Top 10 Books That Elon Musk Recommends

According to a recent survey conducted by US firm First Round Capital, He’s the single most admired tech leader globally. He’s the only person who’s making billions of dollars selling electric cars while at the very same time preparing to colonize Mars. His recent propulsion in business and technology, combined with his highly controversial role as adviser to the president.

Musk loves to read much like Warren Buffett, who credits a great deal of his success. He reportedly finished the entire Encyclopedia Britannica by age nine! When asked how he learned so much about rocket science, Musk answered with three words. I read books. But we wanted to know which books helped shape Musks, one-of-a-kind career. Luckily, we found this list of the ten that he recommends most.

Top 10 Books That Elon Musk Recommends

We bring you the list of books recommended by Elon Musk. Elon Musk is the CEO of SpaceX, Tesla. He has said that reading various books from epic fantasy works is essential.

This list of 10 books that Elon Musk recommends, and the billionaire entrepreneur thinks everyone should read.

1. Zero To One

When Musk managed the payments business back in the early 2000s, he was in direct competition with PayPal, co-founded by Peter Thiel. A man who is now a billionaire investor. So Musk naturally supported it when Thiel came out with his book on startup theory. Several breakthrough companies have been built by Peter Thiel and ‘Zero to one’ shows.

Zero to one describes how to build efficient startups to build a better future. The book looks in-depth into properly planning and executing a startup that can be as impactful as successful. Thiel explains the importance of knowing the market before entering as a startup to ensure you have a solid foundation before any funding, knowing little about startup culture.

The book is full of combative observations from Thiel, such as that the fascination with disruption in Silicon Valley is completely misguided. If you had the right mix between intellectual capacity and purpose, you’d be successful in the long term. This book is for anyone who wants to build a better future. Also, this is one of the books that Elon Musk recommends all time.

Zero To One

Author: Peter Thiel, Blake Masters
Average Customer Review: (4.6 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: New Business Enterprises (#1 Best Seller)

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2. Einstein: His Life And Universe

Musk’s first college degree was a B.S. in physics. All three companies, Space X, Tesla, and Solar City, rely on a deep and continuous knowledge of physics and chemistry. Einstein developed our modern understanding of the world. So it is only natural that Musk would be interested in the life and work of this man. It is a valuable advantage for a rational citizenry to understand the methodology of science.

Science tells us the connection between factual facts and general hypotheses, well demonstrated in Einstein’s life. Furthermore, an appreciation of science’s glories is a joyous hallmark of a healthy culture. It allows us to contact the childlike desire to wonder about dropping apples and elevators that define Einstein. So this biographic book tells you the real hero story, and Elon Musk recommends it for the Astro readers.


Author: Walter Isaacson
Average Customer Review: (4.7 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Science & Engineering, Biography

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3. The Foundation Series

Apart from the Lord of the Rings, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series formed Musk’s early interest in science fiction and fantasy. The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov is one of the most classic science fiction series of all time. It is also incredibly popular and well known that Elon Musk recommends at every show.

The books concentrate on the collapse of a fictitious interstellar empire through the Milky Way. It consists of millions of human-settled worlds. The stories may have an immense impact on the career history of Musk. In a 2013 interview with The Guardian, he said about the series.

“The lessons of history would suggest that cultures pass in cycles. The Babylonians, the Sumerians, followed by the Romans, China, and the Egyptians, can be traced back. We’re obviously in a very upward cycle, and hopefully, that’s still the case.”

A mathematician, historian, scholar named Hari Seldon invents a predicting system. The system is called psychohistory. It uses the principles of statistical mechanics. So Hari Seldon invents this method and then predicts over the next few thousand years. Do you want to know more, then get this book quickly.

The Foundation Series

Author: Isaac Asimov
Average Customer Review: (4.5 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Hard Science Fiction

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4. Our Final Invention

Our final invention provides more warnings about the dangers of artificial intelligence. In a 2014 tweet, Elon Musk called the book a worthy read. It takes a close look at AI’s potential future, assessing its benefits and drawbacks on his website. Berrett says the book is at least partly about the catastrophic downside of AI. One you’ll never hear about from Google, Apple, IBM, and DARPA.

Musk’s agreement of AI has a target, and humanity happens to be in the way. AI doesn’t have to be harmful to destroy humanity. It could, of course, kill civilization without even thinking about it, without any remorse. He said about this in a documentary on artificial intelligence. If you want to learn about future technology and its effect, this book is best for reading.

Our Final Invention

Author: James Barrat
Average Customer Review: (4.3 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Intelligence & Semantics

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5. Empire: The Life, Legend, and Madness of Howard Hughes

Hughes lived a life that was very sad and lonely. He never reached the degree of technological success that he wanted. Despite his brilliance as an inventor and businessman, he’s remembered today more for his biggest disappointment, the Spruce Goose, than his accomplishments.

Howard Hughes is seen by Tesla as a role model to prevent rather than imitate. However, Hughes’s mind was capable of absorbing complex technological information. You must read this book to earn unique ideas, knowledge, and things as a tech lover.


Author: Donald L. Barlett, James B. Steele
Average Customer Review: (4.3 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Actors & Entertainers

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6. Ignition: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants

This insider’s account of rocketry in his early years captures the excitement of technology, research, and development beyond the sphere of computer science. Although we are used to thinking of technical advancements in Moore’s Law. These engineers have gone from launching metal tubes small enough. It can carry a two-ton metal capsule and carry three humans to the moon in a few short years.

Elon Musk sees himself as keeping this tradition with his Space X company. Initially, this print book was printed on demand and is very rare. By reading this book, you can learn about some terrible experiments and their results. So don’t miss it!


Author: John Drury Clark, Isaac Asimov
Average Customer Review: (4.7 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Energy Production, Fossil Fuels

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7. Structures: Why Things Don’t Fall Down

Gordon came from a coding background when Musk began Space X. But he took it upon himself to learn rocket science, basics, structures, or why things do not fall. A famous take on structural engineering by GE was one of the books that helped him. It is good if you want a structural design primer. Musk said this in an interview with Casey RW, a radio station in Southern California.

Elon Musk was intimately acquainted with Space X Falcon heavy rockets, planning, and construction because of his interest in rocket mechanics. He has served as both Space X’s chief designer and CEO. Musk said that it was not because I wanted to be the chief engineer or chief designer that I ended up being the chief engineer during a 2017 talk about colonizing Mars.

Musk has consistently described Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s founding fathers and an accomplished inventor, as one of his idols in his infamous kite experiment. It led to the lightning bolts invention. To learn more about the invention, structural design in history, you must read this book.


Author: J. E. Gordon
Average Customer Review: (4.6 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Engineering & Transportation

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8. Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

It’s that Elon Musk is exploring the future of artificial intelligence if you’re detecting a trend among the books on this list. MIT Professor Max Tegmark writes in Life 3.0 on keeping artificial intelligence beneficial to human life and ensuring that technological innovation stays consistent with humanity’s future aspirations. One of the few books that Musk suggests dealing with AI’s possibility as a power rather than evil for good.

Should we be scared of artificial intelligence? This is a growing question and debate among scientists and policymakers. In this book, the author analyzes the growth of artificial intelligence and a technological point of view. It analyzes the growth of artificial intelligence and looks at its impact on human beings. If we answer artificial intelligence, we need to answer what it means to understand humans.

What it means to be a conscious being in today’s world is crucial to understanding artificial intelligence and how we can grow alongside it. If you’re interested in learning more about artificial intelligence, this is a great book. However, I would start with something that’s a bit more introductory as this book does get quite complex. If you fall into that camp, I recommend this book as it is highly technical and full of great value.

Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Author: Max Tegmark
Average Customer Review: (4.5 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: Robotics (#1 Best Seller)

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9. Merchants of Doubt

Elon Musk strongly believes that science should play a central role in government policy settings. This book describes how many scientists are funded by companies. They have steadily made money by sowing doubts about actual scientific legitimacy in the public mind to challenge empirical evidence.

Fred Singer and a handful of other scientists joined forces with think tanks and private firms on various contemporary issues, case after case. In the early years, much of the cash for this program came from the tobacco industry. It came later from foundations, think tanks, and the fossil fuel industry. The correlation between smoking and cancer remained unproven.

They claim that volcanoes were triggering acid rain and the ozone hole. They rejected the fact of global warming, most recently over almost two decades. The book gives you the tools to convince other people to join the side of reason to fight for a better planet, which is honestly something that we should be doing. Every person we convince to fight for a more conscious society is a huge victory.

Merchants of Doubt

Author: Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. Conway
Average Customer Review: (4.6 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: History & Philosophy

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10. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

Elon Musk has a bird’s eye view of the advancement of technology, including his leadership positions at SpaceX, Solar City, and Tesla. All this isn’t good news, he tweeted. We need to be super careful with A.I. since it’s potentially more dangerous than nukes. To find out why he says it’s worth reading. Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence book makes the audacious inquiry into what might happen if computational intelligence exceeds human intelligence.

As the title suggests, the book is about superintelligence, or particularly it’s about artificial intelligence. The book is extraordinarily in-depth. This is probably the most difficult book I’ve had to read in a very long time.


Author: Nick Bostrom
Average Customer Review: (4.4 out of 5, on Amazon)
Category: AI & Machine Learning

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I hope you will read this book and discover the new technology and world. As an Elon Musk fan, I always try to read innovative and science fiction books. So don’t be late, and collect the book. Happy book reading!

Read More: 15 Best Business Books Everyone Should Read

Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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