Since his early-2010s arrival, singer-songwriter Frank Ocean has been pushing the boundaries of contemporary R&B, blending idiosyncratic style with enigmatic lyrics and emotionally charged vocals. In addition to his Grammy-winning solo work, he’s ghostwritten songs for the likes of Justin Bieber, Beyonce, and John Legend, and worked alongside Tyler, the Creator in alternative hip-hop collective Odd Future to consistent critical acclaim.
An avid reader, the New Orleans native regularly recommends titles on his personal tumblr – ranging from classic coming-of-age fiction to Michelle Alexander’s powerful study of racialized mass incarceration. Collected by Goodreads user Miquel, find a list of Frank Ocean’s favorite books below. Complement with the bookshelves of Jay-Z, J. Cole, Nipsey Hussle, and Tupac.
The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione
Difficult Men by Brett Martin
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (also rec’d by Henry Rollins & J. Cole)
Utopia by Thomas More
Summer Crossing by Steve Tesich