Elon Musk's Book Recommendations
After researching the lives of many success individuals, it seems they all have one trait in common: They read a lot of books.
It's no surprise then that Elon Musk is also an avid reader.
In a Rolling Stone article, Musk said that when he wasn't doing typical kids stuff like running around or causing trouble, he spent a lot of his time reading books.
For the few unfamiliar with Musk, here is a short bio:
Elon Musk is a business magnate, investor and engineer. He is the founder, CEO, and lead designer of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO, and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; and co-founder and CEO of Neuralink. In December 2016, he was ranked 21st on the Forbes list of The World's Most Powerful People. As of February 2018, he has a net worth of $20.8 billion and is listed by Forbes as the 53rd-richest person in the world.
If you want to learn more about Musk, here is a fantastic biography about him by Ashlee Vance (He's an excellent Bloomberg journalist):
Now without further ado, here is the list of books Musk recommends reading:
Very appealing if you’re a sophomore in college. It’s a counterpoint to communism and useful as such, but should be tempered with kindness.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 16, 2018
Worth reading Superintelligence by Bostrom. We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 3, 2014
Read "Lying", the new book by my friend Sam Harris. Excellent cover art and lots of good reasons not to lie!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 21, 2011
Here are a few more books Elon recommends:
“There’s a good book on structural design called Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down. It is really, really good if you want a primer on structural design.” -Elon Musk
“I like biographies. I think they are really helpful. I like Franklin’s biography by Isaacson, it’s really good. He was an entrepreneur, he started from nothing, just like a runaway kid. It was interesting to see how he is creating his business, then go to science and politics. I could say he is one of the people I most admire. Franklin is pretty awesome. He did what needed to be done at the time it needed to be done.” -Elon Musk at Kevin Rose’s Foundation
“May be a cautionary tale, he is sort of an interesting fella.” -Elon Musk in Reading for Leading
“I also like biographies of scientists. Obviously, about Tesla, absolutely great person.” -Elon Musk at Rose’s Foundation
Musk names Douglas Adams as one of the great modern philosophers. “Douglas Adams is awesome” he says. One of the biggest takeaways Musk got from reading Adams was, “The question is harder than the answer.” “When we ask questions they come along with our biases. You should really ask, ‘Is this the right question?’ And that’s hard to figure out,” says Musk. -From Entrepreneur.com and NPR.org
“In terms of sci-fi books, I think Isaac Asimov is really great. I like the Foundation series, probably one of the all-time best.” -Elon Musk
Musk recommends this book as one of his favorite sci-fi books during his interview with Design & Architecture show host Frances Anderson. “…Robert Heinlein, obviously. I like The Moon Is a Harsh Mistres,” Musk says.
Musk recommends this book as one of his favorite sci-fi books during his interview with Design & Architecture show host Frances Anderson. “I like Stranger in a Strange Land, although it kind of goes off the rails at the end,” Musk says.
“There is a good book on rocket stuff called Ignition! By John Clark, that’s a really fun one.” -Elon Musk
That's quite the list. I've only read seven of the books here, how about you?
Now it's unlikely that reading these books will help you become a billionaire, but perhaps it might, who am I to say. However, even if these books don't lead you to a massive fortune, you will at least have gained insight into the mind of Elon Musk and it never hurts to have some extra knowledge in your head.
If by any chance you're interested in checking out my list of recommended books, you can find that here.
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