Here 17 Books Highly Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates

Both Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, biggest names in the tech world who brought revolutionary changes say that reading is what has helped them achieve their success as reading really does open your mind to the biggest most creative ideas.

Bill Gates, told The New York Times in 2015 that he reads 50 books in a year. On the other hand, Mark Zuckerberg created an online book club where he reads a book regularly every two weeks. Here are a few books that they have recommended.

17. Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

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The book is about the story of Pixar and it is written by one if the best founder of computer animation giant. In the book, Catmull gives his wisdom on entrepreneurial-ism and management while he argues that any company should avoid tampering with the natural creativity of their employees. Zuckerberg says “I love reading first-hand accounts of how people build great companies like Pixar and nurture innovation and creativity,”

16. The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

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Mukharjee, a practicing physician, teacher, researcher, and author captures the relevance of genome science to people’s daily lives. In this book, he answers the big questions related to our personalities and what is it that makes us us. Bill Gates writes “Mukherjee wrote this book for a lay audience because he knows that the new genome technologies are on the cusp of affecting us all in profound ways,”

15. Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker

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The 800 pages can intimidate anyone but it is one of the best books to read by a Harvard psychologist. The writing is easy and the research on how violence has decreased over time even though it is focused on 24 hours news cycle and social media too. The book will offer you a perspective that might change your life according to Zuckerberg. Bill Gates considers this book as one of the most important books that he has ever read.

14. Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh

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Venkatesh, a Columbia University sociology professor got involved in a Chicago gang in 1990’s as a sociological experiment. According to Zuckerberg, the story of Venkatesh is one to create inspiration for understanding and communication all across cultural and economic barriers. Mark Zuckerberg wrote “The more we all have a voice to share our perspectives, the more empathy we have for each other and the more we respect each other’s rights,”

13. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

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We have never been the only human species on earth, roughly around 100,000 years ago there were about 6 but the only ones who have survived were homo sapiens. But how? We weren’t always the only species of human on Earth — roughly 100,000 years ago, there were six, but homo sapiens are the only ones who have survived. How come? Bill Gates says “Both Melinda and I read this one, and it has sparked lots of great conversations at our dinner table, Harari takes on a daunting challenge: to tell the entire history of the human race in just 400 pages”. Harari looks towards the future instead of dwelling on the past as future has artificial intelligence and genetic engineering that makes the definition of human more fluid. “Bill Gates recommend it to anyone who’s interested in the history and future of our species.

12. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

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According to Gates, the book is an honest reminder of how the road to success can never be a straight line, it is a winding path filled with fall outs, disagreements and hurt feelings. Knight is the co-founder of Nike and he gave us the first insight on the most famous retailers in the world.

11. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn

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The structure of scientific revolution is a philosophy book by a physicist.  The book looks at science’s evolution and what has its effects become in modern word. It is the most cited academic books of all time. The book is best known for introduction of term “paradigm shift”  which represents moments in scientific history when some perspective was shifted fundamentally, like the time when Newtonian mechanics were replaced by quantum physics.

10. String Theory by David Foster Wallace

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The book is basically an essay collective by Wallace on his favorite game, tennis. Bill Gates says “You don’t have to play or even watch tennis to love this book, wielded a pen as skillfully as Roger Federer wields a tennis racket.”

9. Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson

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The book is an overview of research conducted by MIT economist Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson a Harvard political scientist over the span of 15 years. The book was first published in 2012.  The book is about the argument on “extra active governments” using force to empower a selective few and “inclusive governments” using open markets for citizens to spend and invest money freely. They also argue that economic growth cannot guaranty the long-term health of a country. Zuckerberg read the book to understand global poverty’s origin

8. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

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The book was published in 2008 in China, its English translation won the 2015 Hugo Award for best novel in honor of science fiction books. The book I about the time period of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution and its kick-off after an alien race invades earth after the signals were sent correctly in space by the Chinese government.

7. World Order by Henry Kissinger

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The book is for the modern time period where global conflicts can sometimes feel like an impossible thing to get sorted. The book is an instruction to the reader on the topic of how some countries have dealt with each other, made some mistakes and then learned how to show compassion for dint perspectives.

6. Rational Ritual by Michael Suk-Young Chwe

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Mark Zuckerberg says “The book is about the concept of ‘common knowledge’ and how people process the world not only based on what we personally know but what we know other people know and our shared knowledge as well,” he says that this book can help people in learning how to use social media to its best.

5. The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future by Gretchen Bakke

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According to Bill Gates’ 2016 statement “This book, about our aging electrical grid, fits in one of my favorite genres: ‘Books About Mundane Stuff That Are Actually Fascinating,”. According to him, this book is like how he found out the importance of “Grid” in our everyday life when he started writing software for Pacific Northwest power providers. He learned there why the grid modernization was a complex thing and why was it so critical to building clean energy in future.

4. Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

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Gates says he is grateful to a friend for recommending him this book after a decade of sci-fi dry spell. He writes in his blog that the plot catches you at the very first sentence when the moon blows up. That’s the beginning of the story and soon the world learns how their species is about to be doomed, how in the time period of two years a meteor shower will destroy all life form on earth. Humanity is in the struggle of sending as many spacecraft in orbit as they can to escape the apocalypse.

3. Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words by Randall Munroe

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Munroe is the brain works behind “xkcd” webcomic. Munroe published a book in 2015 which explained about the modern technology by using the 1000 most common English language words. According to Bill Gates if someone cannot explain something simply it means they don’t understand it. Bill Gates favorite explanation is about microwave “a food heating radio box” that cooks frozen food unevenly. “When you put iced food in a radio box, after a while, parts of it start to turn to water. But since radio boxes are really good at heating water, those parts start to get hot really fast. They can even get so hot they start turning to air — before all the ice is even gone!”

2. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

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Bill Gates recommended The Sympathizer in his 2017 book recommendations. This book won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize. The novel is about a Vietnamese main character that lives as a double agent in Los Angeles. He is actually a spy for the North Vietnamese government. The main character learns the harsh lessons about his fellow citizens after he embeds himself in a refugee community.

1. The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner

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The book is about country’s most ingenious and greatest inventions of the century, which includes long distance TV transmission, the fax machine, and cell phone technology’s introduction. “Whatever incredibly advanced devices come out of the digital age probably got their start somewhere inside Bell Labs,”  Zuckerberg said.

Article by Born Realist

 

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