After her Communication, (1953- 633) Julie Batchelor does a good job of digging up origins of beliefs and legends with Claudia de Lys. Dividing their work into categories- Food, Sounds, Animals, Fairies etc. - they list under each the why's and wherefore's behind the common sayings and practices we still associate with good and bad luck. The opal was considered bad luck by the Chinese because of its changeable colors; the connection between storks and babies arose because storks are devoted to their mates; in Egypt the onion was considered a symbol of eternity because of concentrically circular formation- these are a few of the interesting facts. This- though not as consistently explanatory (statements like ""early religions considered"" or ""horses were held sacred"" need further backing) as, say, Maria Leach in The Soup Stone (1953- p. 740)- is good introductory material.