One of my many New Year's Resolutions was to read more. Yes, I said it. I don't read enough and this year I plan to do just that. Read one book a month. When I was in college, I could devour books like no one's business. It was out of control, I would read between study hall, long nights and numerous runs to Starbucks. The most exciting thing (yes, reading can be very exciting, just ask Oprah) each semester I read for leisure I found that I did so much better than the semesters when I didn't read. Maybe it was my brain constantly problem solving, thinking, doing what it does best! Could this be what Albert stumbled upon when he said we only use 5% of our brain's potential? Either way, I'm on it this year.
First up, Jay-Z's recently released book, Decoded. The book is sort of like an autobiography/road map to life's greatest lessons from one of life's greatest artists. Jay begins with his humble begins in the throws of Marcy Projects (Bed Stuy Brooklyn, NY) and all of the temptations that faced him growing up without his dad and wanting cash and a better way of life fast. The book is divided into sections that speak to the development of Jay as an artist, but also as a man. At the end of each section, Jay includes a few of his songs that relate to the section's topics. With the inclusion of foot notes throughout, you get a glimpse into why certain words/phrases are used and what they mean/meant when the song was produced.
I heard about the book watching, Oprah's Favorite Things, where she talked about how his book gave her another image of the hip-hop genre and made her rethink some of the images she had about the artists who dwell in it's often flashy world. I also watched Jay-Z's feature on Oprah's (yes, I'm obviously obsessed with Ms. Winfrey) Masters Class on OWN, The New Oprah Winfrey Network. To hear Jay discuss so eloquently his life and how he continued to believe in himself and what he had to offer the world made me overly excited to read his book. What a way to start the year. Thanks to Decoded, I have a new outlook on life and what I want to offer the world. Money well spent. I'd like to think I'm off to a great, literary fueled start :).