Wow, I got an absolute blast from the past when you mentioned Bud, Not Buddy - I remember reading it in school, and the tapes the teacher played are my earliest memories of hearing jazz. (I'm afraid I don't remember the actual book as clearly, except for some line about "Anyone ever told you you've got a peanut-shaped head?")
I haven't much familiarity with the specifics of different genres, but I do always love hearing the stories that come out when musicians are experimenting with different instruments that it turns out originated in Africa or Europe, etc, because then I end up on a Google exploration where I hear a lot of stuff that I'd never have heard of otherwise. Most recently I was listening to kalimba covers, a reworking of an African instrument, and was surprised to learn that they were adapted to make music box sounds. Now every once in a while they pop on on techno remixes or something, and it's very cool to hear these old sounds being reinvented and repurposed.