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Michael Jackson’s Library: Favorite Books

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Michael Jackson’s Library at Neverland

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Michael Jackson’s Library At Neverland Recreated At The Vegas Fanfest

[EXPAND Michael’s Love For Reading In General ]

Michael’s lawyer, Bob Sanger:

And the third thing was that Michael was extremely well-read.

I didn’t know that.

No. Few people did. In trial – and I knew Michael, but I got to know him a lot better at the trial. The judge was doing jury selection, and it was time for break. Judge Melville said, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I want you to know that jury service is very, very important.’ He’s trying to convince people not to have stupid excuses to get out of jury service. All judges do this. He says, ‘The jury system is a very time-honored system. It’s been around for 200 years. We’re going to take a break and come back in 15 minutes.

We stand up and the judge leaves, and Michael turns to me and says, “Bob, the jury system is much older than 200 years, isn’t it?’ I said, ‘Well, yeah, it goes back to the Greeks.’ He says, ‘Oh yeah, Socrates had a jury trial, didn’t he?’ I said, ‘Yeah, well, you know how it turned out for him.’ Michael says, ‘Yeah, he had to drink the hemlock.’ That’s just one little tidbit. We talked about psychology, Freud and Jung, Hawthorne, sociology, black history and sociology dealing with race issues. But he was very well read in the classics of psychology and history and literature.

That’s fascinating.

He loved to read. He had over 10,000 books at his house. And I know that because – and I hate to keep referring to the case, because I don’t want the case – the case should not define him. But one of the things that we learned – the DA went through his entire library and found, for instance, a German art book from 1930-something. And it turned out that the guy who was the artist behind the book had been prosecuted by the Nazis. Nobody knew that, but then the cops get up there and say, ‘We found this book with pictures of nude people in it.’ But it was art, with a lot of text. It was art. And they found some other things, a briefcase that didn’t belong to him that had some Playboys in it or something. But they went through the guy’s entire house, 10,000 books. And it caused us to do the same thing, and look at it.

And there were places that he liked to sit, and you could see the books with his bookmarks in it, with notes and everything in it where he liked to sit and read. And I can tell you from talking to him that he had a very – especially for someone who was self-taught, as it were, and had his own reading list – he was very well-read. And I don’t want to say that I’m well-read, but I’ve certainly read a lot, let’s put it that way, and I enjoy philosophy and history and everything myself, and it was very nice to talk to him, because he was very intellectual, and he liked to talk about those things. But he didn’t flaunt it, and it was very seldom that he would initiate the conversation like that, but if you got into a conversation like that with him, he was there.

Do you remember the last time you saw him, or talked to him?

The last time I talked to him was right after the trial, and then he moved out of the country. I had not seen him personally, in person – I talked to him on the phone – since them. Of course, I talked to people around him, because we still took care of matters for him. But the best I can say, and I don’t want to oversell my significance in his world, but I want to convey this side of him that people didn’t see. I just hate – every time I hear Jay Leno or somebody take a cheap shot – and Jay Leno I think is a very funny man – but every time they take a cheap shot I think, that really isn’t fair, because that’s not who he is. And few people had an opportunity to really experience the kindness of him and his family. And few people really had the opportunity the have these intellectual discussions about great thinkers and writers. Freud and Jung – go down the street and try and find five people who can talk about Freud and Jung.

Jermaine Jackson, “You Are Not Alone”:

But it was when we first laid eyes on her library that Michael started to become the voracious reader that he was. Rose [Fine] handled each book like a precious artifact, and she was always on at us to read, read, read – and Michael heeded this advice. Few people know that my brother was a bookish nerd, always swotting up on some random subject to better his vocabulary, knowledge, or understanding of life. “I love reading. There is a wonderful world to be discovered in books,” he said. Michael’s early reading material concerned Fred Astaire or Elvis, or child stars Shirley Temple or Sammy Davis Junior. In later years, his reading extended from Steven Spielberg to Alfred Hitchcock, President Reagan to President Roosevelt, Malcolm X to Dr Martin Luther King, and Mussolini to Hitler. I doubt many people would have given him credit for the general knowledge he amassed. Except Rose [Fine.] She always taught us that we can learn from the best by following history’s lessons; that it has left the footprints for us to follow. That is why Michael’s autobiography, Moonwalk, starts with a quote from Thomas Edison:

“When I want to discover something, I begin by reading up everything that has been done along that line in the past – that’s what all these books in the library are for. I see what has been accomplished at great labor and expense in the past. I gather data of many thousands of experiments as a starting point, and then I make thousands more. “The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.”

That quote still stands as the truest reflection of Michael’s approach to his own mastery, and they were the words he actually posted in gold letters to the cloth, coffee brown walls of his sound studio at Hayvenhurst.

Frank Cascio, “My Friend Michael”:

On weekends in the city, we often went to the movies or comic book stores, but what I remember most fondly about those visits was that Michael introduced me to the joys of books. I was dyslexic, and reading had always been tough for me, but when I complained that I didn’t like to read, he said, “Well, then you will be dumb and ignorant for the rest of your life. Frank, you can do anything you want in this world, but if you don’t have knowledge, you are nothing. If I gave you a million dollars right now, would you take it? Or would you want to have the knowledge of how to make that million on your own?”

I knew the correct answer to this question. “I’ll take the knowledge.”

“That’s right. Because with knowledge you can make the first million into two.”

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND FICTION ] [EXPAND Peter Pan, by J.M Barrie]

Julien’s auction:

1911 Edition of ‘Peter Pan’ This copy of J.M. Barrie’s classic book is estimated at $50 – $100. [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

One of Michael’s all time favorite books.

Kobe Bryant, Remembering Michael, Time Special 2009

One of the things he always told me was, Don’t be afraid to be different. In other words, when you have that desire, that drive, people are going to try to pull you away from that, and pull you closer to the pack to be “normal.” And he was saying, It’s O.K. to be that driven; it’s O.K. to be obsessed with what you want to do. That’s perfectly fine. Don’t be afraid to not deviate from that. One of the books that he gave me that helped him communicate with me was Jonathan Livingston Seagull, which was about that.

Cousin Anthony Jackson on twitter, August 29th 2010:

#messagetomj I remember when you read Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach all the way through in one sitting at Disney World. Thank you for always being there for me and for teaching me to believe in dreams! We miss you..Happy birthday!

Frank Cascio, “My Friend Michael”:

One of the books Michael told me to read on the trip was Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Jonathan, out of all the seagulls saw that here was more to life than just being a seagull – more than what was right in front of him. Michael wanted to live that way – to fly beyond all expectations, to live an extraordinary life. He instilled that ambition in me, often asking me, “Do you want to be Jonathan, or one of the other birds?”

Wikipedia summary:

The book tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a seagull who is bored with the daily squabbles over food. Seized by a passion for flight, he pushes himself, learning everything he can about flying, until finally his unwillingness to conform results in his expulsion from his flock. An outcast, he continues to learn, becoming increasingly pleased with his abilities as he leads an idyllic life.

One day, Jonathan is met by two gulls who take him to a “higher plane of existence” in that there is no heaven but a better world found through perfection of knowledge, where he meets other gulls who love to fly. He discovers that his sheer tenacity and desire to learn make him “pretty well a one-in-a-million bird.” Jonathan befriends the wisest gull in this new place, named Chiang, who takes him beyond his previous learning, teaching him how to move instantaneously to anywhere else in the Universe. The secret, Chiang says, is to “begin by knowing that you have already arrived.” Not satisfied with his new life, Jonathan returns to Earth to find others like him, to bring them his learning and to spread his love for flight. His mission is successful, gathering around him others who have been outlawed for not conforming. Ultimately, the very first of his students, Fletcher Lynd Seagull, becomes a teacher in his own right and Jonathan leaves to teach other flocks.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee]


To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was instantly successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a classic of modern American literature. The plot and characters are loosely based on the author’s observations of her family and neighbors, as well as on an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936, when she was 10 years old.

The novel is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality. The narrator’s father, Atticus Finch, has served as a moral hero for many readers and as a model of integrity for lawyers. One critic explains the novel’s impact by writing, “In the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism.”

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Old Man And The Sea, by Ernest Hemingway]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Listed as one of Michael’s favorite books presented to the Young Adult Services of the Chicago Public Library in 1979, source: “Michael Jackson, The Early Years”

Amazon description:

Here, for a change, is a fish tale that actually does honour to the author. In fact The Old Man and the Sea revived Ernest Hemingway’s career, which was foundering under the weight of such post-war stinkers as Across the River and into the Trees. It also led directly to his receipt of the Nobel Prize in 1954 (an award Hemingway gladly accepted, despite his earlier observation that “no son of a bitch that ever won the Nobel Prize ever wrote anything worth reading afterwards”). A half century later, it’s still easy to see why. This tale of an aged Cuban fisherman going head-to-head (or hand-to-fin) with a magnificent marlin encapsulates Hemingway’s favourite motifs of physical and moral challenge. Yet Santiago is too old and infirm to partake of the gun-toting machismo that disfigured much of the author’s later work:

“The brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer the sun brings from its reflection on the tropic sea were on his cheeks. The blotches ran well down the sides of his face and his hands had the deep-creased scars from handling heavy fish on the cords.”

Hemingway’s style, too, reverts to those superb snapshots of perception that won him his initial fame:

Just before it was dark, as they passed a great island of Sargasso weed that heaved and swung in the light sea as though the ocean were making love with something under a yellow blanket, his small line was taken by a dolphin. He saw it first when it jumped in the air, true gold in the last of the sun and bending and flapping wildly in the air.

If a younger Hemingway had written this novella, Santiago most likely would have towed the enormous fish back to port and posed for a triumphal photograph–just as the author delighted in doing, circa 1935. Instead his prize gets devoured by a school of sharks. Returning with little more than a skeleton, he takes to his bed and, in the very last line, cements his identification with his creator:

“The old man was dreaming about the lions.”

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Rip Van Winkle, by Washington Irving]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Listed as one of Michael’s favorite books presented to the Young Adult Services of the Chicago Public Library in 1979, source: “Michael Jackson, The Early Years”

Link to the text on Google Read

Amazon Description:

Rip van Winkle is an amiable man whose home and farm suffer from his lazy neglect; a familiar figure about the village, he is loved by all except his wife. One autumn day he escapes her nagging to wander up into the mountains, and there after drinking some liquor offered to him by a band of very strange folk, he settles down under a shady tree and falls asleep. He wakes up twenty years later and returns to his village to find that not only is his wife dead but war and revolution have changed many things. He, on the other hand, although older is not appreciably wiser and soon slips back into his idle habits. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” tells of conscientious schoolmaster Ichabod Crane. Orderly and strict in school, out of school his life is disorderly and his head full of fearful fantasies. He is in love with the beautiful Katrina but has a rival for her hand, a dashing young hero who, together with his prankster friends, plays on Ichabod’s superstitions, notably with the story of a headless horseman who haunts the region. Tragedy strikes when their hapless victim encounters just such an apparition when returning home one dark and especially dismal night…Three equally compelling stories, “The Spectre Bridegroom”, “The Pride of the Village” and “Mountjoy”, complete this collection of classic tales from the inspired pen of Washington Irving, one of America’s greatest writers.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Verger, by Somerset Maugham]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Listed as one of Michael’s favorite books presented to the Young Adult Services of the Chicago Public Library in 1979, source: “Michael Jackson, The Early Years”

Link to text of story.

Amazon description:

THE VERGER When a lowly verger is fired because of his illiteracy, it turns out to be his lucky day.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Complete Works of O. Henry]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Listed as one of Michael’s favorite books presented to the Young Adult Services of the Chicago Public Library in 1979, source: “Michael Jackson, The Early Years”

Description on Wikipedia:

O. Henry’s stories are famous for their surprise endings, to the point that such an ending is often referred to as an “O. Henry ending.” He was called the American answer to Guy de Maupassant. Both authors wrote twist endings, but O. Henry stories were much more playful. His stories are also well known for witty narration. Most of O. Henry’s stories are set in his own time, the early years of the 20th century. Many take place in New York City and deal for the most part with ordinary people: clerks, policemen, waitresses.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Fans who visited the Los Olivos area relaying stories from the people who worked there about Michael visiting:

We quickly narrowed in on the antique store where I had previously met Dorothy, the owner of the Mole Hole who had met Michael several times.

Dorothy had also shared that Michael would take day trips out to Solvang, walk the streets, poke around and shop. He especially loved the book store, ‘Grand Tales’, which is no longer there but was on the corner next to the Mole Hole when Michael lived at Neverland. One day he was on just such a visit and entered the book store looking for his favorite book, ‘The Reluctant Dragon’ by Kenneth Grahame. She knew already from previous conversations with Michael this was his favorite book and made sure to keep them on hand. He would enter, she would greet him and then immediately smile and point him right toward the book. She said he liked to just stand in the store and read the books but also bought many. Dorothy was eager to share with me that Michael was a valued member of the community and gave generously to the local Rotary and also donated many items for auction to raise money for the town. You can always tell a true fan of Michael’s by the look on their face when they talk about him, and in Dorothy I saw that look of deep love and admiration on her face as she happily and freely talked about Michael Jackson. She shared that Michael was always polite, kind and generous. She jumped at the chance to share about one time in particular that clearly showed Michael’s sweet and considerate character. He clearly was just out shopping, looking for some quiet time and dropped into the bookstore. She had just pointed him toward his favorite book when suddenly patrons and tourists in town began to realize it was Michael Jackson. Soon he was surrounded by a crowd. Dorothy discreetly approached him and quietly offered to shut down the store so he could shop freely in peace. His response was an emphatic, “No, No this is your business!”, then stood there for hours, all afternoon, signing autographs and giving hugs. He never left once to take a break, get a drink or go to the bathroom. He just gave LOVE all day long. Yes, this was the kind heart of Michael Jackson.

Wikipedia description:

The Reluctant Dragon is an 1898 children’s story by Kenneth Grahame, which served as the key element to the 1941 feature film with the same name from Walt Disney Productions.

The story takes place in the Berkshire Downs in Oxfordshire (where the author lived and where, according to legend, St George did fight a dragon).

In Grahame’s story, a young boy discovers an erudite, poetry-loving dragon living in the Downs above his home. The two become friends, but soon afterwards the dragon is discovered by the townsfolk, who send for St George to rid them of it. The boy introduces St George to the dragon, and the two decide that it would be better for them not to fight. Eventually, they decide to stage a fake joust between the two combatants. St George harmlessly spears the dragon, and the townsfolk rejoice (though not all of them, as some had placed bets on the dragon winning). St George then reveals that the dragon is reformed in character, and assures the townsfolk that he is not dangerous. The dragon is then accepted by the people.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Red Balloon, by Albert Lamorisse]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Listed as one of Michael’s favorite books presented to the Young Adult Services of the Chicago Public Library in 1979, source: “Michael Jackson, The Early Years”

Amazon Description:

A magical book that has become an enduring children’s classic, The Red Balloon is the story of a young boy and his best friend–a bright red balloon. Chock-full of photographs of the boy, the balloon and the captivating city of Paris.

A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND They Cage the Animals at Night, by Jennings Michael Burch]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, They Cage The Animals At Night, Jennings Michael Burch

Hollywood Reporter:

The Hollywood Reporter reports that three months before Jackson’s June 25th death, the singer had signed on to put up $8 million and co-direct an indie film about foster kids to be titled They Cage the Animals at Night that was based on a book by Jennings Michael Burch. Writer/director Bryan Michael Stoller tells the Reporter Jackson felt close to the story because his own childhood was tumultuous: “Michael told me often he felt like he grew up as an orphan, like a foster kid, because he never was in one home. To him every hotel was like a different foster home. He said he used to sit in the window and see kids playing outside and cry because he couldn’t be part of that.”

Though Jackson insiders deny the singer had an official agreement to work on the film, Stoller says Jackson brought author Burch to Neverland for an interview, which Stoller filmed and is looking to release now. The writer/director adds he and Jackson watched many movies together at Neverland, and To Kill a Mockingbird was the star’s favorite.

Barnes and Noble Description:

One rainy day in Brooklyn, Jennings Michael Burch’s mother, too sick to care for him, left him at an orphanage, saying only, “I’ll be right back.” She never returned. Shuttled through a series of bleak foster homes and institutions, he never remained in any of them long enough to make a friend. Instead, Jennings clung to a tattered stuffed animal, his sole source of warmth in a frightening world. This is the poignant story of his lost childhood. But it is also the triumphant tale of a little boy who finally gained the courage to reach out for love-and found it waiting for him.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein]

Michael famously named the tree in Neverland that he would write songs in “The Giving Tree,” a reference to this book:

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

“I called it my giving tree because it inspires me. I love climbing trees in general but this tree I loved the most because I climb up high and look down at its branches and I just love it… So many ideas. I’ve written so many songs from this tree. I wrote “Heal the World” in this tree, “Will you be there”, “Black or White”, “Childhood”. I love climbing trees. I think water balloon fights and climbing trees.. those are two of my favorites.” – Michael Jackson

Also found stored in the Vaccaro vault

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon description:

To say that this particular apple tree is a “giving tree” is an understatement. In Shel Silverstein’s popular tale of few words and simple line drawings, a tree starts out as a leafy playground, shade provider, and apple bearer for a rambunctious little boy. Making the boy happy makes the tree happy, but with time it becomes more challenging for the generous tree to meet his needs. When he asks for money, she suggests that he sell her apples. When he asks for a house, she offers her branches for lumber. When the boy is old, too old and sad to play in the tree, he asks the tree for a boat. She suggests that he cut her down to a stump so he can craft a boat out of her trunk. He unthinkingly does it. At this point in the story, the double-page spread shows a pathetic solitary stump, poignantly cut down to the heart the boy once carved into the tree as a child that said “M.E. + T.” “And then the tree was happy… but not really.” When there’s nothing left of her, the boy returns again as an old man, needing a quiet place to sit and rest. The stump offers up her services, and he sits on it. “And the tree was happy.” While the message of this book is unclear (Take and take and take? Give and give and give? Complete self-sacrifice is good? Complete self-sacrifice is infinitely sad?), Silverstein has perhaps deliberately left the book open to interpretation. (All ages) –Karin Snelson

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Complete Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson ]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Owner of Bookstore “Dutton’s Books in Brentwood,”

“He loved the poetry section,” Dave Dutton said as Dirk chimed in that Ralph Waldo Emerson was Jackson’s favorite. “I think you would find a great deal of the transcendental, all-accepting philosophy in his lyrics.”

Wikipedia summary on Emerson’s work:

Emerson wrote on a number of subjects, never espousing fixed philosophical tenets, but developing certain ideas such as individuality, freedom, the ability for humankind to realize almost anything, and the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world. Emerson’s “nature” was more philosophical than naturalistic; “Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul.”

While his writing style can be seen as somewhat impenetrable, and was thought so even in his own time, Emerson’s essays remain among the linchpins of American thinking, and Emerson’s work has greatly influenced the thinkers, writers and poets that have followed him. When asked to sum up his work, he said his central doctrine was “the infinitude of the private man.”

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, by Edgar Allan Poe]

As seen on a shelf in a room at Neverland:




This single volume brings together all of Poe’s stories and poems, and illuminates the diverse and multifaceted genius of one of the greatest and most influential figures in American literary history.


Auctioned by Bonhams for $8,500, June 2011

publ. Viking, 1998, a number of pages with passages underlined and annotated in various pens by Michael, providing an insight into his view of the world, with comments such as Make yourself respected, a God Demand Worship and No more talking silence is more powerful, and you create your own circumstances even in the manner in wich you are treated and looked upon, and deer are special because they hide if they walked the streets like dogs no one would care the moon comes every night so people don’t care to look to the heavens Haleys Comet,the fact it comes once in a lifetime makes it important

Amazon Description:

Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this piercing work distills three thousand years of the history of power in to forty-eight well explicated laws. As attention-grabbing in its design as it is in its content, this bold volume outlines the laws of power in their unvarnished essence, synthesizing the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun-tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, and other great thinkers.

Some laws teach the need for prudence (“Law 1: Never Outshine the Master”), the virtue of stealth (“Law 3: Conceal Your Intentions”), and many demand the total absence of mercy (“Law 15: Crush Your Enemy Totally”), but like it or not, all have applications in real life.

Illustrated through the tactics of Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, P. T. Barnum, and other famous figures who have wielded–or been victimized by–power, these laws will fascinate any reader interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Suzi Nash, 1976:

In later years, on her way to visit Jackson during one of his Philadelphia concert gigs, Suzi grabbed an old book from her parents’ shelf without noticing the title. She just wanted to give Jackson a gift and she remembered his fondness for antique tomes. As fate would have it, it was “As a Man Thinketh,” a 1902 volume by James Allen.

“He looked at me and almost kind of jumped back. He said, ‘What made you give me this? What made you pick this one?,’” said Suzi.

He told her it was his “favorite book in the world.” The title is based on Chapter 23, Verse 7 of the Bible’s Book of Proverbs: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.”

Amazon description:

A long-standing classic in the field of self-help, this book is a must read for anyone interested in bettering themselves. The human mind is more powerful than most people know and this book provides readers with a major key in teaching us how to use it properly. Thoughts are what truly control your life, and this book can well be considered a kind of “owner’s manual” for the mind. The teachings are simple but powerful. Chapters include Thought and Character, Effect of Thought on Circumstances, Effect of Thought on Health and the Body, Thought and Purpose, The Thought-Factor in Achievement, Visions and Ideals, and Serenity.


[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, the power of positive thinking, Norman Vincent Peale

Frank Cascio, “My Friend Michael”:

The first book Michael had me read was The Power of Positive Thinking. I saw how the ideas in hat book connected to some of the things that Michael had been talking about. I was intrigued, and just like that the barrier between me and reading was broken.

Amazon description:

The phenomenal and inspiring bestseller by the father of positive thinking. THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING is a practical, direct-action application of spiritual techniques to overcome defeat and win confidence, success and joy. Norman Vincent Peale, the father of positive thinking and one of the most widely read inspirational writers of all time, shares his famous formula of faith and optimism which millions of people have taken as their own simple and effective philosophy of living. His gentle guidance helps to eliminate defeatist attitudes, to know the power you possess and to make the best of your life.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Gift of Acabar, by Og Mandino]

Michael’s signed copy from 1979 on auction

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon description:

All Tulo had wanted was some light and warmth to sustain him and his tiny sister through the terrible storm. But the star which he caught in the folds of his red kite promised far from more than that. Here is the shining, joyful message meant not only for the boy but for all those who dream of changing their lives for the better.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Leaders Of Men: Types And Principles Of Success, As Illustrated In The Lives And Careers Of Famous Americans Of The Present day, by Henry Woldmar Ruoff]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Listed as one of Michael’s favorite books presented to the Young Adult Services of the Chicago Public Library in 1979, source: “Michael Jackson, The Early Years”

Amazon description:

It is a tiny book and it is a treasure. First published in 1968, Og Mandino’s classic The Greatest Salesman in the World remains an invaluable guide towards a philosophy of salesmanship. Mandino has a clear, simple writing style that supports his purpose: to make the principles of sales known to a wide audience. A parable set in the time just prior to Christianity, The Greatest Salesman in the World weaves mythology with spirituality into a much-needed message of inspiration in this culture of self-promotion. Mandino believes that in order to be a good salesperson, you must believe in yourself and the work which you are doing. It is a simple but profound spiritual philosophy about how to succeed in the world’s marketplace, easily understood and easy to take to heart. –Jodie Buller –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Your Creative Power, by Alex Osborn]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Review on ProfitAdvisors:

Your Creative Power is a classic exploration of the subject of creativity and generating ideas. It was originally released in 1948. The book is in the public domain. When you read the techniques and examples in the book, it is striking how they continue to be useful and relevant today. You could simply drop in the names of today’s businesses and tell very similar stories.

Alex Osborn became the executive vice president of BBDO, an advertising agency in 1939. In 1959, he founded the Creative Education Foundation, which was sustained by the royalties from his books. He also co-founded the Creative Education Foundation’s Creative Problem Solving Institute, the world’s longest-running international creativity conference.

According to Osborn, there are two types of thinking: judicial thinking and creative thinking. Judicial or logical thinking is a screening process, passing judgment on whether ideas are good or not. This type of thinking dominates the executive suites of most companies. Creative thinking is a free flow. It’s best used to generate ideas with no screening until after as many ideas as possible are generated.

An essential piece of the idea generation process is writing them down as you or a group thinks of them. Sometimes you can list hundreds of ideas, and finally the best one comes out.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Reach Out for a New Life, by Robert Harold Schuller]

Found stored in the Vaccaro vault

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon review:

He brings a clear awareness of the Bible verse, as a man thinketh in his heart so is he, by writing, “Your self-concept is the core of your personality.” Another truth from the Bible of which we’re reminded is that God plans and guides the circumstances and events in our lives long before we become aware of what’s going on.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Hagakure: The Book Of The Samurai, by T. Yamamoto]

Wikipedia Description:

Hagakure (Kyūjitai: 葉隱; Shinjitai: 葉隠; meaning Hidden by the Leaves or hidden leaves) is a practical and spiritual guide for a warrior, drawn from a collection of commentaries by the samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo, former retainer to Nabeshima Mitsushige, the third ruler of what is now the Saga prefecture in Japan. Tsuramoto Tashiro compiled these commentaries from his conversations with Tsunetomo from 1709 to 1716; however, it was not published until many years afterwards. Hagakure is also known as The Book of the Samurai, Analects of Nabeshima or Hagakure Analects.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND 365 Exercises For The Mind, by Pierre Berloquin]


Amazon link.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Books by Sri Aurobindo ]

Wesley Snipes:

Wesley: Subsequently [after Bad] I met him many times around the world. Man, I met him one time in South Africa and we were sitting in this palatial space. He happened to be there, I happened to be there. We sat and we started talking and chopping up, we chopped it up for like three hours, and he had a list of books, lined up all along the floor, and I looked over and I said, ‘Yo, Mike, are people just sending you stuff like that?’ and he says, ‘No, that’s what I read.’ I mean, he had everything, from the autobiography of Malcolm X, Eat To Live, he had Sri Aurobindo, [Kalki] Krishnamurthy, I mean, like these exotic books, you know? That you would never imagine Michael was down with. And we sat there three hours man, chopping it up about all of this, from metaphysics to psychology, ‘how the black man is treated.’ I was looking at him, like…
Interviewer: How the black man is treated?
Wesley: I’m telling you, it was a trip.
Interviewer: Eat To Live by Elijah Muhammad?
Wesley: Yes, sir.
Interviewer: Wow.
Wesley: Mike, Mike… people don’t know about Mike on the real. Mike had a consciousness that could blow your mind and he could recite things that could blow your mind as well. From like the street corner stuff.
Interviewer: Really?
Wesley: Straight up.


Sri Aurobindo (Sri Ôrobindo) (15 August 1872 – 5 December 1950), was an Indian nationalist, freedom fighter, philosopher, yogi, guru and poet. He joined the Indian movement for freedom from British rule, for a while became one of its influential leaders and then turned into a spiritual reformer, introducing his visions on human progress and spiritual evolution.

Aurobindo studied for the Indian civil service at King’s College, Cambridge. After returning to India he took up various civil service works under the Maharaja of Baroda and started to involve himself in politics. While in politics he was imprisoned by British India for writing articles against British rule. He was released when no evidence was provided. During his stay in the jail he reputedly had mystical and spiritual experiences, after which he moved to Pondicherry, leaving politics for spiritual work.

During his stay in Pondicherry, Aurobindo evolved a new method of spiritual practice, which he called Integral Yoga. The central theme of his vision was the evolution of human life into a life divine. He believed in a spiritual realisation that not only liberated man but also transformed his nature, enabling a divine life on earth. In 1926, with the help of his spiritual collaborator, Mirra Alfassa (“The Mother”), he founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. He died on 5 December 1950 in Pondicherry. He was the first Indian to create a major literary corpus in English.

His main literary works are The Life Divine, which deals with theoretical aspects of Integral Yoga; Synthesis of Yoga, which deals with practical guidance to Integral Yoga; and Savitri, an epic poem which refers to a place in the Mahabaratha, where its characters actualise integral yoga in their lives. His works also include philosophy, poetry, translations and commentaries on the Vedas, Upanishads and the Gita.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Books by Kalki Krishnamurthy ]

Wesley Snipes:

Wesley: Subsequently [after Bad] I met him many times around the world. Man, I met him one time in South Africa and we were sitting in this palatial space. He happened to be there, I happened to be there. We sat and we started talking and chopping up, we chopped it up for like three hours, and he had a list of books, lined up all along the floor, and I looked over and I said, ‘Yo, Mike, are people just sending you stuff like that?’ and he says, ‘No, that’s what I read.’ I mean, he had everything, from the autobiography of Malcolm X, Eat To Live, he had Sri Aurobindo, [Kalki] Krishnamurthy, I mean, like these exotic books, you know? That you would never imagine Michael was down with. And we sat there three hours man, chopping it up about all of this, from metaphysics to psychology, ‘how the black man is treated.’ I was looking at him, like…
Interviewer: How the black man is treated?
Wesley: I’m telling you, it was a trip.
Interviewer: Eat To Live by Elijah Muhammad?
Wesley: Yes, sir.
Interviewer: Wow.
Wesley: Mike, Mike… people don’t know about Mike on the real. Mike had a consciousness that could blow your mind and he could recite things that could blow your mind as well. From like the street corner stuff.
Interviewer: Really?
Wesley: Straight up.


Kalki was the pen name of R. Krishnamurthy (September 9, 1899–December 5, 1954), a noted Tamil writer, film & music critic, Indian independence activist and journalist from Tamil Nadu, India.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Aid To Bible Understanding ]


Julien’s Auction:

A hard cover copy of Aid to Understanding the Bible (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1971) marked “Michael Jackson” on the interior of the front cover in Michael Jackson’s hand.


A Jehovah’s Witness guide to the Bible “Containing Historical, Geographical, Religious and Social Facts Concerning Bible Persons, Peoples, Places, Plant and Animal Life, Activities, and so forth.”


Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

MJ Neverland Memorabilia Show

[EXPAND Malcolm X, by Alex Haley]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon description:

Malcolm X’s searing memoir belongs on the small shelf of great autobiographies. The reasons are many: the blistering honesty with which he recounts his transformation from a bitter, self-destructive petty criminal into an articulate political activist, the continued relevance of his militant analysis of white racism, and his emphasis on self-respect and self-help for African Americans. And there’s the vividness with which he depicts black popular culture–try as he might to criticize those lindy hops at Boston’s Roseland dance hall from the perspective of his Muslim faith, he can’t help but make them sound pretty wonderful. These are but a few examples. The Autobiography of Malcolm X limns an archetypal journey from ignorance and despair to knowledge and spiritual awakening. When Malcolm tells coauthor Alex Haley, “People don’t realize how a man’s whole life can be changed by one book,” he voices the central belief underpinning every attempt to set down a personal story as an example for others. Although many believe his ethic was directly opposed to Martin Luther King Jr.’s during the civil rights struggle of the ’60s, the two were not so different. Malcolm may have displayed a most un-Christian distaste for loving his enemies, but he understood with King that love of God and love of self are the necessary first steps on the road to freedom. –Wendy Smith

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Negro Caravan, by Sterling A. Brown]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Anthology of African American literature.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Black Heroes of The 20th Century, by Jessie Carney Smith]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon Description:

A landmark compendium of African American achievement over the past 100 years, this text explores the lives and work of 150 men and women who have profoundly influenced our culture. Through their inspirational stories, Smith presents a compelling means for African American individuals to further explore their rich heritage and for all Americans to reflect upon a century of accomplishment. 150 photos.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America, by James Allen]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland
Notes on this book in the Julien Catalogue:

With 10 pages containing Jackson’s mediation on the pages, Including the underlining and highlighting of certain passages, as well as the words, “Wow,” “Sad,” “Wrong,” “Hateful” and “Sick” in the margins repeatedly.

Amazon Description:

These images make the past present. They refute the notion that photographs of charged historical subjects lose their power, softening and becoming increasingly aesthetic with time. These images are not going softly into any artistic realm. Instead they send shock waves through the brain, implicating ever larger chunks of American society and in many ways reaching up to the present. They give one a deeper and far sadder understanding of what it has meant to be white and to be black in America. And what it still means. — New York Times, January 13,2000

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Black in America, by Eli Reed]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon Description:

Photographer Eli Reed documents the black experience in America, from tender moments between parents and children and the deceptive innocence of rural life, to the tensions of the urban drug scene. His work seeks to show the truth, in images of black America pictured with anger and compassion.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND King: A Photobiography of Martin Luther King Jnr, by Charles Johnson, Bob Adelman]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon Description:

The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement is well documented in prose, but for sheer emotional power, nothing can compare to the pictures from this era. It’s a challenge for a writer’s words to match the force of Bob Adelman’s photographs in this book, but novelist and essayist Charles Johnson rises to the task in his treatment of King’s life and death, as well as the heroic struggle of African Americans in the United States. Johnson, the author of Middle Passage (which won the 1990 National Book Award), offers an exceptional counterpoint to the stirring images with the depth and weight of his essays and captions. “How soon we forget that King was not only a civil rights activist,” Johnson writes, “but also this country’s preeminent moral philosopher, a spiritual aspirant, a father and a husband, and that these diverse roles–these multiple dimensions of his too brief life–were the foundations for his singular ‘dream’ that inspired millions worldwide.”

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND In Praise of Black Women, Volume 1: Ancient African Queens, by Simone Schwarz-Bart ]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon description:

Novelists Simone Schwarz-Bart (Between Two Worlds; The Bridge of Beyond) and Andr‚ Schwarz-Bart (The Last of the Just) present volume one of a four-part work that will be published over the next three years entitled In Praise of Black Women: Ancient African Queens, translated from the French by Rose-Myriam R‚jouis and Val Vinokurov and featuring a foreword by Howard Dodson, director of New York’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. A blend of oral tradition, historical accounts and 600 vivid illustrations creatively arranged and bordered by informative sidebars, this enchanting work transports the reader back in time and gives a voice to the little-known black women of the past, like Yennenga, Mother of the Mossi People. Subsequent volumes will cover slavery in the Americas and the Caribbean, modern African women and modern women of the diaspora.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Face of Our Past: Images of Black Women from Colonial America to the Present, by Kathleen Thompson and Hilary MacAustin ]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon description:

Ordinary black women, more than any other group in America, have been left out of history. As Darlene Clark Hine points out in her introduction to this powerful and affecting book, “disseminating a visual history is more important with Black women, perhaps, than with any other single segment of the American population. We know all too well what this society believes black women look like. The stereotypes abound, from the Mammy to the maid, from the tragic mulatto to the dark temptress. America’s perceptions of Black women are colored by a host of derogatory images and assumptions that proliferated in the aftermath of slavery and, with some permutations, exist even today. We have witnessed the distortion of the image of black women in movies and on television. We have seen black women’s faces and bodies shamed and exploited. What we have not seen is the simple truth of their lives. This book will help to eradicate, or at least to dislodge, the many negative and dehumanizing stereotypes and caricatures of Black women that inhabit our consciousness.

What do black women look like? What do they look like at work or with their families? What faces do they choose to present to the world, and what faces has the world forced them to acquire? We can look in vain to most pictorial histories of America and even of African America for images of Black women. With noteworthy exceptions, even scholarly studies in Black women’s history tend to include few, if any, photographic images. Of the images that previously have been presented in print, the majority have been of famous Black women.

The Face of Our Past brings the ordinary Black woman to center stage, showing how she lives, loves her family, works to survive, fights for her people, and expresses her individuality. In addition to 302 cartefully chosen images, Kathleen Thompson and Hilary Mac Austin provide quotations from letters, diaries, journals, and other sources

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Brown Sugar: Over 80 Years of America’s Black Female Superstars ]


Amazon Description:

With a wink or a nod, a shake of their shoulders or hips, America’s “Dark Divas,” “Sepia Sirens,” “Black Beauties” have acted out fantastic stories full of whispers and secrets. They have played with the myths, created legends, turned the social order topsy-turvy. One thing is certain: in 20th- and 21st-century America, an impressive lineup of African American women have dazzled and delighted the world with their energy and style.

Who are these great women of the stage and screen? the singers, dancers, comediennes, actresses? In this groundbreaking book, Donald Bogle narrates a sweeping history and describes a remarkable tradition that was largely unknown or not understood – or simply unacknowledged.

Each of the women in Brown Sugar has a perfected public personality uniquely her own – Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Josephine Baker, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Fredi Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, Katherine Dunham, Marian Anderson, Moms Mabley, Eartha Kitt, Dorothy Dandridge, Leontyne Price, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Cicely Tyson, Tina Turner, Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Bassett, Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, Halle Berry, Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans, Lil’ Kim, Alicia Keyes, Beyoncé Knowles, and many others.

Diva style has sometimes been part put-on, part come-on, part camp, and part reflection of an authentic African American cultural tradition. Haughtiness, control, shrewdness, energy, extravagance, optimism, and humor are all a part of it. “Dazzle your audience,” they seemed to say, “but never lose your cool.”

Yet, there are often the tears behind the mask, the hideous realities of racism and exploitation, the pain hiding behind the smile, the concealed anxieties, private lives in ruins: all the obstacles and pressures involved in making it to the top.

Always, however, there is the redemption through these women’s art.

In these pages are the incandescent women who have lit up Broadway and movie screens; turned clubs, cafés, concert halls, and televisions aglow with their particular brand of black magic; sold millions of cds and dvds; and are the subjects of endless fascination in the tabloids and on the Internet.

Onstage and off, the lives of these captivating women, their follies and fortunes, trials, tragedies, transformations, and triumphs, their inimitable style, have become a cherished part of our own.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Before the Mayflower, by Lerone Bennet Jr]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Friend Steve Manning:

He loved “Before the Mayflower”, by Lerone Bennet Jr. His parents always instilled Black history in him.

Amazon description:

“…one of the top 10 influential black books…Highly recommended.” — Black History 365, Volume Two Issue Two, Autumn 2008. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Traces black history from its origins in western Africa, through the transatlantic journey and slavery, the Reconstruction period, the Jim Crow era, and the civil rights movement, to life in the 1990s.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND How To Eat To Live by Elijah Muhammad ]


Elijah Muhammad led the Nation of Islam and mentored Malcolm X, Luis Farrakhan, and Muhammad Ali.

Wesley Snipes:

Wesley: Subsequently [after Bad] I met him many times around the world. Man, I met him one time in South Africa and we were sitting in this palatial space. He happened to be there, I happened to be there. We sat and we started talking and chopping up, we chopped it up for like three hours, and he had a list of books, lined up all along the floor, and I looked over and I said, ‘Yo, Mike, are people just sending you stuff like that?’ and he says, ‘No, that’s what I read.’ I mean, he had everything, from the autobiography of Malcolm X, Eat To Live, he had Sri Aurobindo, [Kalki] Krishnamurthy, I mean, like these exotic books, you know? That you would never imagine Michael was down with. And we sat there three hours man, chopping it up about all of this, from metaphysics to psychology, ‘how the black man is treated.’ I was looking at him, like…
Interviewer: How the black man is treated?
Wesley: I’m telling you, it was a trip.
Interviewer: Eat To Live by Elijah Muhammad?
Wesley: Yes, sir.
Interviewer: Wow.
Wesley: Mike, Mike… people don’t know about Mike on the real. Mike had a consciousness that could blow your mind and he could recite things that could blow your mind as well. From like the street corner stuff.
Interviewer: Really?
Wesley: Straight up.

Amazon Description:

How To Eat To Live, Book 1 By Elijah Muhammad For more than 30 years, messenger Elijah Muhammad has been teaching the so-called Negroes of America on the proper foods to eat to improve their mental power, physical appearance, for prevention of illness, curing of ailments and prolonging life. Given the humble, economic conditions of the blacks in America, an inexpensive, yet highly nutritional diet was given to them by Elijah Muhammad. Before the health craze that has swept the country, Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam were head of the curve as far back as the early 30’s. This is the first of two books written with this simple, yet revolutionary way of eating.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The White Problem in America, by JET magazine authors]



On display in his room at Neverland.

Printed in JET magazine in 1965, link to full text here, link to Amazon page here.

Discussion of the issues in racism and white privilege, the intro begins:

The depth and intensity of the race problem in America is, in part, a result of a 100 year flight from that unpalatable truth. It was a stroke of genius really for white Americans to give Negro Americans the name of their problem, thereby focusing attention on symptoms (the Negro and the Negro community) instead of causes (the white man and the white community).

When we say that the causes of the race problem are rooted in the white American and the white community, we mean that the power is the white American’s and so is the responsibility. We mean that the white American created, invented the race problem and that his fears and frailties are responsible for the urgency of the problem.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Reflections in Black, by Deborah Willis ]


Amazon description:

“[N]othing less than an epic of Homeric proportions….Willi s’s magnificent gathering of images…rewrites American history.”—Robin D. G. Kelley
Reflections in Black, the first comprehensive history of black photographers, is a groundbreaking pictorial collection of African American life. Featuring the work of undisputed masters such as James VanDerZee, Gordon Parks, and Carrie Mae Weems among dozens of others, this book is a refutation of the gross caricature of black life that many mainstream photographers have manifested by continually emphasizing poverty over family, despair over hope. Nearly 600 images offer rich, moving glimpses of everyday black life, from slavery to the Great Migration to contemporary suburban life, including rare antebellum daguerrotypes, photojournalism of the civil rights era, and multimedia portraits of middle-class families. A work so significant that it has the power to reconfigure our conception of American history itself, Reflections in Black demands to be included in every American family’s library as an essential part of our heritage. A Los Angeles Times and Washington Post Book World Best Book of 2000, and a Good Morning, America best gift book of 2000. 600 duotone photographs, 32 pages of color.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality? by Cheikh Anta Diop (1989)]


Amazon description:

Now in its 30th printing, this classic presents historical, archaeological, and anthropological evidence to support the theory that ancient Egypt was a black civilization.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Black Dance in America: A History Through Its People, by James Haskins (1990) ]


Amazon description:

Despite the enduring influence of black dance on American culture, few writers have documented it. Haskins ( Mr. Bojangles: The Biography of Bill Robinson ) fills this curious void admirably. Without assuming a previous knowledge of dance, he begins at the beginning–the compulsory dancing African slaves were forced to do on board ships bound for the New World in the 17th and 18th centuries–and follows the story almost to the present day, discussing the very different achievements of Katherine Dunham, Pearl Primus, Arthur Mitchell, Chubby Checker, Gregory Hines and many others. The author considers the persistent racism faced by black American dancers in pursuing their careers (even today, few are members of major ballet companies, for example), but his account is utterly free of cant, presenting a clear picture of trials endured and triumphs met. The history is inclusive and up-to-date, save for very recent events (the death of Alvin Ailey, Judith Jamison’s appointment to head his company, and the current financial woes of the Dance Theater of Harlem). The book should be of interest to young readers and adults alike. 12-up.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Hotel Book: Great Escapes Africa ]

Seen with it in his car, 2003:



Amazon Description:

Whether you’ve always dreamed of a vacation in Africa or never even considered it, take one look through this book and you’ll be planning your next five holidays before you know it. Our selection of the most splendid getaway havens nestled throughout the continent is sure to please even the most finicky would-be voyagers. Everything you need to know about each hotel, including pricing, services, contact information, and reading recommendations, is provided alongside opulent interior and exterior photographs. Who minds sleeping under a mosquito net when it’s royally draped over your bed in a lush Kenyan open-walled hut fashioned from tree trunks and shielded from the sun by a sumptuous thatched roof? Or how about your very own South African A-frame beachside bungalow made of bamboo stalks? Seeing is believing, for sure, but even with the photos as evidence these places are not to be believed.

Countries included:

South Africa

[/EXPAND] [/EXPAND] [EXPAND POETRY ] [EXPAND The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran]


Amazon description:

Gibran [1887 – April 10, 1931] was a Lebanese American artist, poet, and writer. He is chiefly known in the English speaking world for his 1923 book “The Prophet”, a series of philosophical essays written in English prose. An early example of Inspirational fiction, the book sold well despite a cool critical reception, and became extremely popular in the 1960s counterculture. Much of Gibran’s writings deal with Christianity, especially on the topic of spiritual love. His poetry is notable for its use of formal language, as well as insights on topics of life using spiritual terms. “The Prophet” is of composed of twenty-six poetic essays. The book became especially popular during the 1960s with the American counterculture and New Age movements. Since it was first published in 1923, it has never been has never been out of print. Having been translated into more than forty languages, it was one of the bestselling books of the twentieth century in the United States. Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Robert Burns poems – “Ae Fond Kiss, And Then We Sever”, “Tom O’Shanter”]


David Gest:

TROUBLED superstar Michael Jackson helped make a pop album of Robert Burns poems.

Lifelong pal David Gest said they recorded it at Jackson’s studio in California with top artists giving a 21st century twist to the Bard’s lyrics.

He says Jackson is in love with the poetry of Burns and helped pay for it to be put to music.

Burns died in 1796 and his poems were recently described by Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman as “sentimental doggerel”.

But Gest, 55, believes his works are as relevant today as ever. He said: “Our favourite poet in the world is Robbie Burns.

“Michael and I were originally going to do a musical on his life with Gene Kelly directing and Anthony Perkins as executive producer – but they both died.

“So Michael and I put all the poems to contemporary music in his studio in Encino.

“We did Ae Fond Kiss, Tam O’Shanter and all that. We turned his work into show tunes. It is beautiful and I still have the recordings. I am thinking more and more about bringing Red, Red Rose back to life because I went on that bridge when I was last in Scotland looking for Tam O’Shanter.

“I felt like I was a little kid looking for all those things Burns wrote about and the curator let me lay on the bed Burns slept in at his family home. The alarm went off. It was really surreal because Michael and I think of him as one of the most brilliant minds ever.”

David Gest, Sky News

An album of Burns poetry is not true, “I had said in an interview that years ago that Michael had put the poetry to music for a show I had been working on.”

Gest said he spoke to Michael two days before, and said “Do you know you’re going to be doing an album of poems?” to which Michael apparently laughed and joked about it.

Ae Fond Kiss, And Then We Sever

Type: Song
Tune: Rory Dall’s Port.

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee.
Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerful twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me.

I’ll ne’er blame my partial fancy,
Naething could resist my Nancy:
But to see her was to love her;
Love but her, and love for ever.
Had we never lov’d sae kindly,
Had we never lov’d sae blindly,
Never met-or never parted,
We had ne’er been broken-hearted.

Fare-thee-weel, thou first and fairest!
Fare-thee-weel, thou best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, Enjoyment, Love and Pleasure!
Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!
Ae fareweeli alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Poetry by Rabindranath Tagore]

Deepak Chopra, Huffington Post, June 26th 2009

That person, whom I considered (at the risk of ridicule) very pure, still survived — he was reading the poems of Rabindranath Tagore when we talked the last time, two weeks ago

Wikipedia Description:

Author of Gitanjali and its “profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse”, he became the first non-European Nobel laureate by earning the 1913 Prize in Literature. In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and mercurial; his seemingly mesmeric persona, floccose locks, and empyreal garb garnered him a prophet-like aura in the West. His “elegant prose and magical poetry” remain largely unknown outside Benga

A link to all the poems of Rabindranath:

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Sufi Poetry]

Deepak Chopra, Huffington Post, June 26th 2009

When we first met, around 1988, I was struck by the combination of charisma and woundedness that surrounded Michael. He would be swarmed by crowds at an airport, perform an exhausting show for three hours, and then sit backstage afterward, as we did one night in Bucharest, drinking bottled water, glancing over some Sufi poetry as I walked into the room, and wanting to meditate.


Sufi poetry has been written in many languages, both for private devotional reading and as lyrics for music played during worship, or dhikr. Themes and styles established in Punjabi Poetry, Sindhi Poetry, Arabic poetry and mostly Persian poetry have had an enormous influence on Sufi poetry throughout the Islamic world, and is often part of the Sufi music.

Link to various famous Sufi poems.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Thoughts of Love: A Collection of Poems on Love, by Susan Polis Schutz]
Found in the Vaccaro vault

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon description:

Published 1983

When thoughts of love take up residence in your heart, they bring wonderful feelings of happiness, hope, and tenderness. They transform the world around you into a place where dreams really do come true; they bring a special beauty to each season of your life. Yet as powerful as these thoughts are, they aren’t always easy to express.

THOUGHTS OF LOVE is for anyone who has ever been at a loss for words to describe the overwhelming emotions created by love. The poems and writings collected here portray and celebrate love in all its many facets. This book is a beautiful gift to give, receive, and share between two hearts that know all the happiness a loving relationship can bring.

“Love is an understanding that is so complete that you feel as if you are a part of the other person, accepting the other person just the way they are, and not trying to change them to be something else. Love is the source of unity.” – Susan Polis Schutz

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Children’s Hour, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow]

Printed on his souvenir letter set of Neverland.

The Children’s Hour

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day’s occupations,
That is known as the Children’s Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O’er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Tyger, by William Blake]

Printed in the “Thriller 25” book.

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Bridge of Sighs, by Thomas Hood ]
Michael was inspired to write “Little Susie” based on this poem.

One more Unfortunate,
Weary of breath,
Rashly importunate,
Gone to her death!

Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care;
Fashion’d so slenderly
Young, and so fair!

Look at her garments
Clinging like cerements;
Whilst the wave constantly
Drips from her clothing;
Take her up instantly,
Loving, not loathing.

Touch her not scornfully;
Think of her mournfully,
Gently and humanly;
Not of the stains of her,
All that remains of her
Now is pure womanly.

Make no deep scrutiny
Into her mutiny
Rash and undutiful:
Past all dishonour,
Death has left on her
Only the beautiful.

Still, for all slips of hers,
One of Eve’s family—
Wipe those poor lips of hers
Oozing so clammily.

Loop up her tresses
Escaped from the comb,
Her fair auburn tresses;
Whilst wonderment guesses
Where was her home?

Who was her father?
Who was her mother?
Had she a sister?
Had she a brother?
Or was there a dearer one
Still, and a nearer one
Yet, than all other?

Alas! for the rarity
Of Christian charity
Under the sun!
O, it was pitiful!
Near a whole city full,
Home she had none.

Sisterly, brotherly,
Fatherly, motherly
Feelings had changed:
Love, by harsh evidence,
Thrown from its eminence;
Even God’s providence
Seeming estranged.

Where the lamps quiver
So far in the river,
With many a light
From window and casement,
From garret to basement,
She stood, with amazement,
Houseless by night.

The bleak wind of March
Made her tremble and shiver;
But not the dark arch,
Or the black flowing river:
Mad from life’s history,
Glad to death’s mystery,
Swift to be hurl’d—
Anywhere, anywhere
Out of the world!

In she plunged boldly—
No matter how coldly
The rough river ran—
Over the brink of it,
Picture it—think of it,
Dissolute Man!
Lave in it, drink of it,
Then, if you can!

Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care;
Fashion’d so slenderly,
Young, and so fair!

Ere her limbs frigidly
Stiffen too rigidly,
Decently, kindly,
Smooth and compose them;
And her eyes, close them,
Staring so blindly!

Dreadfully staring
Thro’ muddy impurity,
As when with the daring
Last look of despairing
Fix’d on futurity.

Perishing gloomily,
Spurr’d by contumely,
Cold inhumanity,
Burning insanity,
Into her rest.—
Cross her hands humbly
As if praying dumbly,
Over her breast!

Owning her weakness,
Her evil behaviour,
And leaving, with meekness,
Her sins to her Saviour!

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran]

Mentioned in a 1978 interview with Patrick Salvo.

Summary via wikipedia:

Research on sales figures is difficult to come by, but sources in the publishing world report that behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu, Khalil Gibran is the third most widely read poet in history, having been translated into well over 40 languages. The Prophet is in its 163rd printing and has sold over 100 million copies since its original publication in 1923. The Prophet is one of the best-selling books of all time

The prophet, Al-Mustafa who has lived in the foreign city of Orphalese for 12 years is about to board a ship which will carry him home. He is stopped by a group of people, with whom he discusses topics such as life and the human condition. The book is divided into chapters dealing with love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death.

[/EXPAND] [/EXPAND] [EXPAND BIOGRAPHIES ON ICONS ] [EXPAND Abraham Lincoln, by Carl Sandburg]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Listed as one of Michael’s favorite books presented to the Young Adult Services of the Chicago Public Library in 1979, source: “Michael Jackson, The Early Years”

Amazon Description:

Originally published in six volumes, Sandburg’s Abraham Lincoln was called “the greatest historical biography of our generation.” Sandburg distilled this work into one volume that became the definitive life of Lincoln. Index; photographs.
About the Author
CARL SANDBURG (1878-1967) was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize, first in 1940 for his biography of Abraham Lincoln and again in 1951 for Complete Poems. Before becoming known as a poet, he worked as a milkman, an ice harvester, a dishwasher, a salesman, a fireman, and a journalist. Among his classics are the Rootabaga Stories, which he wrote for his young daughters at the beginning of his long and distinguished literary career.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Lincoln’s Devotional, by Carl Sandburg]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Barnes and Nobles description:

Originally published in 1852, this book is a faithful textual reproduction of the spiritual book of days carried by President Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln is famous to us for phrases and attitudes ringing with biblical references. He had internalized the music and the morality of the Bible–quite possibly by means of a book he signed and carried in his pocket called The Believer’s Daily Treasure. Reprinted in its entirety, this book provides proof of Lincoln’s deeply religious character.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND James Dean: An American Icon, by David Loehr]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon Description:

This hagiographic work contains an enormous collection of hitherto unpublished photos showing Dean as a child, student and actor both on Broadway and in his three major Hollywood films (East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant). The text is a melange of quotations from previous eulogists and of pretentious attempts to analyze Dean’s attraction. PW remarked: “Dean’s insatiable fans will doubtless be sucked in by this ridiculous scrapbook’s elegant layout.”

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND My Life in Pictures, by Charlie Chaplin]
Listed in Julien’s Auction:

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Lennon in America: 1971-1980, Based in Part on the Lost Lennon Diaries, by Geoffery Giuliano]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon Description:

In an attempt to build the most “human” Lennon composite–libidinous, possibly bisexual, drug-addled, self-loathing and Yoko-controlled–Giuliano (Glass Onion, Two of Us, etc.) spent 16 years interviewing Beatles insiders, listening to rare audiotapes, amassing Lennon’s personal correspondence and examining his much-talked-about unpublished diaries, of which Giuliano obtained a copy in 1983. “Can you imagine,” the longtime Beatles biographer gasps in his introduction, “what it feels like to hold in your hand a document you know has the power to change the course of Beatles history completely and forever?” After trumpeting a publishing revolution, he then warns readers that they “will not find in this book the voice of John Lennon as quoted from his diaries.” Nor will they find paraphrases, because Lennon’s entries “were often incomplete thoughts and snippets–the exact meaning of which is difficult to discern.” If Giuliano’s own double-talk isn’t enough to diminish this work’s credibility, his endless, voyeuristic descriptions of Lennon’s sexual encounters are. Giuliano believes that Lennon’s mother, Julia, who allegedly placed her son’s hand on her breast when he was 14 years old, is to blame for his hero’s idiosyncrasies. At first Giuliano’s intentions to give Lennon admirers “some truth” seem earnest, but in the end it seems that he seeks only to shock. “It’s very unhealthy to live through anybody,” Lennon said after Elvis’s death, but Giuliano keeps trying to worm his way into Lennon’s soul in this crude, predictable exhumation. 70 b&w photos not seen by PW. (May)

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics, by Alan Aldridge]




The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics is the only major collection of illustrated Beatles lyrics available. Originally published in 1969, this book has become a symbol of an era, a must-have for Beatles fans and a brilliant tribute to the band that changed a generation. Quotes from John, Paul, George and Ringo provide candid, witty, insightful commentary on the songs and their origins. Clarification of controversial lyrics is offered by the only true authorities, the Beatles themselves. All the famous songs are included from Can t Buy Me Love and A Hard Day s Night to Rocky Raccoon, Revolver and Yellow Submarine Lavish full colour illustrations by internationally famous artists and specially commissioned photographs reflect the psychedelic world the Beatles lived in and the whole generation and pop culture they influenced.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Glass Onion: The Beatles In Their Own Words, by Geoffrey Giuliano]


Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, Glass onion The Beatles in their own words

Amazon Description:

Glass Onion consists of exclusive, rare, and uncensored transcripts of press conferences, letters, FBI memos, interviews, and dozens of previously unpublished photos. Here are the inimitable voices and views of John, Paul, George, and Ringo, juxtaposed alongside those of Yoko Ono, Linda McCartney, Pete Best, Julian Lennon, Brian Epstein, Billy Preston, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Ravi Shankar, Denny Laine of Wings, and many others. In this volume, readers will discover an early 1960s letter from George to Stuart Sutcliff; Elvis Presley badmouthing the Beatles to President Richard Nixon; John’s open letter to Paul after the rancorous Beatles’ break-up; a conversation between Lennon and Samuel Beckett; Lennon’s last will and testament; George Martin and Jeff Lynn discussing the Beatles’ twentieth-anniversary reunion; Paul’s feelings on God, John, and Linda’s death in 1998; and much more.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Lost Lennon Interviews, by Giuliano]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon Description:

Featuring rare, exclusive interviews with John Lennon, taken during the period when he produced some of his greatest work with the Beatles, divorced Cynthia Lennon and married Yoko Ono, and overcame a short-lived heroin addiction, The Lost Lennon Interviews offers new insight into this timeless and troubled hero. 200 photos.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Things We Said Today: Conversations with the Beatles, by Geoffrey Giuliano]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon Description:

Things We Said Today features rare interviews with The Beatles that open an extraordinary window into the issues that mattered most: war, sex, religion, and their relationships with each other. The book also includes interviews with Beatles insiders, including John Lennon’s family and Yoko Ono, as well as fascinating press releases and newspaper articles that chronicle their evolution into musical giants. Candid, provocative, illuminating, this is a welcome reissue of a ‘must-read’ book for Beatles fans.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Elvis Day By Day, by Peter Guralnick]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon Description:

On the heels of Peter Guralnick’s acclaimed two-volume study of the rise and fall of Elvis Presley (Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love) comes a book that chronicles the same epic tale in a manner that’s far less weighty than the preceding tomes, but almost as telling. For this quick-hit chronology of the Elvis story, Guralnick and his collaborator, archivist/record producer Ernst Jorgensen, were given access to 35 tons of Presley flotsam that included everything from his first income tax return to a mother lode of unpublished candids. Freed from a narrative structure, the authors chronicle the cultural icon through snippets that capture the mundane (Elvis gets his first Tupelo Public Library card, February 13, 1948) and remarkable (Elvis enlists in the battle against drugs when meeting President Nixon in the White House, December 21, 1970). Little by little, the fragments fit together to form the picture of a man hurtling toward the precipice (March 24, 1977: “Elvis’s stage wardrobe is limited to two jumpsuits that he can fit into”). In this sense, Day by Day’s scrapbook appearance is deceiving; this is serious business, indeed. –Steven Stolder

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Rolling Stones: A Life on the Road]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon Description:

This is the Rolling Stones’ official story of life on the road, their home away from home for over thirty years, created with the exclusive cooperation of the band, their management, and a select few of their closest colleagues. The Rolling Stones–Mick, Keith, Charlie, Ron, Bill–tell their story in an incredibly candid first-person account which is complemented by hundreds of rare photographs. For this major project, the Stones looked to Dora Loewenstein, the daughter of their business manager, Prince Rupert Loewenstein. Having virtually grown up with them, she enjoys their confidence and support and has been entrusted to present their touring history, from its beginning in 196263 at small, local gigs, to their infamous world tours, culminating with their 199798 Bridges to Babylon tour. In a vivid text, based on extensive interviews conducted by Jools Holland, the Stones reminisce and comment on their experiences, the music, and the relationships which give the band its unique and enduring personality. The Stones’ sidemen, such as sax player Bobby Keys, and long-term associates also add their stories to the mix. The dazzling array of photographs are drawn from the Stones’ own archives and from untapped collections throughout the world. The Rolling Stones: A Life on the Road is the story, quite simply, of the greatest rock-and-roll band in the world doing what they do best.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Bruce Lee: The Celebrated life of the Golden Dragon, by John Little ]

Listed in Julien’s Auction:

Amazon Description:

The first compilation of Bruce Lee photographs published in association with the Bruce Lee estate. This book reveals the full range of Lee’s talents. It includes rare photos spanning from his early stage career in Hong Kong to his worldwide success as an actor and martial arts phenomenon. Selected with the assistance of Lee’s widow, Linda Lee Cadwell, Bruce Lee expert John Little presents a photographic record, accompanied by descriptive commentary, of all facets of this fascinating man, from the start of his career to his untimely death a quarter century ago. Included are photos from Bruce’s personal family photos, from his childhood years, through the early years in Hollywood, to the peak of his career as an international star.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Elia Kazan: A Life, by Elia Kazan ]

Elia Kazan Wikipedia description:

Kazan introduced a new generation of unknown young actors to the movie audiences, including Marlon Brando and James Dean. Most noted for drawing out the best dramatic performances from his actors, he directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, resulting in nine wins. He became “one of the consummate filmmakers of the 20th century”, after directing a continual string of successful films, including, A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), On the Waterfront (1954), and East of Eden (1955). During his career, he won two Oscars as Best Director and received an Honorary Oscar, won three Tony Awards, and four Golden Globes. Among the other new actors he introduced to movie audiences were Warren Beatty, Carroll Baker, Julie Harris, Andy Griffith, Lee Remick, Rip Torn, Eli Wallach, Eva Marie Saint, Martin Balsam, Fred Gwynne, and Pat Hingle. He also elicited some of the best performances in the careers of actors like Natalie Wood and James Dunn. Producer George Stevens, Jr., concludes that Kazan’s films and new actors have “changed American moviemaking”

Amazon description:

Elia Kazan’s varied life and career is related here in his autobiography. He reveals his working relationships with his many collaborators, including Harold Clurman, Lee Strasberg, Clifford Odets, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, James Dean, John Steinbeck and Darryl Zanuck, and describes his directing “style” as he sees it, in terms of position, movement, pace, rhythm and his own limitations. Kazan also retraces his own decision to inform for the House Un-American Activities Committee, illuminating much of what may be obscured in McCarthy literature.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Songs My Mother Taught Me, by Marlon Brando ]

Amazon Description:

Songs My Mother Taught Me has much to offer. First, it’s beautifully illustrated, beginning before the text with 24 pages of photographs covering Brando’s early life, continuing with a number of well-placed photos documenting various film shoots, and concluding with 32 pages of photographs near the end. Brando’s account of his early years rings true as he records the frailties of his alcoholic parents. His anecdotes about work and play are entertaining and memorable, and he addresses the many social causes he has championed. It’s an interesting, albeit incomplete, work: according to coauthor Lindsey, Brando promised to “hide nothing . . . except his marriages and his children.” (So many marriages, so many children.) Readers of Manso can’t come here to find Brando’s side of his marital troubles or the perplexing murder of his daughter’s husband at the hands of his son. But they will find insight into the life of a man who was definitely a contender.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Steps In Time, by Fred Astaire ]

Amazon Description:

One of the foremost entertainers of the twentieth century—singer, actor, choreographer, and, of course, the most dazzling “hoofer” in the history of motion pictures—Fred Astaire was the epitome of charm, grace, and suave sophistication, with a style all his own and a complete disregard for the laws of gravity. Steps in Time is Astaire’s story in his own words, a memoir as beguiling, exuberant, and enthralling as the great artist himself, the man ballet legends George Balanchine and Rudolf Nureyev cited as, hands down, the century’s greatest dancer.

From his debut in vaudeville at age six through his remarkable career as the star of many of the most popular Hollywood musicals ever captured on celluloid, Steps in Time celebrates the golden age of entertainment and its royalty, as seen through the eyes of the era’s affable and adored prince. Illustrated with more than forty rare photographs from the author’s personal collection, here is Astaire in all his debonair glory—his life, his times, his movies, and, above all, his magical screen appearances and enduring friendship with the most beloved of all his dancing partners, Ginger Rogers.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND My Autobiography, by Charlie Chaplin ]

Amazon Description:

Born into a theatrical family, Chaplin’s father died of drink while his mother, unable to bear the poverty, suffered from bouts of insanity, Chaplin embarked on a film-making career which won him immeasurable success, as well as intense controversy. His extraordinary autobiography was first published in 1964 and was written almost entirely without reference to documentation – simply as an astonishing feat of memory by a 75 year old man. It is an incomparably vivid reconstruction of a poor London childhood, the music hall and then his prodigious life in the movies.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Goldwyn: A Biography by A. Scott Berg]

Amazon description:

Samuel Goldwyn was the premier dream-maker of his era, and in this lavishly-praised biography, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author of Lindbergh and Max Perkins: Editor of Genius offers a life story as rich with drama as anything found on the silver screen…

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Kindly Leave the Stage: Story of Variety, by Roger Wilmut ]



This study of the English variety stage and its star performers draws on the memories of a wide range of people who worked both on the stage and behind the scenes. The book also quotes extracts from the songs, sketches, monologues and cross-talk acts of the period.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Duse: A Biography, by William Weaver ]

On a shelf in Neverland:



Eleonora Duse, Italian actress, 1858-1924:

Her biographer, Frances Winwar, records that Duse wore little make-up but, “…made herself up morally. In other words, she allowed the inner compulsions, grief and joys of her characters to use her body as their medium for expression, often to the detriment of her health.”

Setting a new precedent from actors who previously used set expressions to convey emotions, Duse was the innovator of a technique she described as “elimination of self” to internally connect with the character she was portraying and allow expression to occur.

Over the course of her career, Duse became well-known and respected for her assistance to young actors and actresses during the early stages of their careers. Among diverse artistic geniuses who acknowledged being inspired by Duse are modern dance pioneer Martha Graham and Imagist poetry pioneer Amy Lowell.

Duse’s relationship with the dancer Isadora Duncan was also rumored to be sexual. Duse spent several weeks with her at Viareggio, the seaside resort, in 1913, shortly after the dancer’s two children drowned in a tragic accident.

She was also known for mentoring many young actresses in her company, most notably Emma Gramatica; and she shared a lasting and intimate friendship with the singer Yvette Guilbert. She also savored a long friendship with the couturier Jean Philippe Worth, who was utterly devoted to her.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences, by Sir Frederick Treves ] elephantmanandother

Lewistone Morning Tribute, February 22nd 1988

Singer Michael Jackson bought a rare volume about the so called Elephant Man during a visit to a bookstore whose owners knew of Jackson’s attempt to buy the skeleton of the turn of the century Londoner. Jackson has been here for the past two weeks rehearsing at the Pensacola Civic Center for a national tour that beings Tuesday at Kansas City, Mo.

Moonean and Owen Farley invited Jackson to visit their antiquarian bookstore and offered him a first edition copy of The Elephant Man And Other Stories by Sir Frederick Treves, the physician who befriended John Merrick, a turn of the century Londoner whose gross deformities led to his nickname.

Amazon description:

The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences is a book devoted to the personal memoirs of Sir Frederick Treves, 1st Baronet (15 February 1853 – 7 December 1923), a prominent British surgeon of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, now known for his friendship with Joseph Merrick, “the Elephant Man”.

Frederick Treves was born 15 February 1853 in Dorchester, Dorset, the son of William Treves, an upholsterer, and his wife Jane. As a small boy, he attended the school run by the Dorset dialect poet, William Barnes. He became a surgeon, specialising in abdominal surgery, at the London Hospital in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Treves performed the first appendectomy in England, on 29 June 1888.

He married Ann Elizabeth Mason in 1877.

In 1884, Treves first saw Joseph Merrick, known as the Elephant Man, being exhibited by showman Tom Norman in a shop across the road from the London Hospital. Around 1886 Treves brought Merrick to the London Hospital where Merrick lived until his death in April 1890. Treves’ reminiscences mistakenly names Joseph Merrick as John Merrick, an error widely recirculated by biographers of Merrick.

During the Second Boer War (1899–1902), Treves volunteered to work at a field hospital in South Africa treating the wounded. He later published an account of his experiences in The Tale of a Field Hospital, based on articles written at the time for the British Medical Journal.

In May 1901, Treves was appointed Serjeant Surgeon to King Edward VII. The coronation of the new king was scheduled for 26 June, but on 24 June, Edward was diagnosed with appendicitis. Treves, with the support of the leading surgical authority, Lord Lister, performed a then-radical operation of draining the infected appendix through a small incision. This was at a time when appendicitis was generally not treated operatively and carried a high mortality rate. The King had opposed surgery for this reason but Treves insisted, stating that if he was not permitted to operate, there would instead be a funeral. The next day, Edward was sitting up in bed, smoking a cigar.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Soulful Divas: Personal Portraits of Over a Dozen Divine Divas, from Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin & Diana Ross to Patti Labelle, Whitney Houston & Janet Jackson ]


Author David Nathan:

By way of introduction, Bob gave Michael a copy of my 1999 book “The Soulful Divas”. He perused the chapter contents, smiling at Aretha’s name and then suddenly, stopped in his tracks by seeing the Nina Simone chapter. “Oh, it’s that woman!” he declared. “I met her once on a plane and she started yelling at me! I didn’t know who she was and I thought she was some mad woman until someone told me it was Nina Simone. She was so angry at me, she made me cry.”

Amazon Description:

The best-selling guide to the lives and work of the R&B divas, now in paperback! In The Soulful Divas, author David Nathan profiles the greatest female rhythm and blues vocalists of the past 30 years as never before with an unforgettable collection of fascinating, personal biographies. He celebrates such legendary performers as Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Whitney Houston, and others in provocative, behind-the-scenes portraits based on his long-standing personal relationships with these legendary women. The result is a hugely entertaining, candid look at the ups and downs of each performer’s career-as well as an intriguing view of how these unforgettable women made a powerful mark on an essentially white, male-dominated industry.

[/EXPAND] [/EXPAND] [EXPAND HISTORY ] [EXPAND White Nights: The Story Of A Prisoner In Russia, by Menachem Begin]

Found stored in the Vaccaro vault

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland


The Israeli Prime Minister’s dramatic account of his experience in the U.S.S.R.-arrest, imprisonment, interrogation, labor camp, release as a Polish citizen-during World War II. Published in English in 1979

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Rest Of Us: The Rise Of America’s Eastern European Jews, by Stephen Birmingham]

Found stored in the Vaccaro vault

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon description:

THE REST OF US is the third panel of Stephen Birmingham’s Jewish triptych (OUR CROWD and THE GRANDEES)–the story of Eastern European Jews who, between 1882 and 1915, thronged into New York to escape the pogroms of czarist Russia.

From Ellis Island, these immigrants poured into the Lower East Side. To established German Jews, this horde was an embarassment and a burden. But the Russians had a passion to succeed and soon they stood on their own.

They made it in an astonishingly short time–from the pushcarts of Hester Street to the Grand Concourse and on to the manicured lawns of Scarsdale and Beverly Hills, “from Poland to polo in one generation.”

[/EXPAND] [/EXPAND] [EXPAND MUSIC ] [EXPAND Blues Who’s Who: A Biographical Dictionary of Blues Singers, by Sheldon Harris ]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon Description:

Based on 18 years of research and writing, this reference book provides a comprehensive guide to the history of country, city, folk and rock blues. Covering all eras and styles, it features detailed biographies of 571 blues artists, 450 photographs and many pages of facts. Features of the book include various indices (of radio, TV, film, and theatre appearances; song titles; artist and place names), an extensive list of record company names and addresses, and various bibliographies (of out-of-print books and periodicals, and magazines currently available). The account of each artist includes a biographical history as well as a critical evaluation and list of principal influences.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Billboard Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock: Expanded and Updated Edition, by Colin Larkin]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon Description:

“B” is for Beatles, Boomtown Rats, Beck and beyond! Thoroughly revised, updated, and expanded, The Billboard Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock delivers more than half-a-million words, displays 600 dramatic full-color photographs, and features a range of artists that includes practically every rock performer and pop personality, from The King himself to contemporary Latin-American sensation Shakira.

A wealth of essential facts and honest opinions fill each of the 400 pages that comprise this rock-and-roll resource. Whether icons or bygones, influential or infamous, this informed, intelligent guide provides information on more than 1,700 artists. Plus, this latest edition features more than 200 new entries (including controversial chart-topper Eminem, teen queen Britney Spears, Grammy sensation Alicia Keys, and critics’ darlings The White Stripes. What’s more, the Encyclopedia includes an unparalleled comprehensive end-of-book discography for every artist covered.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Stravinsky In The Theater, by Minna Lederman]

Composer Igor Stravinsky, regarded as one of the most influential composer’s of the 20th century.

Amazon Description:

Presents the reminiscences of the composer’s associates concerning memorable productions as well as studies of the operas, ballets, and oratorios.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Recording Studio Design, by Phillip Newell]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Waterstones Description:

Philip Newell’s comprehensive reference work contains pearls of wisdom which anyone involved in sound recording will want to apply to their own studio design. He discusses the fundamentals of good studio acoustics and monitoring in an exhaustive yet accessible manner. “Recording Studio Design” covers the basic principles, their application in practical circumstances, and the reasons for their importance to the daily success of recording studios. All issues are approached from the premise that most readers will be more interested in how these things affect their daily lives rather than wishing to make an in-depth study of pure acoustics. Therefore frequent reference is made to examples of actual studios, their various design problems and solutions. Because of the importance of good acoustics to the success of most studios, and because of the financial burden which failure may impose, getting things right first time is essential. The advice contained in “Recording Studio Design” offers workable ways to improve the success rate of any studio, large or small. It is a comprehensive overview of the principles of recording studio design and their practical application. nYou can improve the potential of your studio with expert advice on design and monitoring. Complex issues are explained in accessible language and illustrated with examples from actual studios.


Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland
Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

These are among the many rare first-edition and out-of-print Disney books Jackson collected and stored in his library. “He had thousands of Disney books that he had bought, that people had given him, that Disney had given him,” Miko Brando says. “He studied and read them. He knew a lot about Disney, one of his biggest heroes.” Michael didn’t limit himself to books. “He collected everything Walt Disney fromA to Z. When we’d go to Disneyland, he’d buy a lot of souvenirs. Anything Disney, he had it.”

The Art Of Walt Disney: From Mickey Mouse To The Magic Kingdoms
Walt Disney’s Treasury of Children’s Classics
Mickey Mouse by Pierre Lambert
The Quotable Walt Disney
Discover Walt: The Magical Life of Walt Disney
Disney’s World: A Biography, by Leonard Moslev
Walt Disney: An American Original
Walt Disney: Famous Quotes
Of Mice And Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, by Leonard Maltin
The Updated Official Encyclopedia: Disney A to Z [/EXPAND] [EXPAND ABOUT MOVIES ] [EXPAND The Complete Films of Cecil B. Demille, By Gene Ringgold]
Listed in Julien’s Auction:

Wikipedia Description of Cecil:

Cecil Blount DeMille (August 12, 1881 – January 21, 1959) was an American film director and Academy Award-winning film producer in both silent and sound films. He was renowned for the flamboyance and showmanship of his movies. Among his best-known films are Cleopatra; Samson and Delilah; The Greatest Show on Earth, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture; and The Ten Commandments, which was his last and most successful film.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND A Pictorial History of Horror Movies, by Denis Gifford] Michael’s gift to one of the make up artists on the set of The Wiz:

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at NeverlandMichael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at NeverlandMichael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Julien’s auction notes:

Michael Jackson inscribed copy of “A Pictorial History of Horror Movies by Denis Gifford published in October 1977, given to make-up artist and horror-film aficionado Michael Thomas.

Inscription reads, “To Mike, I think the greatest preasent [sic] in the world is a book that is fitting to the desire. So freak yourself out! Love Michael Jackson 77 Wiz.”

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Acting Class, by Milton Katselas ]

Gift from Marlon Brando to Michael.


Amazon link to book.

Wikipedia entry on Katselas:

Milton Katselas (December 22, 1933 – October 24, 2008) was an American film director and famous Hollywood coach for The Beverly Hills Playhouse. He taught such stars as Gene Hackman, Jason Beghe, Jenna Elfman, George Clooney, Alec Baldwin, Giovanni Ribisi, Tom Selleck, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ted Danson, Tony Danza, Jeffrey Tambor, Gene Reynolds, Tyne Daly, Mel Harris, Catherine Bell, Sofia Milos, Elizabeth Sung, Doris Roberts, Sheetal Sheth and others.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND MGM’s Greatest Musicals, by Hugh Fordin]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon Description:

M-G-M’s Greatest Musicals (originally published as The World of Entertainment! Hollywood’s Greatest Musicals) is not a biography of Arthur Freed (1894–1973), producer of the most outstanding series of musicals in motion picture history, but a turbulent, behind-the-scenes, film-by-film account of the making of his movies (which, to the exclusion of all else, were his life). From 1940 to 1970, under the auspices of M-G-M’s celebrated Freed Unit, Hollywood’s master actors, writers, directors, choreographers, composers, and set designers created The Wizard of Oz, Girl Crazy, Meet Me in St. Louis, Annie Get Your Gun, An American in Paris, Show Boat, Singin’ in the Rain, Gigi, and nearly forty others. The author brings to vivid life the unexpected crises and everyday magic of the Freed Unit. Richly detailed, profusely illustrated with hundreds of rare photos, this book describes the lives and careers Freed touched and often shaped—Judy Garland, Vincente Minnelli, Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers, and others like Saroyan, Berlin, Kern, Gershwin—and in the process reveals how a romantic, sentimental man became the uncontested master of the movie musical.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND 70 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards by Robert A. Osborne ]

Michael Jackson's Library Favorite Books, library at Neverland

Amazon Description:

The only book officially sanctioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, this hefty tome presents the history of the movies through the lens of the industry’s central organizing body. On May 4, 1927, AMPAS came into formal existence, and since then it has served as the primary forum for addressing industry-wide issues and honoring the achievements of those involved in motion picture making.

[/EXPAND] [/EXPAND] [EXPAND COSTUME ] [EXPAND Costumes By Karinska, by Toni Bentley ]

On a shelf in a room at Neverland:



This volume chronicles the life and work of Barbara Karinska, an emigre Russian aristocrat whose career as a costume designer for a wide range of theatrical genres spanned 45 years in Europe and the USA. The anecdotal text is supplemented by 240 photographs and costume sketches.


Stage Costume Advice
Love of a Glove, by CC Collins 1945
Scenic design
Costume Cavalcade
The History Of Costume [/EXPAND] [EXPAND NATURE AND ANIMALS ] [EXPAND Animal Language, by Michael Bright ]

Shielding his face with it in 1988:


Michael Bright was an author of more than 55 books on natural histoy, and is a director at the BBC’s History Unit.

Link to book on Amazon.

[/EXPAND][/EXPAND] [EXPAND PHOTOGRAPHY AND ART ] [EXPAND Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor Paperback, by Lewis Hine ]


Bernt Capra:

“Michael Jackson was very well read and he loved art, and he knew his photography, and he liked this photographer, Lewis Hine, who had been a social worker in the depression era and shot photographs of victims of child labor – four, five, six year olds working in mills and mines. He was also very well known for a collection of photos of the construction of the Empire State Building which are very valuable now. Michael loves this guy and he based “The Way You Make Me Feel” choreography and set design on the photos of the men constructing steel beams as if they were on the top of a skyscraper having a lunch break.”

Amazon description:

From Publishers Weekly
Hine photographed underprivileged child laborers from 1908-1918; their depleted faces look out from almost every page. “Freedman does an outstanding job of integrating historical photographs with meticulously researched and highly readable prose,” said PW in a starred review. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 5 Up-Using the photographer’s work throughout, Freedman provides a documentary account of child labor in America during the early 1900s and the role Lewis Hine played in the crusade against it. He offers a look at the man behind the camera, his involvement with the National Child Labor Committee, and the dangers he faced trying to document unjust labor conditions. Solemn-faced children, some as young as three years old, are shown tending looms in cotton mills or coated with coal dust in the arresting photos that accompany the explanations of the economics and industries of the time. Both Freedman’s words and quotes from Hine add impact to the photos, explaining to contemporary children the risky or fatiguing tasks depicted. Details such as Hine’s way of determining children’s height by measuring them against his own coat buttons add further depth and a personal touch to the already eloquent statements made by his thoughtfully composed black-and-white portraits. Also included are some of the photographer’s other projects throughout his career. Readers will not only come to appreciate the impact of his groundbreaking work, but will also learn how one man dedicated and developed his skill and talents to bring about social reform.
Susan Knorr, Milwaukee Public Library, WI
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Lewis W. Hine: The Empire State Building by Lewis Hine ]


Bernt Capra:

“Michael Jackson was very well read and he loved art, and he knew his photography, and he liked this photographer, Lewis Hine, who had been a social worker in the depression era and shot photographs of victims of child labor – four, five, six year olds working in mills and mines. He was also very well known for a collection of photos of the construction of the Empire State Building which are very valuable now. Michael loves this guy and he based “The Way You Make Me Feel” choreography and set design on the photos of the men constructing steel beams as if they were on the top of a skyscraper having a lunch break.”

Amazon Description:

From Library Journal
Margaret Bourke-White and Lewis W. Hine were both imaginative, disciplined, and successful photographers in an era when the medium was finely positioned as an art form. Both these volumes also give visual evidence of their recording of time and place through personal courage. Bourke-White is famous for her daring vantage points, confirmed by the shot of her perched on one of the aluminum eagles high atop the Chrysler Building in New York as she photographed its streamlined details. Hine likewise positioned himself and his camera above New York as the Empire State Building was bolted together. The collection of Bourke-White’s work is well produced, with deep tones and fine clarity, reminding those who admire her great gifts of composition and darkroom skill of her significance in the history of photography. Newcomers to her travels and her work will quickly discover a photojournalist and industrial artist whose professional journey left a stunning record of the century. Still fresh and visually exciting after 70 years, Hine’s images capture the glory of the Empire State Building and the aerial gymnastics of the steelworkers who built its skeleton. Though focusing on one building may seem confining, Hine’s array of photographs from steel framing to completion; Freddy Langer’s essay about the photographer, the skyscraper, and New York in the 1930s; and a chronology of the Empire State Building’s “life” in the city make for a useful and pleasing volume. Both books are recommended.?David Bryant, New Canaan P.L., CT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Planet Vegas : A Portrait of Las Vegas by 20 of the World’s Leading Photographers: Rick Browne, James Marshall ]

MJ shopping in Beverly Hills, LA, 1997:


Amazon description:

Every year nearly 30 million people from across America and around the world make a pilgrimage to a strange and wonderful land of beauty and mystery buried deep in the heart of the desert. It is a city of bright lights, soaring imagination, and hopes and dreams, filled with magnificent palaces, brilliant performers, beautiful showgirls, and wild and exotic animals. It is a place where fortunes are made and lost and made again in a single night, a place where Elvis and Liberace live on beyond the grave, and it is, perhaps, the only place in the world where you don’t have to wait `til morning to tell the one you love, “I do.” Welcome to Planet Vegas!

Planet Vegas is the most spectacular and comprehensive photographic celebration of Las Vegas ever undertaken. In more than 200 stunning color photographs, from twenty of the world’s leading photojournalists, Planet Vegas captures the beauty, grandeur, and complexity of this glorious fantasy land of neon lights, free-flowing cash, and unrivaled showmanship. Once known as “Sin City” for its casinos and bawdy stage shows, Las Vegas has transformed itself again and again to become the grandest and most audacious capital of family entertainment the world has ever known. But Las Vegas is no longer just America’s premiere show-place, it is also the country’s fastest growing city and home to the hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who make the city run and give it its spirit. Planet Vegas takes us deep into both of these worlds in dozens of stunning images, showcasing the rich and varied sights and sensations that could only be found there: the giant sphinx poised outside the pyramid-shaped Luxor hotel and casino, Siegfried and Roy at home on their ranch surrounded by royal white tigers and a pure white lion, a glimpse behind-the-scenes of the worlds largest buffet, the stark, natural beauty of Red Rock Canyon, Elvis Presley look-alikes by the bushel, the majesty of the luminescent fountains outside Caesars Palace, the heavily guarded casino counting rooms, through which millions of dollars in cash and chips pass each day, and the Stratosphere Tower, the tallest free-standing building west of the Mississippi.

Planet Vegas also shows us scenes from the Las Vegas most visitors never see images of the people who grow up, get married, go to work, have babies, and live just like everyone else.

From the first light of dawn until the wee hours of another unforgettable night, Planet Vegas takes readers on a breathtaking visual romp. In page after page of dramatic photographs, it captures forever the distinctive spirit of this unrepentantly garish, yet undeniably alluring city of American hopes and dreams.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Hurrell Hollywood: Photographs 1928-1990 ]


Link to book on Amazon.

Wikipedia description of his work:

In the late 1920s, Hurrell was introduced to the actor Ramon Novarro, by Pancho Barnes, and agreed to take a series of photographs of him. Novarro was impressed with the results and showed them to the actress Norma Shearer, who was attempting to mould her wholesome image into something more glamorous and sophisticated in an attempt to land the title role in the movie The Divorcee. She asked Hurrell to photograph her in poses more provocative than her fans had seen before. After she showed these photographs to her husband, MGM production chief Irving Thalberg, Thalberg was so impressed that he signed Hurrell to a contract with MGM Studios, making him head of the portrait photography department. But in 1932, Hurrell left MGM after differences with their publicity head, and from then on until 1938 ran his own studio at 8706 Sunset Boulevard.

Throughout the decade, Hurrell photographed every star contracted to MGM, and his striking black-and-white images were used extensively in the marketing of these stars. Among the performers regularly photographed by him during these years were silent screen star Dorothy Jordan, as well as Myrna Loy, Robert Montgomery, Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Rosalind Russell, Carole Lombard and Norma Shearer, who was said to have refused to allow herself to be photographed by anyone else. He also photographed Greta Garbo at a session to produce promotional material for the movie Romance. The session didn’t go well and she never used him again.

In the early 1940s Hurrell moved to Warner Brothers Studios photographing, among others Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Alexis Smith, Maxine Fife, Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney. Later in the decade he moved to Columbia Pictures where his photographs were used to help the studio build the career of Rita Hayworth.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Art Book, by Phaidon]



Winner of the Illustrated Book of the Year award in 1994, The Art Book has been an outstanding success and has become a well-known landmark in the art book world. Now published in over twenty different languages and in a miniature edition, it has received rave reviews from numerous newspapers and magazines and has made many appearances on the bestseller lists. Complemented by The 20th Century Art Book and The American Art Book, its unique approach brings art alive.

An A to Z guide to 500 great painters and sculptors from medieval to modern times, it debunks art-historical classifications by throwing together brilliant examples of all periods, schools, visions and techniques. Each artist is represented by a full-page colour plate of a definitive work, accompanied by explanatory and illuminating information on the image and its creator. Glossaries of artistic movements and technical terms are included, making this a valuable work of reference as well as a feast for the eyes. By breaking with traditional classifications, The Art Book presents a fresh and original approach to art: an unparalleled visual sourcebook and a celebration of our rich and multi-faceted culture.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Going East: Two Decades of Asian Photography, by Max Pam ]

Seen on a pile at Jackson’s home:



Video of the photographs contained in this book.


Max Pam, (born Melbourne, 1949) is a contemporary Australian photographer.

As a teenager Pam found post-war suburban Melbourne grim, oppressive and culturally isolated. He found refuge in the counter-culture of surfing and the imagery of National Geographic and Surfer Magazine and became determined to travel overseas.

Pam left Australia at 20, after accepting a job as a photographer assisting an astrophysicist. Together, the pair drove a Volkswagen from Calcutta to London. This adventure proved inspirational, and travel has remained a crucial and continuous link to his creative and personal development. As Gary Dufour noted in his essay in Indian Ocean Journals (Steidl, 2000): “Each photograph is shaped by incidents experienced as a traveller. His photographs extend upon the tradition of the gazetteer; each photograph a record of an experience, a personal account of an encounter somewhere in the world. Each glimpse is part of an unfolding story rather than simply a record of a place observed. While travel underscores his production Pam’s photographs are not the accidental evidence of a tourist.”

Pam’s work takes the viewer on compelling journeys around the globe, recording observations with an often surrealist intensity, matching the heightened sensory awareness of foreign travel. The work frequently implies an interior, psychic journey, corresponding with the physical journey of travel.

His work in Asian counties is well represented in publications as are his travels in Europe, Australia, and the Indian Ocean Rim cultures including India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Yemen, The Republic of Tanzania, Mauritius, Madagascar, the Cocos and Christmas Islands. The images leave the viewer, as Tim Winton said in Going East (Marval 1992), “grateful for having been taken so mysteriously by surprise and so far and sweetly abroad.”

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Skinhead (1982), by Nick Knight]


MJ shopping at Books & Co, on Upper East Manhattan:

General William Westmoreland was in griping about a Viet Nam book the same week Michael Jackson picked up a British import on skinhead photography and Aesop’s Fables.

Amazon description:

Traces the history of this unique group from the original ’60s Skinheads to its mid-’70s revival. Features a piece by Dick Hebdige on the sociology of youth cults.

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Art of WALL.E, by Tim Hauser ]


MJ seen thumbing through it at a bookstore in January 2009:

Patrons instantly took notice of the faceless figure in a fedora and raincoat thumbing through a The Art of WALL·E coffee table book, and mistook the deposed pop monarch for inkblot-faced Watchmen vigilante Rorschach.

Amazon description:

Pixar Animation Studios, the innovators behind Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and Ratatouille, created its latest genre-defying film with an intriguing and unorthodox question in mind: What if mankind had to leave Earth, and somebody forgot to turn off the last robot? WALLE (Waste Allocation Load Lifter-Earth Class) is this last, soulful robot. When his lonely work is interrupted by the arrival of the sleek probe-droid EVE, a rollicking adventure across the galaxy ensues.

The Art of WALLE features the myriad pieces of concept art on which this fantastic, futuristic film was built, including storyboards, full-color pastels, digital and pencil sketches, character studies, color scripts, and more. Astute text-featuring quotes from the director, artists, animators, and production team-unearths the filmmakers’ historical inspirations and recounts the creative process in intimate detail. This richly illustrated portal into the artistic spirit of Pixar reveals a studio confidently pushing the limits of animation.

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