These are some books on pop music, mainly funk, that have really helped my drumming. They are all really fun and feature historical notes about the musicians discussed. Later I’ll post the technique books that are essential and what to get out of them.
Groove Alchemy is almost a history book, with transcriptions of important and interesting funk beats. Stanton Moore discusses many nuances and tricks that can help an advanced player and a beginner. He’s one of the great living, mid-career drummers.
Give the Drummer Some, is an in depth look at the drummers of James Brown. There are many charts and historical notes.
And last, The Funkmasters – the Great James Brown Rhythm Sections, deals with the whole ensembles. They are very dedicated to transcribing and it covers many great beats.
Incidentally I think all three of these books have a chart of Funky Drummer, as played by Clyde Stubblefield. I felt Stanton Moore’s Groove Alchemy helped me play that beat the best.