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Black Cats and April Fools: Origins of Old Wives Tales and Superstitions in Our Daily Lives
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Black Cats and April Fools: Origins of Old Wives Tales and Superstitions in Our Daily Lives

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3.23  ·  Rating Details ·  91 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
An intriguing look at the origins of some of our most popular superstitions and old wives tales. People have knocked on wood to ward off misfortune, orwatched a bride throw a bouquet over her head at a wedding, but how oftenhave they stopped to consider where such customs originate, or why they endure? Behind many of our daily rituals and beliefs lies a fascinating history ...more
Hardcover, 258 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by John Blake (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 228)
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Jason
Sep 02, 2012 Jason rated it it was ok
Although enjoyable learning some new superstitions, i found that the origins as the in the title of the book where either left out or not defined. The book is more a reiteration of old folk tales.
Lou
Nov 07, 2010 Lou rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not much info here, mostly saying "no one knows the origin". That would be quite all right if there was humor or graphics to add interest.
Ashley Hunt
"...in the past the Bible was considered the word of God..." Really Harry? Hence the low rating.

Not only for this ridiculous statement but the constant misinformation (if not lies) about Catholic traditions/superstitions being Biblical.

Most of the superstitions the author labels as Christian or being derived from the Holy Bible is just plain false. (Don't get me started on his passing comment that baptism is done in order to receive forgiveness of sins!) Sadly most people don't read the Bible, s
...more
Xanthi
Mar 13, 2014 Xanthi rated it liked it
Generally speaking, I don't consider myself a particularly superstitious person, but this book's topic held my interest from start to finish. It was easy to read during my breaks at work, with bite sized sections. There were a fair few superstitions covered by this book, that I have never heard of before, and almost as many that I had, but never knew where or how they originated. An entertaining read.
Rachna
May 31, 2012 Rachna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-2012
This book is about numerous superstitions from all over the world and how they may have originated. Such as knocking on wood may be from an old kids game where touching wood meant “safe”. Giving white and red flowers in a bouquet is bad luck, it is believed to be this way because blood and bandages are also red and white. If a girl drew water from the well on the first day of the New Year she would be considered lucky. My favorite was the carrot myth, if you eat carrots you can see in the dark. ...more
Amanda Witt
Features bite sized chunks of information, in plain English about all sorts of things once thought to be either old wives tales and/or superstitions.
Brief explanations are given, with most dating back to years past when there really were reasons to think that way but now modern medicine and better education has meant most of these are no longer believed.
Wilde Sky
Oct 20, 2014 Wilde Sky rated it liked it
I found this collection of explanations for superstitions quite interesting, but very patchy. The best chapters (in my opinion) were 21 and 22.
Wendy Mills
May 05, 2016 Wendy Mills rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fascinating book about the origins of superstitions. Some of the superstitions I have heard before, but many of them I have not.
Yann Ee
Feb 23, 2015 Yann Ee rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2013-read
Flipping a page, random at best, might be entertaining. There are some interesting tales, though mostly it would leave you baffled. Not in the way, oh-yeah-that-could-have-happen-in-the-past, but instead, here-you-you-go-i-hope-this-is-random-enough-for-you. Watching life science documentary should be a pre-requisite before reading books from this genre. This is because you could then understand the reasoning and belief behind every occurances.

Quite frankly, superstitions is to make beliefs and
...more
Charissa Ty
Jun 17, 2014 Charissa Ty rated it really liked it
Interesting read!
Kellie
Apr 22, 2013 Kellie rated it it was ok
Shelves: library-book
happened upon this at the library and thought it would be entertaining while waiting for kid lessons. turns out to not have had actually that much real information about the origins, mostly speculation and modern use - but it entertained me for an hour anyway and gave me a few nuggets of useless trivia to share.
Carissa
Jan 03, 2015 Carissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read some of the first chapter and skimmed the rest. I was looking for something with more references... along the lines of the "Pop Goes the Weasel" book.
I also disagree with passing under a train... it's good luck!
James
Feb 24, 2010 James rated it really liked it
This is an entertaining and interesting insight into some of the worlds most common superstitions. It's a very good 'pick up' book that you can read a few entries here and there.
Dara
Aug 10, 2012 Dara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/11327564
Jillian
Sep 27, 2012 Jillian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
It's full of entertaining and interesting tidbits, but overall the delivery and research could have been better.
Tori
Jul 12, 2011 Tori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You should never give anyone a knife--it's bad luck. If you must, throw salt over your left shoulder.
Kimberley
Sep 16, 2011 Kimberley rated it really liked it
Shelves: easy
Good book even of it did make me a bit paranoid about superstitions I never even knew existed!
Leslie
Apr 13, 2013 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's definitely interesting to read about how all the old superstions come about.
Liz
Jan 30, 2011 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of fun - light reading.
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Aug 28, 2016
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