April 3, 2014 - April Fool's Day

April Fool's Day was this past Tuesday (no fooling!). So I thought I'd give you a little background on that jolly day. The custom of joking and pulling pranks has roots that go back to Roman times (The Feast of Hilaria on 3/15) and in Medieval Times to the Feast of the Fools (12/28). In 1698, Londoners were fooled by a newspaper ad into going to the Tower of London to see the "annual ceremony of the washing of the lions". In current times newspapers and media outlets have kept up this fine tradition. In 1957, the BBC pulled a prank, known as the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest prank, where they broadcast a fake film of Swiss farmers picking freshly-grown spaghetti. The BBC were later flooded with requests to purchase a spaghetti plant, forcing them to declare the video as a prank on the news the next day. Most Swedish and Danish newspapers will publish one false story on 1 April, usually on the first page but below the fold. Google tends to release a new product prank as well ( My favorites are Google Street Roo - using Kangaroos to map Australia using cameras mounted on the Roos' heads-and Gmail Tap - that lets you use only two keys to type your messages in Morse Code.) The book's listed below are no joke. They're just available for your ready pleasure. Enjoy!

  • cover art The end of dieting : how to live for life / by Joel Fuhrman. The author of "Eat to Live", who is a nationally recognized expert in the field of health and nutrition, shows readers how and why they will never need to diet again.
  • cover art The story of the Jews : finding the words, 1000 BC -1492 AD / by Simon Schama. This beautifully illustrated companion to the PBS and BBC series "The Story of the Jews" traces the Jewish experience, from their beginnings as an ancient tribal people to the opening of the New World in 1492, telling one of the greatest stories of triumph over adversity ever told.
  • cover art Death on Blackheath : a Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novel / by Anne Perry. Investigating evidence of a violent struggle at the home of Ministry of Defense member Dudley Kynaston, Pitt and the Special Branch discover the brutally murdered body of a young woman before realizing that Kynaston is not who he appears to be.
  • cover art Don't look for me : an Amos Walker novel / by Loren Estleman. Investigating the disappearance of a woman whose demise may be linked to the mafia and an illicit pornography studio, private investigator Amos Walker is confronted by two Mossad agents who make him realize that the case is more sinister than anticipated.
  • cover art I remember you : a ghost story / by Ysra Sigurdardottir. A tale based on a true story finds three friends targeted by a malevolent presence while trying to renovate an old house in the Icelandic Westfjords, while a local doctor uncovers an elderly suicide victim's obsessions. By the internationally best-selling author of "The Day Is Dark".
  • cover art The revenant of Thraxton Hall : the paranormal casebooks of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle / by Vaughn Entwistle. Reviled for his decision to kill off his famous fictional detective, Arthur Conan Doyle, accompanied by his friend Oscar Wilde, leaves London to investigate a famous medium's predictions about her own murder.
  • cover art Blossom Street brides : a Blossom Street Novel / by Debbie Macomber. As three women's lives intersect in unexpected ways in and around A Good Yarn knitting store, Lydia, Lauren and Bethanne realize that love heals every heart--and the best surprises still lay ahead.
  • cover art Four friends / by Robyn Carr. When BJ, a newcomer to Mill Valley, enters their close-knit circle and opens up about her dark past, Gerri, Andy and Sonja come together to help her get back on track and, in the process, make strides in their own lives, becoming stronger as individuals and unfaltering as friends..
  • cover art The Cairo affair / by Olen Steinhauer. The assassination of an American diplomat in Hungary places a Cairo-based CIA agent in love with the victim's wife, an Egyptian intelligence agent and an American analyst at the mercy of a dangerous political game of shifting allegiances.
  • cover art Citadel : a novel / by Kate Mosse. Deep within the Pyrenees, a group of courageous and determined female operatives--codenamed Citadel--fight to liberate their home from the Germans while protecting an ancient secret that, if discovered by the enemy, could change the course of history.
  • cover art Missing you / by Harlan Coben. The Edgar Award-, Shamus Award- and Anthony Award-winning author of such best-sellers as "Six Years" and the Myron Bolitar series presents a latest high-stakes thriller inspired by today's headlines.