Michael Jackson’s Library: Favorite Books

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.

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

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.”

 

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

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.”

 

 

FICTION

 

⇓⇓ Peter Pan, by J.M Barrie

⇑ 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About nefertari25

Portuguese Medical, Court and Conference Interpreter and Translator. With 18 years experience working as a contractor freelance for Municipal, State Courts and Immigration Court Review. Studied at Pontificia Universidade Catolica - PUCRS , Porto Alegre, Brazil with a Bachelor Degree in German Studies and Romance Languages. Studied at Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA Major in English as a second language. Certified Medical Interpreter in the State of Georgia. US. Bridging of the Gap Certification.
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2 Responses to Michael Jackson’s Library: Favorite Books

  1. Christopher Porter says:

    A bit repetitive, isn’t it? It’s very good, but it just seems rather repetitive…

    • nefertari25 says:

      Hi Christopher Porter,
      I agree with you about the many copies I post! But, the story and Michael Jackson passion for literature and reading is what it counts!
      Thank you for reading!

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