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Elon Musks’s Favorite Book List

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Elon Musk, of the richest man in the world and the owner of Tesla and SpaceX, as well as other more prominent companies related to technology, somehow find time to sit and read.
According to Elon, reading various genres of books, it doesn’t matter if it is how-to books or fantasy books play a vital role in the success of his business. We looked in some of his past interviews as well as social media history to gather a list of books this billionaire businessman thinks all must-read.

What books does Elon Musk recommend?

Here is a part of Elon Musk’s book list.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

This is one of the Elon Musk books to read. This guy found himself in his younger years in slouch after having read a lot of works by temperamental philosophers Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. After that, he discovered Douglas Adams. In an interview, Musk stated that he was reading diverse types of books, trying to know the real meaning of life and what does it mean. So, he decided to read Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

My sort of philosophical foundation is in line with Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” Everyone has their sort of favorite philosopher, but my favorite philosopher is Douglas Adams.

Elon Musk, CBS NEWS

Elon also said in an interview that it is a positive book, and it highlighted vital points like there are instances that question harder than the answer.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams

My sort of philosophical foundation is in line with Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” Everyone has their sort of favorite philosopher, but my favorite philosopher is Douglas Adams.– Elon Musk

Gift Idea: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (6 Book Set in the Series)

Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson

Do you believe in a saying that geniuses have something in common? Elon Musk highly recommends this book by Isaac Newton as it tells a story of a smart guy who changes the world with his ambition and intelligence. Sound familiar?

Einstein: His Life and Universe

Walter Isaacson

“The important thing is not to stop questioning…Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”

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

Prior to establishing his SpaceX Company, you better know about rocket science. One way this guy taught himself the business is with this read. In an interview, he stated that it is really good if you like a primer on the structural design.

Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down

J.E. Gordon

“It is really, really good if you want a primer on structural design.” – Elon Musk on a KCRW interview.

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

Talking about rockets, in an interview with Mediabistro, this guy recommends checking out this dominant and powerful classic book. According to Musk, there’s an influential book about rocket thing called Ignition that is really fun and exciting to read.

Elon Musks’s Favorite Book List

This book is allegedly so hard to get a hand on as the cost of the hardcover is USD300; however, the rare text is on hand over the net. You may find also some copies in Amazon but please also read the reviews about the editions.

An awesome alternative is to get the audiobook edition from Audible.

Ignition: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants

John D. Clark

“There is a good book on rocket stuff called ‘Ignition!’ by John Clark that’s a really fun one” – Elon Musk

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom

If someone knows something about superintelligence, then it is Musk. This guy has boon no stranger to the continuing discussion about artificial intelligence as well as cites this read has useful and valuable reference material for which debate.

Elon Musks’s Favorite Book List

By the way, his standpoint is that artificial intelligence potentially deadlier and riskier than nukes.

Superintelligence is an awesome book to read or listen to! It is considered as one of the best computer science audiobooks to give a try.

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

Nick Bostrom

In Superintelligence, Bostrom develops the idea that creating a technologically superior entity could lead to a possible extinction of the human species.

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

Taking recommendations and opinions from this successful guy is one thing. On the other hand, you can take it up a notch through understanding and learning from somebody he learned from, as well: Peter Thiel, the co-founder of the world’s popular payment mode PayPal.

Peter has put up many breakthrough agencies, and Zero to One shows how Elon says.

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

Peter Thiel

It’s easier to copy something than to make something new. When we improve things that others have already done, we move the world from 1 to n. But when we create something completely new, we go from 0 to 1.

J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Isaac Asimov book series The Foundation

These books are combined for one good reason: The character of the books always felt a responsibility to save humankind; this is what Musk stated in an interview with The New Yorker.

However, when it comes to sci-fi books, Elon loves Isaac Asimov books, including the series The Foundation; this is his all-time favorite. He stated that he learned a lot of values by reading these books.

The Lord of the Rings

J.R.R Tolkien

An epic journey in a world of magic, elves, humans, and creatures.

The Complete Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Series Books 1-7

Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov’s monumental work that defined the evolution of an entire genre. It won the one-time Hugo Award for “Best All-Time Series” and considered one of the masterpieces of modern literature.

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson

Musk admires Benjamin Franklin, and he said he is the founding fathers as well as a successful inventor and consider him as a hero.

In his renowned kite experiment, Franklin was the first individual to prove that lighting is electricity that resulted in the discovery of the lightning rod. Also, he is praised and recognized by discovering bifocals glasses with two different optical lenses.

In an interview with Foundation, a popular platform for nonprofits working on issues related to climate change, Musk said that reading Franklin Benjamin’s biography will help you see this inventor as a businessman.

Franklin was a businessman, he began from scratch, and during his teen’s life, and he was only a runaway kid. But now, he is admired and recognized all over the world.

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

Walter Isaacson

“You can see how [Franklin] was an entrepreneur, he started from nothing. He was just a runaway kid.” – Elon Musk

Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era by James Barrat

This book by James Barrat provides a lot of warnings concerning the risks and threats of AI or artificial intelligence. Musk tweeted that the book Our Final Invention is worthy of reading.

The author of this takes a closer look at the possible future of Artificial Intelligence, weighing its pros and cons. According to Barrat in his site, this book is partly about the catastrophic downside of artificial intelligence, and you will never see, hear as well as read from Google, DARPA, IBM as well as Apple.

Elon Musks’s Favorite Book List

And Musk agrees. In fact, in a documentary concerning this latest technology, he stated that artificial intelligence does need to be an iniquity to destroy us- if this tech has an objective and world happens to be within the way, it will wipe out humankind as a matter of course without thinking about.

Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era

James Barrat

The author evaluates the likelihood and threats of developing Artificial General Intelligence and eventually Artificial Strong Intelligence. A kind of Frankenstein’s monster…

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein

This is an award-winning science fiction book published in the year 1996, paints an image of a dystopia not far in the future. It is precisely the type of bright and flamboyant world that will please and satisfy current thinking like Elon.

In this book, a lot of populace has been sent away from Earth to the moon, wherein they put up a libertarian civilization. In the year 2076, rebels- which takes account of Mike a supercomputer and a one-armed comp tech, spearheaded the lunar settlement’s rebellion opposing Earth-bound rulers.

In the 2014 interview held at MIT symposium, according to Elon Musk, this is the best book made by Heinlein’s so far. He got a lot of things from reading this book.

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

Robert Heinlein

The story revolves around a revolt in Earths lunar colony which has long suffered under harsh rule.


These are the books recommended by Elon Musk as they will give you insight, courage, and ideas on how to improve yourself and reach your goals in life.

TheBooksReview Team

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