MJ Book Club - Michael Jackson Book Discussion (Old Books and New)

Mikky Dee

Staff
Please use this thread to post personal thoughts and reviews about good Michael Jackson books that you have read, or that have been recommended to you by other fans.

News articles about and reviews of NEW MJ books about to be released at particular points in time, may also be posted here.
 
Last edited:
I read many books about Michael but the one that changed my life was Moonwalk. When I read that book I feel like is Michael Who is talking to me, like he is telling me his own life.
My life changed because I started to have confidence in myself and I started to look at life with a new perspective. I feel he is so kind while telling his story to his fans.
I never read Dancing the Dream because I coudn't find the book but I would love to read. I heard its really good.
I read the book J Randy Taraborreli wrote but I think some of the things he said are exagerated. I dont know what to think of that book.
 

PoP

Proud Member
I read many books about Michael but the one that changed my life was Moonwalk. When I read that book I feel like is Michael Who is talking to me, like he is telling me his own life.
My life changed because I started to have confidence in myself and I started to look at life with a new perspective. I feel he is so kind while telling his story to his fans.
I never read Dancing the Dream because I coudn't find the book but I would love to read. I heard its really good.
I read the book J Randy Taraborreli wrote but I think some of the things he said are exagerated. I dont know what to think of that book.

I agree with ya on J. Randy Taraborreli's book, I have both 1991, 2003 and 2009 editions, I admit they're good, but I don't trust what he wrote there, so yeah they are exaggerated.
 
I agree with ya on J. Randy Taraborreli's book, I have both 1991, 2003 and 2009 editions, I admit they're good, but I don't trust what he wrote there, so yeah they are exaggerated.
I just don't know why he exaggerated. He said he knew Michael since he was a kid. So, why tell lies? I wonder what Michael thought about him...
 

gerryevans

Proud Member
I'm sure I've read most of them, especially after he first died, I read anything and everything from Moonwalk to the pure garbage, stopping when I realized what pure garabage it actually was. In other words, I spent a lot of money on junk.

But the best one beyond Moonwalk for me was the two bodyguard's book Remember the TIme. I enjoyed that one a lot.
 

Mikky Dee

Staff
I never read Dancing the Dream because I coudn't find the book but I would love to read. I heard its really good.
I read the book J Randy Taraborreli wrote but I think some of the things he said are exagerated. I dont know what to think of that book.

You MUST try to get your hands on "Dancing the Dream"......it is such a beautiful and surprising book and it taps into the heart of who Michael truly was. So sensitive and soulful and CREATIVE. A true empath.

I have never read anything from Taraborreli - most fans speak against its validity, so I never really bothered. LOL

I'm sure I've read most of them, especially after he first died, I read anything and everything from Moonwalk to the pure garbage, stopping when I realized what pure garabage it actually was. In other words, I spent a lot of money on junk.

But the best one beyond Moonwalk for me was the two bodyguard's book Remember the TIme. I enjoyed that one a lot.

I completely agree. This book by Michael's bodyguards, Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard, is so touching, loving and honest. I like it because it fills in a lot of gaps, with regard to the later years of Michael's life and shows us a glimpse of Michael the man. There aren't many books around that deal with the 2000s at all. This one helped me to understand why Michael made some of the decisions that he made and just what it was like for him, post-trial.
 
You MUST try to get your hands on "Dancing the Dream"......it is such a beautiful and surprising book and it taps into the heart of who Michael truly was. So sensitive and soulful and CREATIVE. A true empath.

I have never read anything from Taraborreli - most fans speak against its validity, so I never really bothered. LOL



I completely agree. This book by Michael's bodyguards, Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard, is so touching, loving and honest. I like it because it fills in a lot of gaps, with regard to the later years of Michael's life and shows us a glimpse of Michael the man. There aren't many books around that deal with the 2000s at all. This one helped me to understand why Michael made some of the decisions that he made and just what it was like for him, post-trial.

I never found the book wich made me feel really sad. But i've always heard about it and I want to read. Maybe one day I can find it!
As for Taraborreli I thought what he wrote was true but then some people said he is a liar... I don't know.
 

CaptainEoLove85

New member
Some reviews I wrote for some Michael books a while back

The King of Style: Dressing Michael Jackson by Michael Bush-This book is awesome! Written by Michael Jackson's fashion designer, it was great to see the many outfits worn by the King of Pop up close and in fine detail. There's also a ton of personal stories in there, many of them funny...a story about nearly every outfit. Michael really dared Bush and his partner Tompkins to push the limits and make the impossible possible when it came to his costumes. With hard work and dedication they achieved great success, which only a true genius could inspire them to achieve. They made the magic happen. The book is written with great care. You can tell Bush had a very close relationship with Michael. It's touching. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and wish it didn't have to end.

For The Record by Chris Cadman-Very extensive record of all of Michael Jackson's songs, short films, concerts, ect. It's a very useful reference guide. It's worth having for the fans, for that alone. I learned so much from it.

Man in the Music by Joe Vogel-4.5 stars. It's refreshing to read a book that focuses solely on the music rather than Michael Jackson's personal life. There are too many books out there that don't cover the music at all or just gloss over it, especially the later albums. This book is very well organized. Each chapter covers each album chronologically starting with "Off the Wall" and ending with the posthumous album, "Michael." Each chapter starts off with an examination of the cultural climate at the time the album was released, as well as an introduction to the album and how it came into fruition. Then at the end of each chapter is an analysis of each song track by track. Also included are outakes of songs that didn't make it on the albums. There are also plenty of high quality photos throughout the book. I find this book an enjoyable read with plenty of interesting facts about the albums for fans and non-fans alike. There are also a few interesting tidbits that even hardcore fans may not know about.

This book is nearly close to perfect a book about the music I've read. It is of course not without a few flaws however. That is why I would give it 4.5 stars rather than 5. For example, I appreciated having a notes section that points out all the references of quotes from other books and research and personal interviews Vogel did. However, there were a few occasions where I read about a fact, but there was no reference as to where the fact came from, and I would have liked to have known. There are also a few instances of minor factual errors, and one instance of using a source whom isn't too reliable in his information on Michael Jackson. Many fans know this. But other than those points, which can mostly be overlooked, it is a well researched and pays great respect to the artistry of Michael Jackson.


Moonwalk by you know who ;) -This is the one autobiography Michael Jackson actually wrote himself, and it gives a look into his musical process and a bit of insight into his internal world. I don't know what other to say, than he was an incredible genius. The way in which he describes how he creates music, what his songs mean to him is simply mind blowing. For example, in this passage:

"'Everybody' is more playful than 'Off the Wall' dance tunes, with Mike McKinney propelling it like a plane turning and bearing down. The background vocals suggest 'Get on the Floor's' influence, but Quincy's sound is deeper, like you're in the eye of the storm--our sound was more like going up the glass elevator to the top floor while looking down, rising effortlessly."

I'm not even sure I know what he's talking about in that description there, but obviously he does or he wouldn't be the genius that he is. And who can really talk about music in that way, other than a musical genius?

Towards the end he talks about himself personally. I couldn't help but be moved about his passion for the world. He was a really amazing person.


Michael (Hardcover book from Rolling Stone, just to throw a more negative review in there.)-What an uneven book this is. It was fair enough up until the point of Rob Sheffield's reviews of the music. Simply put, the man is an idiot. After getting through that, the rest of it has a good sized chunk of distorted garbage and lies. This book will not fool any fan. There is some good information in the beginning, but about midway through you can hardly call the book a "tribute."

Michael Jackson Treasures by Jason King-I have mixed feelings on this whole book. The memorabilia is pretty neat. It makes it a bit like a miniature museum. The author who wrote the book does seem kind of opinionated at times. Some of his research is questionable, especially when he used the Taraborrelli book as a reference. With the exception of the reproductions of items like tickets and photos, the rest of the content didn't really live up to my expectations.

Life Commemorative: Michael Jackson- A tribute biography that gets it right. You can tell that the editors of Life magazine really do respect Michael Jackson. It's a decent, although brief reflection of his life, accompanied by some very nice photographs.

The Official Michael Jackson Opus-This is THE Michael Jackson tribute book. One could call it the equivalent to a Michael Jackson museum within a book. Dozens of high quality photographs, essays, and personal stories of Michael's legacy adorns this books pages. It covers all territories of the King of Pop as an entertainer, performer, artist, cultural icon, and humanitarian. This is a must have for fans.

Michael Jackson Conspiracy by Aphrodite Jones-This book details what went on during Michael Jackson's 2005 child molestation trial. I believe the facts presented in this book really speak for themselves. It is very well researched. I often found myself shaking my head in dismay as the events were revealed to me. It proves completely without a doubt that Michael was always an innocent man, who has just been very vulnerable to people like the Arvizos, trying to extort him of his money.
 

Mikky Dee

Staff
Still on the topic of "Michael as a person" and "reading something new" about him, I would highly recommend this lovely book.

17325873.jpg


The book is a very quick and easy read. Each chapter is a separate story unto itself. It is very touching and extremely loving and respectful towards Michael.

There were definitely a few tears when I read it, but this book enriched my soul, it truly did. It's not known very well by fans, but is like a hidden treasure of information.


The author, William Van Valin (Barney) was a local doctor and a neighbour of Michael's. They met by chance and developed a friendship over a period of about five years, in the early 2000s. Michael used to spend hours at Barney's house, just relaxing with a "normal" family, which as we know, is something he liked to do often.

Sidenote: I have just taken my copy of "Private Conversations" down off the shelf and what should fall out of it, but the leaves I took from a bush at Neverland when I visited the outer gates in 2013! I pressed them between the pages. It's a sign....
 

ScreenOrigami

Active member
I was on the fence about buying that one, thanks. Will soon have to buy another bookshelf, too. :laughing:

Lovely idea, drying those leaves. :)
 

StageGlitter

Proud Member
Ooh, this is a good thread!

Making Michael, Mark Smallcombe
In Search of Neverland, Gloria Rhodes Berlin
The Man In Our Mirror: A Reflection of Our Collective Soul, Lisa Brisse
 
My favorite books I've read about Michael are:

1. Moonwalk - It was written by the man himself and sometimes I feel like I can hear his voice reading it to me. Totally recommend if you haven't read it yet!
2. The Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson by Joseph Vogel: Joseph is a MJ fan and in this book, he takes you deep into Michael's creative world of how every album came to life.
3. My Friend Michael: And Ordinary Friendship With An Extraordinary Man by Frank Cascio: Everyone knows Michael Jackson - the myth. But this book is about Michael Jackson - the man. Who was he really behind the scenes? Well, Frank Cascio who he and his family were friends with Michael for over twenty-five years tells his story now. Very well written book written by a true friend!
4. The King of Style: Dressing Michael Jackson by Michael Bush: This book is just beautiful! It's got amazing photos and some interesting facts about how Bush and his partner Dennis Tompkins made Michael's outfits come to life. With hard work and dedication, they achieved great success. A MUST have for MJ fans!!
5. Dancing the Dream - Someone recommended this book to me and I love it! Full of beautiful pictures and poems that Michael wrote himself. Another must have in your collection!!!
 

Mikky Dee

Staff
The Genius Of Michael Jackson by Steve Knopper was a good read in my opinion.

I'm interested to know more about this one. The author was previously a journalist, I believe and I usually don't trust journalists-turned-authors. What kind of genius does he explore in the book and is there anything new to discover when reading it? Is it written from a unique perspective, or is it biographical, like many books about Michael?
 
Top