Pick of the Week – July 28-August 3, 2014

It’s late at night.  You’re lost in an unfamiliar part of an unfamiliar city.  You round a corner, hoping it will lead you to something that you recognize, or at the very least an all-night diner.  No.  It’s a blind alley. 

You turn to leave, but find your way is blocked.  It’s former US President Andrew Jackson, and he wants to kick your ass. 

What do you do?

Under normal circumstances, you get thrashed because Andrew Jackson was a madman, but you’ll be prepared if you’ve read this week’s pick, How to Fight Presidents: Defending Yourself Against the Badassess Who Ran This County by Daniel O’Brien.

O’Brien is a writer at Cracked.com, a site well for its comedic lists of historical and unusual information, and he continues the historical and unusual trend with How to Fight Presidents.  The book covers each of the deceased former Presidents of the United States (So if the still-alive George H.W. Bush shows up to clobber you, you’re on your own.  Good luck.  The man is still jumping out of planes at 90.  He’s going to thrash you.) providing a brief rundown of their stand-out badass aspects.  Yes, you will learn a bit of history, and enjoy several laughs in the process.

I don’t normally listed to audiobooks.  I prefer to have the actual book in my hand.  Also, my attention drifts during audiobooks.  Having heard a bit of the How to Fight Presidents audiobook, though, I highly recommend it as well.  The reader, Richard McGonagle, is perfect for the material.  Just listen to the chapter on John Quincy Adams.  It’s wonderful. 

Either in print or on audio, the book is well worth your time.  And, as an added bonus, you'll be prepared the next time a dead former president shows up to rearrange your face...unless it's Teddy Roosevelt.  If he shows up, just hope he ends it quickly.

- Alan Decker

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