Merry Christmas week, all! Some book comments for you amid a busy holiday week…
The first, Police Craft is a sequel to the author’s 400 Things Cops Know, which shared insights on how cops view the world — reading body language as a cue for when someone is lying, or determining if a gun is being concealed (and where) by subtle effects on the movement of clothing. Police Craft is more general than this, offering a twenty-odd year veteran’s take on everything from the culture of The Streets to what happens during police academy bootcamp. Although it’s intended for those who are curious about police operations, Platinga works in a fair bit of humor into his recollections, as well as practical advice: he advises readers that there’s virtually no upside to speaking to police officers in a “you’ve been read your rights” situation. (There’s no upside: see You Have the Right to Remain Innocent by defense attorney James Duane, who has a youtube lecture titled “Don’t Talk to the Police”. )
Next up was Mortuary Confidential, a…..collection of funny stories from funeral directors? They’re short, varied, and amusing but insubstantial. This was amusing but nothing like Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, for instance, a reflection on how working as a funeral director had changed the author’s approach to death.
More recently I’ve been on a Rick Bragg kick, reading his All Over But the Shoutin’ and Ava’s Man, to be followed by The Prince of Frogtown; the three together constitute a family history that sheds a lot of light on the white working poor in the thirties through the sixties. Look for a combined review of those! Presently I’m reading a memoir by a Nevada state trooper, to be followed by an English lady’s trucking adventures in the US. I’m currently between three houses (tis the season for dog/cat/house-sitting!) so I’m rarely settled enough to focus on anything serious.
Anyway, here’s some Christmas music: