Elon Musk recommended books – the top 5 book list

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    What are Elon Musk’s top 5 recommended books? Here are the fascinating titles that inspired this entrepreneur.

    Elon Musk recommended books – the top 5 book list

    Elon Musk has inspired many with his enormous success. If you’re one of the people motivated by the developer of SpaceX, owner of Tesla, and CEO of Twitter, you’ll want to learn what influenced him.

    Coming up is a reading list of the top 5 books recommended by Elon Musk.

    Lesser-known facts about Elon Musk

    Before we get to Elon Musk’s book recommendations, let’s first take a look at some of the most interesting facts about him:

    • He almost sold his company to Google – Elon Musk is most famous for Tesla, a company that produces futuristic electric cars. It earns him billions, but that wasn’t always the case. Musk was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2013 and tried to sell the business to Google, but the deal fell through.

    • He also tried to sell Tesla to Apple – Musk faced another crisis in 2018 when he had a considerable production problem. He couldn’t see a way out, so he tried to arrange a meeting with Tim Cook to discuss plans to sell Tesla. Luckily for Musk, Cook refused.

    • Musk fears AI – Although most of his work features cutting-edge technology, Musk is aware of the risks associated with unchecked AI development. To that end, he founded a research company to promote and advance friendly AI called OpenAI.

    • He rented a property to make a living – More than 30 years ago, Musk was a student at Pennsylvania University. He had financial problems, so he and his roommate started renting a house for parties, earning $5 per visitor.

    • Musk is a college dropout – Musk went to Stanford for his physics Ph.D. program in 1995. However, he dropped out just two days later due to his conviction that he could better utilize his skill set by harnessing the power of the internet. He started his first business, Zip2, after college.

    Top 5 books recommended by Elon Musk

    Here are the books Elon Musk recommends.

    Human Compatible by Stuart Russell

    In Human Compatible, Stuart Russell explains why artificial intelligence could spell doom for humanity. Musk has also been vocal about the topic. The title draws your attention to the problems people are facing and suggests how to prevent them.

    Stuart Russell, a professor at Berkeley, is a computer scientist who has contributed massively to technology, including AI.

    Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

    Steve Jobs was a self-made man, forging his own career path in the technology industry. This biography chronicles his life, with all his innovations and eccentricity.

    The book Steve Jobs recounts the titular figure’s earliest experience with LSD and spirituality to his peak as a global icon. It describes his ventures and the problems he faced to get to the top.

    The author, Walter Isaacson, is an American professor, journalist, and writer. He’s the CEO and president of the Aspen Institute and chair of CNN.

    Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel

    The central theme of Zero to One is that humanity has a tremendous potential to explore uncharted frontiers and create inventions. The writer maintains that you can achieve progress in any area of business or industry. It just boils down to your ability to think for yourself.

    Replicating what someone else has done doesn’t do much good. There won’t be another Bill Gates to build an operating system from scratch. In other words, you won’t become a champion by competing in today’s market. You need to avoid competition and create something new.

    Peter Thiel is a billionaire entrepreneur, political activist, venture capitalist, and co-founder of several companies, including Founders Fund, Palantir Technologies, and PayPal. Plus, he was the first outside investor in Mark Zuckerberg’s company Facebook.

    Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom

    As previously mentioned, Musk is cautious about the excessive use of AI. He fears it could become more dangerous than nukes.

    If you wish to learn more about the risks, Superintelligence is the right book for you. It tells you what could happen if human intelligence falls behind computational intelligence.

    The author of the book is Nick Bostrom. This Swedish philosopher is best known for his work on superintelligence risks, reversal testing, human enhancement ethics, and existential risks.

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

    Elon Musk read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when he was a teenager in South Africa. The science-fiction novel was crucial in forming his beliefs.

    This book has a unique story. It follows the events just seconds before aliens demolish the Earth to free up space for galactic freeways. Ford Prefect picks up his friend Arthur Dent, and they embark on an existential adventure in space.

    Douglas Adams was a British screenwriter. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was his most famous work, which sold over 15 million copies worldwide.

    Honorable mentions

    The above books are some of the titles Elon Musk enjoyed the most. However, there are many other titles worth reading, according to Musk, including:

    • Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson

    • The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov

    • Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Erik M. Conway and Naomi Oreskes

    • Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down by J.E. Gordon

    • The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

    • Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson

    • Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark

    • Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein

    • Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness by James B. Steele and Donald L. Barlett

    • Inversions by Iain M. Banks

    • The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

    • Dune by Frank Herbert (also recommended by Amazon’s owner Jeff Bezos)

    • Deep Learning by Ian Goodfellow and Yoshua Bengio

    • Our Final Invention by James Barrat

    • Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie

    • Screw Business as Usual by Richard Branson

    • Ignition! An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants by John D. Clark

    • Lying by Sam Harris

    Find the recommended titles and much more on Speechify

    If you want to check out Musk’s recommendations in the audiobook format, Speechify Audiobooks is a great choice. The library features 70,000+ (and counting) sci-fi, self-help, and motivational titles. Try Speechify Audiobooks today and upgrade your book experience. Plus, receive your first premium audiobook for free upon signup.

    FAQ

    Did Elon Musk read two books a day?

    Elon Musk’s brother claims that the founder of Tesla used to read two books a day.

    How many hours a day does Elon Musk read?

    Elon Musk used to read for about 10 hours a day.

    What books did Elon Musk read to learn rocket science?

    Musk read many books to learn rocket science, including Rocket Propulsion Elements and Fundamentals of Astrodynamics.

    What was Elon Musk’s favorite book as a kid?

    Musk’s favorite book growing up was Lord of the Flies.

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

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