Elon Musk Shares 12 Books That Have Changed His Life

Elon Musk’s finest quality is that he inspires us to dream big once again. Musk is the millionaire and bright brains behind Tesla and SpaceX, to be sure.

At the 2014 Daily Journal Meeting, Charlie Munger was asked a question about himself, to which he replied:

“Elon Musk is a genius, in my opinion, and I don’t say that lightly. He’s also, in my opinion, one of the most daring guys who has ever come down the pike.”

After meeting Musk, people often express the same sentiment: ‘He’s the brightest individual I’ve ever met.’

Elon Musk, the renowned entrepreneur and developer of SpaceX, Tesla, and many other major corporations, is the subject of the book Elon Musk, examining his inventions and future possibilities.

Ashlee Vance offers a rare look inside the lives and careers of Silicon Valley’s most daring entrepreneur. The book covers Musk’s path from a rough upbringing in South Africa to his climb to the top of global business under the supervision of Musk, his family, and friends.

“You accomplish something significant enough even though the odds are stacked against you.”

Table of Contents

Elon Musk is a billionaire and inventor.

Musk is the only businessman with the drive and vision to transform three sectors at the same time. Musk’s success, according to Vance, encourages America to return to the original aspirations and ideas that made the United States an economic and intellectual powerhouse.

Today, Ashlee Vance is one of the most well-known technology writers. Vance joined Bloomberg Businessweek after spending many years reporting on Silicon Valley and technology for The New York Times, where he penned hundreds of cover and feature articles on topics ranging from cyber espionage to DNA sequencing to space exploration.

Ashlee Vance is the author of this piece.

400 pages in hardcover

Ecco, 1st edition (May 19, 2015) English is the language of choice.

9780062301239 is the ISBN for this book.

978-0062301239 is the ISBN-13 for this book.

‘I studied books,’ he replies whenever someone asks him how he learned to construct rockets.

He not only reads them, but he devours them, according to his interview with Esquire. Finally, Musk shows us around his library and makes some suggestions.

“In terms of sci-fi novels, I believe Isaac Asimov is pretty wonderful,” Musk remarked in an interview with Design and Architecture. The Foundation series is one of my favorites, and it’s arguably one of the finest of all time. Robert Heinlein. Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress are two of my favorites, albeit Stranger in a Strange Land goes off the rails in conclusion.” “There’s an excellent structural design book called Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall,” he explains. It’s fantastic if you need a crash course on structural design.”

Here are some of his other book suggestions.

He told the New Yorker that J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings As an “undersized and picked-on smart-aleck,” he turned to fantasy and science fiction. “The protagonists in the stories I read, such as ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and the ‘Foundation’ series,’ always felt a responsibility to preserve the world,” says the author.

Walter Isaacson’s biography of Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Franklin:

An American Life. In an interview, Musk explains, “He was an entrepreneur.” “He began with nothing. He was merely a misbehaving adolescent.”

In the same interview, he also recommended Isaacson’s Einstein: His Life and Universe.

Peter Thiel’s Zero to One:

Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future, is a book on building the future. Farnam Streeters must read this, as I’ve previously said. “Peter Thiel has established numerous breakthrough businesses, and (this book) illustrates how,” Musk said of the book.

Nick Bostrom’s book Superintelligence:

Paths, Dangers, and Strategies. “Bostrom’s Superintelligence is well worth reading. With AI, we must exercise extreme caution. “More hazardous than nuclear weapons.” Musk sent out a tweet. So, of course, I purchased it.

Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele wrote Howard Hughes:

His Life and Madness. In a recent CNN interview, he revealed that he had recently completed this book. Musk refers to it as a “warning storey.”

Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Here’s an extract from an interview in which he discusses why this book was so important to him:

Alison van Diggelen:

I’m Alison van Diggelen, and I hear that Douglas Adams’ great book Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was an essential book for you. What was it about that particular book that piqued your interest?

Elon Musk: I think when I was 12 or 15 years old. I had an existential crisis, and I was reading other literature to find out what life was all about. Everything looked pointless until we discovered that we had some Nietzsche and Schopenhauer books in the home, which you should not read at the age of 14. (laughter). It’s horrible, and it’s pretty negative. Then I read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which is a great book that emphasises an essential point: the question is sometimes more complicated than the solution. And if you can pose the question correctly, the answer is simple. So, as we get a deeper understanding of the cosmos, we will be better equipped to ask the right questions. Then, whichever question most closely resembles: “What is the purpose of life?” That is the question we will eventually be able to answer. So I reasoned that if we can broaden the extent and size of awareness and understanding, it would be beneficial.”

Finally, we get to the portion about rocket science.

John D. Clark’s Ignition! is an informal history of liquid rocket propellants.

In an interview, Musk noted, “There’s a terrific book on rocket things called ‘Ignition!’ by John Clark that’s a very entertaining one.” Unfortunately, it is not inexpensive to train as a rocket scientist. For a secondhand copy of Musk’s book suggestion (which is also available for free on the web), expect to pay about $3,000.

Musk’s new aims include drilling tunnels under significant cities for automobiles to speed through and escape gridlock, as well as establishing the first colony on Mars. Both concepts seem a bit odd, but I wouldn’t bet against him because of his perseverance and ability to prepare ahead of time.

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