The Washington Post – 4 books to get you ready for anything in the new year — from bears to spies

I’m sure everything will be completely fine in 2016, but it wouldn’t hurt to learn a few new, precautionary skills just in case.

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The Washington Post -Historian compiles fascinating tidbits on Hitler, Agatha Christie and others

Hitler, apparently, was high the whole time. Under the care of Theodor Morell, a “grossly obese quack doctor with acrid halitosis and appalling body odour,” the deranged Fuehrer was almost always “pumped with as many as eighty different drugs, including testosterone, opiates, sedatives and laxatives.”

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The San Francisco Chronicle – Review of Inside the Machine by Megan Prelinger

In the excellent seventh-season “Mad Men” episode “The Monolith,” Sterling Cooper’s creative team loses its brainstorming/smoking/drinking lounge to make way for an enormous 1969 state-of-the-art office appliance. “Well, we’re getting a computer,” Roger tells Don. “It’s going to do lots of magical things, like make Harry Crane seem important.”

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Newsday – Review of The Whites by Richard Price

Early in the movie “The Blues Brothers,” Elwood tries to sell Jake on the duo’s new Bluesmobile, a used police car he picked up at auction to replace their old Cadillac. “It’s got a cop motor,” he explains. “Cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks.” This isn’t a bad way to describe what makes Richard Price’s new novel so extraordinary, either. “The Whites,” written under the pen name Harry Brandt, delivers a riveting crime tale thoroughly steeped in gritty cop irony, cop slang, cop attitudes and cop justice.

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The Washington Post – Review of Holy Cow by David Duchovny

Whenever a Hollywood celebrity publishes a novel, listen closely: You’ll hear book critics everywhere sharpening their knives. (It’s a little louder when that celebrity is James Franco.) But David Duchovny, best known for his work on “The X-Files” and “Californication,” won’t suffer a hatchet job here. His zany, madcap first novel, “Holy Cow,” which follows the publication last year of “X-Files” co-star Gillian Anderson’s first novel, is a seriously entertaining fable that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

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