sidewalk and firmly believe that economic security is directly related to the maneki neko or “lucky cat.” In fact, I’m so superstitious that I often worry about all the little misfortunes that may come my way by merely being ignorant of various charms, dates, sayings and symbols. Luckily for me, I found the Field Guide to Luck, which is both a fascinating and entertaining read. In this colorful little book, there are general descriptions, origins and variations of tons of luck-producing or draining things. It’s definitely a keeper and you better believe that I’ll have it handy during my next card game.
EXCELLENT CADAVERS: FIGHTING THE MAFIA IN SICILY
By Marco Turco
[DVD] If you’re looking for a flick to satisfy your Sopranos craving or know all the words from the Godfather trilogy, than Excellent Cadavers isn’t going to be your cup of tea. But if you’re looking for “A thorough, journalistic examination that is ultimately horrifying as it is informative” (Hollywood Reporter) on the real-deal Mafia, then look no further. This documentary takes place primarily in Sicily, which sets an almost perversely beautiful stage for acts of violence and greed. Not for the squeamish, but if you dig black and white shots of people with their brains leaking out of their noggins then you’re in luck.
SECRET LIVES OF GREAT AUTHORS: WHAT YOUR TEACHERS NEVER TOLD YOU ABOUT FAMOUS NOVELISTS, POETS AND PLAYWRIGHTS
By Robert Schnakenberg
[BOOK] Consider this the equivalent of VH1’s “Behind the Music,” but for dead authors. Personally, it’s one of my new favorites and confidently predict that it will be a classic in the years to come. Seriously, who doesn’t want to get the dirt on the authors that practically created the “Required Reading” list that stole so many hours of precious summer vacation between Junior and Senior years? In this book I learned that Emily Dickenson was probably a psychic vampire as well as a closet lesbian and that Louisa May Alcott may have had a little bothersome opium addiction. Who knew? MTW