Reader reviews and comments on Losing My Cool, plus links to write your own review.

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Losing My Cool

How a Father's Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-hop Culture

by Thomas Chatterton Williams

Losing My Cool
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2010, 240 pages
    Apr 2011, 240 pages

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There are currently 21 reader reviews for Losing My Cool
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Kendra R. (New Orleans, LA) (04/14/10)

Engaging and thought provoking
I found it so engaging I read it in a day. Williams provides insight into what draws people into the hip-hop lifestyle as well as what it means to be black today. As he evolves his perspective, so follows the narrative. I'm already looking forward to rereading it and sharing it with friends so we can discuss it, black and white together.
Nancy O. (Hobe Sound, FL) (04/14/10)

When you need a bit of inspiration...
Losing My Cool is one person's story about how he learned to "interpret and navigate the world around us." There's always more out there, if you want it, and more importantly, it's attainable, as Williams shows in his touching story. This is a valuable message for everyone. It's an engrossing story -- I couldn't put it down once I'd picked it up. Williams is a talented writer -- I hope we see more from him in the future. Losing My Cool is definitely a book I would recommend to others.
Vicky S. (Torrance, CA) (04/14/10)

Questioning values
I enjoyed the questioning of values that the author experiences as he encounters a variety of other blacks or African-Americans, and non-blacks that he initially dismisses when he goes from high school to Georgetown University. The text would make for interesting book club discussions as the individuals could draw parallels to similar soul searching they have made when faced with challenges to their own values.
Rosario D. (South El Monte, CA) (04/12/10)

Losing My Cool to Hip-Hop
An interesting view at how hip-hop formed the mentality of Thomas and his friends so that their lives go hand-in-hand with the hip-hop lyrics they hear. Through the perseverance, advice, and love of his father, Thomas realizes that he can do more with his life than just listen to hip-hop and "keep it real". I really enjoyed this book, it is always nice to read a story about someone that was able to realize his/her full potential. Thomas shows us that is possible to follow ones dreams instead of doing what everyone else is doing. I also enjoyed the philosophical view of this book and believe that Thomas did a wonderful job of explain it towards the end of the book. Whether you agree or disagree with him, this is a must read in today's world where many of us are afraid to be individuals and instead decide to be part of the crowd.
Irene M. (Ashland, OR) (04/12/10)

Losing My Cool
This book is fascinating. I have not read anything that so clearly defines the peer pressure for young blacks in today's culture.
I enjoyed reading about this author's decision-making process, and the influences that took him from a hip-hop life on the streets of his home town to become a graduate of Georgetown University with major in philosophy.
Marta M. (Tustin, CA) (04/11/10)

An interesting read
I found this book very interesting. In fact I couldn't put it down and I was reading it while on vacation. On vacation I usually read fiction. The author is well educated and the book is well written. It explained a lot to me about my fifth grade students. They all fans of hip-hop music but not so much with the education. This gives me a small insight into their world. This might help me in teaching them. I liked the way he blended philosophy with the fascinating story of his life. I don't think we have heard the last of this smart young man. I think that this is an important book that should be read by all.
Terye B. (Scotts Valley, CA) (04/11/10)

How cool is cool?
This was a fascinating story on so many levels. A young black man struggles for his identity and finds it in the black culture of Hip Hop and BET television. While fitting into a crowd, a group he never gets to know his true self. When away at college he finds himself and learns to appreciate the structured, collegiate life his father was preparing him for since childhood. This true story is told in an easy tone, and brings back all the teenage struggles for acceptance and the awakening of adulthood. I would highly recommend this for a book group.
Susan R. (Dublin, NH) (04/10/10)

Anticipating the next chapters in this man's life
This thoughtful memoir is written by a young man whose mother is white and whose father is a black man who came up in the pre-integration south. When he finally got the opportunity, Mr. Williams senior embraced books and scholarship wholeheartedly.

Growing up in a relatively white NJ suburb, the author and his brother bought completely into black culture as portrayed by BET and rap music. This is the story of how he moved selectively to the norms of the larger society. It's an interesting book with a few magnificent passages.
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Beyond the Book:
  A Beginner's Guide to Hip-hop

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