Take Ten: 8

In the old Roman calendar, October was the 8th month – hence the “octo” part of its name. Culturally, eight is also a significant number; it’s considered lucky to the Chinese, and it’s the length of the Hanukkah holiday (Dec 16 – 24, this year). Set it on its side and the number becomes the symbol for infinity. Here are a few other reminders of the “use” of the number 8:

  • Eight is the atomic number of oxygen
  • An octave consists of eight notes
  • The eight ball is the most important in a game of billiards
  • Spiders (and most other arachnids) have eight legs.
  • There are now 8 planets in our solar system (sorry, Pluto)

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In honor of the number, here are a few books with eight in the title.

8 Minutes in the Morning: A Simple Way to Shed up to Two Pounds a Week, Guaranteed – Jorge Cruise

  • Cruise’s get-slim secret involves just 8 minutes of his unique strength-training moves each morning, a cutting-edge eating program that teaches you how to eat right and cut your calories, plus a daily dose of motivational support.

8 Sandpiper Way – Debbie Macomber

  • Cedar Cove is shocked after Pastor Dave Flemming is accused of stealing jewelry. His wife, Emily, doesn’t know what to believe, especially since Dave is being so evasive. Then she finds an earring in his pocket. Could he have stolen it–or is he having an affair?

The Eight – Katherine Neville

  • A young novice during the French Revolution risks her life to keep a jeweled chess set that Moors gave Charlemagne, and in the 20th century, a computer expert and a chess master try to solve its mystery.

Eight Girls Taking Pictures – Whitney Otto

  • A tale inspired by the lives of famous twentieth-century female photographers traces the progression of feminism and photography in various world regions as each woman explores private and public goals while balancing the demands of family and creativity.

Eight Men and a Duck: An Improbable Voyage by Reed Boat to Easter Island – Nick Thorpe

  • A journalist traces his 2,500-mile journey from South America to Easter Island with an eight-man crew on board an eighteen-meter pre-Incan reed boat as part of an adventure to reopen controversial migration theories by Thor Heyerdahl.

Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series – Eliot Asinof

  • Recounts the fixing of the 1919 World Series, covering events from the first meetings between White Sox players and gamblers to the 1921 trial and its aftermath.

Eight Million Ways to Die – Lawrence Block

  • Kim was a young hooker who wanted out: a beautiful kid, old before her time, seeking Matthew Scudder’s protection. She didn’t deserve to die the way she did: slashed to ribbons in the seedy waterfront district. Now the tormented ex-cop-turned-P.I. wants to find her killer.

Eight Women, Two Model T’s, and the American West – Joanne Wilke

  • In 1924 eight young women drove across the American West in two Model T Fords. In nine weeks they traveled more than nine thousand unpaved miles on an extended car-camping trip through six national parks, “without a man or a gun along.”

From a Buick 8 – Stephen King

  • The state police in Statler, Pennsylvania, have kept the mysterious, vintage Buick Roadmaster caged out in back of the barracks ever since 1979. But even as it sleeps, it breathes–inhaling a little bit of this world, exhaling a little bit of whatever world it came from–until the fateful day when its terrifying secrets are finally revealed.

The Great Eight: How to Be Happy (Even When You Have Every Reason to Be Miserable) – Scott Hamilton

  • Olympic Gold Medal figure skater Scott Hamilton shares his eight secrets to finding happiness in the face of a life filled with challenges, difficulties, and career-canceling odds, with never-been-told, behind-the-scenes stories from the skating world.

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