I like the E & E series. Although, I used it more for preperation for the final than I did for seeing the big picture.
I thought that Understanding Criminal Procedure was useless, but that is my opinion. I bought the book and maybe opened it 4 times. Picking through the relevant informatoin became time consuming because it covered a ton of cases that were not assigned to us. Although, if you are looking to read something to feel out the big picture, this book could be useful for you. I bought Gilberts and that worked well for me.