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Recommended Book List

Elon Musk’s Recommended Book List 2021

The world’s most successful billionaire, Elon Musk, was born in Pretoria, the capital city of South Africa. His mother was a Canadian woman ( model and nutritionist ), and his father was from South Africa ( an engineer ). As Elon was born and raised in South Africa, he received his early education at the University of Pretoria. He moved to Canada at the age of 17 to study at Queen’s University.

Elon Musk was at an early age when his parents divorced, and he was the eldest of three siblings. Today Musk Elon after facing all the difficulties of life :

  • Chairman and CEO of Tesla Motors, Inc.
  • Chief designer of SpaceX
  • Founder of The Boring Company

Elon loved to read books from an early age as he also revealed in his interviews that all the credit for where he is today goes to the books he read as a child. According to his brother Kimbal Musk, he grew up reading two books a day, showing his love for books. Here is the list of the books discussed below that Elon Musk thinks everyone should read.

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson


In this book, the author Walter Isaacson takes a thorough look at the life of one of the most influential humans that ever lived and explained how he could achieve such greatness in so many different fields and areas of life.

Elon Musk repeatedly described Benjamin Franklin as one of his heroes. Ben Franklin is portrayed in the book as an author, scientist, inventor and diplomat.

Musk talked about Ben Franklin in one of his interviews with Foundation’s Kevin Rose, “you can see how Ben was an entrepreneur. He was nothing, just a runaway kid.”

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


When Elon decided that he wanted to study rocket science, he read textbooks on astrophysics and engineering. While reading books on rocket science, Elon got to read this book, and it is widely heard from Elon’s fans that this is the secret to SpaceX’s success.

“If you want a primer on structural design, this book is really good,” said Elon in his interview with KCRW.


Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson


Elon Musk said that the biography of theoretical physicist Albert Einstein greatly influenced him. Elon told Kevin Rose that many of Albert’s words, many of the principles that taught me a lot, and I succeeded in following them are in this book. Elon also recommended the book to his fans to understand, adapt and move towards success.

Some Albert’s famous quotes like, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” And “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” speaks directly to the Elon’s vision.

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom


As a futurist and deeply interested in artificial intelligence initially, Elon Musk has repeatedly expressed his concerns about potential dangers and ethical concerns associated with technology and how he could cope with the problem.

In 2014, Elon Musk described in a tweet how Bostrom’s book taught him self-confidence and guided him to deal with many difficulties and said that the book was “worth reading.”

Merchants of Doubt by Erik M. Conway and Naomi Oreskes


After reading this book, Elon Musk Supports the argument of two historians who believe that politically and corporate-linked scientists have deliberately complicated facts related to health issues. i.e. negative effects of smoking. Elon posted his recommendation in 2013 in one of his tweets.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding


“Every time I read this book, the stories of the heroes written in it, I always felt a duty to save the world,” he said in his interview with New Yorkers.

This book was about survival, how heroes survived, saving the world from various challenging troubles. It was a classic novel with a lesson on how to win in a competition, and maybe that’s why it ran Elon’s business mind.

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


This book was primarily based on notes from a popular class in which Thiel taught at Stanford University in 2012, focusing on the need for unique thinking among would-be startup founders. Elon Musk says that his PayPal co-founder’s book offers an interesting exploration of the process of building super-successful companies to him.

“The name of this book is one from zero and I hope that the readers of this book can be one from zero if they really understand and follow the basic lessons learned from this book,” said Musk.

The Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov


In an interview with “The Guardian” in 2013, Musk said of the book that it taught me that civilization moves in cycles. It was a lesson that encouraged the entrepreneur to pursue his radical ambitions. Elon shared his thoughts by asking that this is the first time in 4.5 billion years where it’s been possible for humanity to extend the life beyond Earth. He also says it seems like we’d be wise to act while the window was open and not count that it will be open a long time.

Our Final Invention by Barrat, James


Musk called Our Final Invention a worth reading book. The secret behind this book also taught him how to overcome his internal fear. This book teaches how to achieve success by overcoming internal fear that one cannot succeed unless one overcomes internal fear.



One thing is common in Elon Musk’s recommended books, which is the word “success”. Elon Musk has repeatedly emphasized how to achieve success. He recounted his life experiences, how he started, faced difficulties, learned, and then made success his destiny by acting on it.

Elon Musk recommended something in almost every interview to know how he got to this point and how someone else could get to this point if anything is found in their recommendations, just a booklist described in detail above in the form of a list.


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