Edutainment – Kris Parker

12.30.07 10 years ago 37 Comments


I read.

A lot.

Probably more than the average person but less than the weakest scholar. To be honest, I find more calm in literature than I do most types of music. I don’t particularly hang out & sip coffee at Borders and I’m not a member of any book club. How I come across books is fairly simple – some upon suggestion, others by random selection. I can spend ten minutes in a store, look @ fifty covers, recognize the names of twenty authors & read the back covers of ten…then walk out with five books to read over a two to four week span.

So with that said, here’s a few recent books I’ve read and a cursory overview, plus a “yay” or “nay” towards them. You could always read an Amazon review, but I presume you’d like an even more personal response to some of these. Therefore I’m here for you my friend.

In the comments, feel free to make suggestions for good reads as well because that’s more of the actual purpose of this post.

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem

A murder mystery with the lead character being a detective with a mean case of Tourette’s syndrome, word to Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. A little confusing at times, but that may be part of the draw.

No Lights, No Sirens: The Corruption and Redemption of an Inner City Cop
by Robert Cea

Can’t wait on The Wire or want something to read in between weekly episodes? This story of a corrupt cop & his “Redemption” is more about their crooked ways, cop slang &crackheads…and a page-turner.

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman

I actually picked this one up after seeing it recommended in Complex a few months ago. If you’re a fan of pop culture & music as a whole, this one might be for you. Any author that can effortlessly ramble & relate on topics ranging from The Dixie Chicks to the 80’s Lakers-Celts rivalry and Billy Joel. Very well-written & funny but a bit prolonged at times.

Snitch: Informants, Cooperators, and the Corruption of Justice by Ethan Brown

Personal bias aside, this book clocks in a notch under Queens Reigns Supreme. It starts as if you can plan on being completely overwhelmed by the legal jargon involved, which can be discouraging. But with poignant examples of the foul relationship between DA’s, informants & the federal guidelines that influence them, Ethan manages to break it down to a level of understanding to where you’ll be able to hold conversations on 5K motions, mandatory minimums & downward departures in sentencing guidelines. Edutainment at it’s finest.

The Book of Useless Information by Noel Botham

One of the best bathroom readerers ever. I’ve literally found myself in conversations about this book on planes, @ work & in the drive-thru line @ Dairy Queen (hey, the lady asked). One of the Amazon reviews on the first page says “I found enough false information in this book that it renders the book useless, unless you like to spend your time searching Google to verify facts…”. Motherfucker, I didn’t say I believed everything in the book…but I was damn sure entertaining & it made my mind drift, imagining some of the possibilities. Buy it used & enjoy.

How to Lose Friends & Alienate People by Toby Young

I actually picked this one up after having tried to read Carnegie’s How To Win Friends & Influence People. After a few chapters, I deemed my fate to be that I’d have a lonely funeral & that it was useless to maintain my personal Myspace because I’d rather not have friends @ the cost of reading such a boring tome.

Unless there’s some jewel hidden in the latter, pick up Young’s book instead and prepare to laugh as he details his rise & fall in New York’s print media. If you deal with the music industry, labels, promotional companies and the ilk, you will be able to relate. If you don’t, after reading this, you’ll be glad you don’t have to.


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