The Books Jay-Z Lives By
The rapper talks to Oprah's magazine about books that inspire him
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2009 1:56 PM CDT
The covers of the two books Jay-Z lives his life by are shown.   (Amazon.com)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Jay-Z has gone from rapper to mogul, and he shares some of the books that helped him along the way with O magazine:

  • The Seat of the Soul, by Gary Zukav: "There are two books that I absolutely live my life by. This is one of them. I believe in karma and doing the right thing even if it may not advance you as far as you want."

  • The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield: “This is the other book I live by. The story is a metaphor for life: I could go left or right, I could be stuck, or I could keep advancing.”
  • The Odyssey, by Homer: “I got lost in reading about Odysseus' struggle to get home and his longing for someone so strong, as his wife was, waiting for him. That's like a dream—that kind of strength, love, loyalty.”
  • Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell: “This book is about the principles of timing and repetition—about preparing yourself for luck, really.”
  • Purple Cow, by Seth Godin: “This is straight marketing advice: Your product has to be a purple cow—it has to be distinct to have any success.”
  • Nigger, by Dick Gregory: “I don't know who turned me on to this autobiography, but his sense of humor and the hardships he went through stayed with me.”