Storytime for Grownups: Friday the 13th

What’s in a day? What’s in a number? Well, if the day is Friday and the number is 13, there are histories and superstitions that go back centuries. Whether you’re lucky or unlucky, check out some of these titles on this famous day that everyone has an opinion about. (List compiled by Adam Davis, director of system services for the Palm Beach County Library System.)


Dolnick, Barrie and Anthony H. Davidson. “Luck : understanding luck and improving the odds.”

If you take steps to live longer by eating right and exercising, why wouldn’t you also take similar steps to improve your good fortune? Barrie Dolnick and Anthony Davidson asked themselves this very question, and set out to study luck and decipher how it works. In this insightful and engaging book, they share the secrets they’ve uncovered so you can use luck more effectively in your day-to-day life. Where does luck originate? Does one need to be “born lucky” in order to be lucky? Answering these and many other pressing questions, Dolnick and Davidson investigate both ancient and scientific approaches to luck.” ®Bowker


Various Artists. “Freaky Friday : a new musical”. (Downloadable music)

Enjoy the musical version of the classic and remake of the famous films starring Jodie Foster, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Lindsey Lohan (respectively) in your car on your way to work. We dare you!


“Friday the 13th” Parts 1 & 2 (DVD)

In 1957, a young boy named Jason Voorhees drowned. In 1958, two camp counselors were murdered. In 1962, fires and bad water kept Camp Crystal Lake from reopening. Now in 1979, Crystal Lake will finally be reopened by Steve Christy with the help of a few new counselors. The counselors begin to get ready for campers that summer. Ignoring the warnings from a local, the murders start once again while a mysterious stalker prowls the area. As bodies fall to the ground, the counselors realize that no one is safe in the camp.” ®Bowker


Lachenmeyer, Nathaniel. “13 : the story of the world’s most popular superstition”.

13 brings together forgotten history and unknown facts about unlucky 13 to create the compelling story of the rise of a single belief. It is also a book about superstition in general — why people believe what they believe and why they stop believing when they do. 13 draws on history and the range of contemporary superstitions; in so doing, it touches on the fate of mythmaking in general. 13 answers the following questions, among others: When did the 13 superstition begin, and why? Why is Spain divided over whether Tuesday the 13th or Friday the 13th is the traditional unlucky 13th day? What other number superstitions exist in other cultures? Which is the only major hotel in New York City that has a 13th floor? What are the top three conspiracy theories about unlucky 13? What is the Thirteen Club, and why did it count three U.S. presidents among its members?” ®Bowker


Madden, Thomas F. “The lost warriors of God : the true history of the Kights Templar”. (Book on CD)

Professor Thomas F. Madden examines one of the most fascinating organizations in world history: the Knights Templar, whose members gave up home, family, and worldly possessions to defend the Holy Land and the Christian pilgrims who journeyed there. ®Bowker


Murdoch Mysteries. Season 7. Episode 14.: “Friday the 13th, 1901”

“Julia and Emily attend a bachelorette party on a secluded, perhaps haunted island. Meanwhile, Detective Murdoch and the boys from Station Four find themselves in a high stakes curling match.”


Vyse, Stuart. “Believing in magic : the psychology of superstition”.

In this fully updated edition of Believing in Magic, renowned superstition expert Stuart Vyse investigates our tendency towards these irrational beliefs. Superstitions, he writes, are the natural result of several psychological processes, including our human sensitivity to coincidence, a penchant for developing rituals to fill time (to battle nerves, impatience, or both), our efforts to cope with uncertainty, the need for control, and more… Vyse argues that we must provide alternative methods of coping with life’s uncertainties by teaching decision analysis, promoting science education, and challenging ourselves to critically evaluate the sources of our beliefs.” ®Bowker


Not spooky enough for you? The Palm Beach County Library System has dozens of electronic books, printed books – both novels & non-fiction, audiobooks, and DVDs or Blu-ray discs from just about every series and film. Travel to your closest branch or find them on the web!