Elon Musk
Book Recommendations

  • The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

    The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

    The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

    Robert A. Heinlein
    Fiction
    4.15 (125,792)

    It is a tale of revolution, of the rebellion of a former penal colony on the moon against its masters on the earth. it is a tale of a culture whose family structures are based on the presence of two men for every woman, leading to novel forms of marriage and family. it is the story of the disparate people, a computer technician, a vigorous young female agitator, and an elderly academic who become the movement's leaders, and of mike, the supercomputer whose sentience is known only to the revolt's

    Elon Musk

    This book is in her favorite book about space

    May 4, 2012 — Source

  • Ignition!

    Ignition!

    Ignition!

    John D Clark
    Technology & Engineering
    4.18 (1,716)

    Ignition! is the inside story of the cold war era search for a rocket propellant that could be trusted to take man into space. a favorite of tesla and spacex founder elon musk, listeners will want to tune into this "really good book on rocket[s]," available for the first time in audio. ignition! is the story of the search for a rocket propellant which could be trusted to take man into space. this search was a hazardous enterprise carried out by rival labs who worked against the known laws of

    Elon Musk

    On Elon Musk's list of favorite books on space

    May 4, 2012 — Source

  • The Age of Napoleon

    The Age of Napoleon

    The Age of Napoleon

    Ariel Durant,Will Durant
    History
    4.32 (788)

    The age of napoleon surveys the amazing chain of events that wrenched europe out of the enlightenment and into the age of democracy:* the french revolution---from the storming of the bastille to the guillotining of the king* the revolution's leaders danton, desmoulins, robespierre, saint-just---all cut down by the reign of terror they inaugurated.* napoleon's meteoric rise---from the provincial corsican military student to the emperor commanding the largest army in history* napoleon's fall---his army's destruction in the snows of russia, his exile to elba, escape and reconquest of the throne, and

    Elon Musk

    an amazing book

    May 16, 2020 — Source

  • Benjamin Franklin

    Benjamin Franklin

    Benjamin Franklin

    Walter Isaacson
    Biography & Autobiography
    4.01 (128,775)

    Benjamin franklin is the founding father who winks at us. an ambitious urban entrepreneur who rose up the social ladder, from leather-aproned shopkeeper to dining with kings, he seems made of flesh rather than of marble. in bestselling author walter isaacson's vivid and witty full-scale biography, we discover why franklin seems to turn to us from history's stage with eyes that twinkle from behind his new-fangled spectacles. by bringing franklin to life, isaacson shows how he helped to define both his own time and ours.he was, during his 84-year life,

    Elon Musk

    Highly recommended.

    Dec 4, 2011 — Source

  • Look to Windward

    Look to Windward

    Look to Windward

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction
    4.19 (25,659)

    The twin novae battle had been one of the last of the idiran war, one of the most horrific. desperate to avert defeat, the idirans had induced not one but two suns to explode, snuffing out worlds & biospheres teeming with sentient life. they were attacks of incredible proportion - gigadeathcrimes. but the war ended and life went on. now, 800 years later, light from the 1st explosion is about to reach the masaq' orbital, home to the culture's most adventurous & decadent souls. there it will fall upon masaq's

    Elon Musk

    He is an amazing writer. Pantheon level.

    Mar 22, 2015 — Source

  • Superintelligence

    Superintelligence

    Superintelligence

    Nick Bostrom
    Computers
    3.86 (15,019)

    Superintelligence asks the questions: what happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? will artificial agents save or destroy us? nick bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life. the human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. it is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. if machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful--possibly beyond our control. as the fate of the gorillas now depends more on

    Elon Musk

    Worth reading. We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.

    Aug 3, 2014 — Source

  • Merchants of Doubt

    Merchants of Doubt

    Merchants of Doubt

    Erik M. Conway,Naomi Oreskes
    Technology & Engineering
    4.18 (5,557)

    The u.s. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. our scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of ddt, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. but at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers.merchants of doubt tells the story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective

    Elon Musk

    Worth reading Merchants of Doubt. Same who tried to deny smoking deaths r denying climate change

    May 26, 2013 — Source

  • Daemon

    Daemon

    Daemon

    Daniel Suarez
    Fiction
    4.15 (46,339)

    Technology controls almost everything in our modern-day world, from remote entry on our cars to access to our homes, from the flight controls of our airplanes to the movements of the entire world economy. thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. for the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them. matthew sobol was a legendary computer game designer—the

    Elon Musk

    Yeah, Daemon is a great read

    Aug 3, 2014 — Source

  • The Machine Stops

    The Machine Stops

    The Machine Stops

    E. M. Forster
    Fantasy fiction
    English
    4.08 (12,452)

    The machine stops is a science fiction short story (12,300 words) by e. m. forster. after initial publication in the oxford and cambridge review (november 1909), the story was republished in forster's the eternal moment and other stories in 1928. after being voted one of the best novellas up to 1965, it was included that same year in the populist anthology modern short stories. in 1973 it was also included in the science fiction hall of fame, volume two. the book is particularly notable for predicting new technologies such as

    Elon Musk

    Worth reading The Machine Stops, an old story by E. M. Forster

    Jan 3, 2016 — Source

  • Foundation

    Foundation

    Foundation

    Isaac Asimov
    Fiction
    4.17 (464,840)

    Soon to be an apple tv+ series, coming 9/24/21 - nominated as one of america's best-loved novels by pbs's the great american readfor twelve thousand years the galactic empire has ruled supreme. now it is dying. but only hari seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future--to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. to preserve knowledge and save humankind, seldon gathers the best minds in the empire--both scientists and scholars--and brings them to a bleak planet at

    Elon Musk

    Foundation Series & Zeroth Law are fundamental to creation of SpaceX

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • Acts of Love

    Acts of Love

    Acts of Love

    Talulah Riley
    Fiction
    3.07 (326)

    A bold, intelligent, and modern love story which reminds us that the most powerful relationships are not so much about two people finding each other as they are about that most human quest to find ourselves.bernadette is expert at hiding the truth.she has built her career as a journalist on her talent for lulling powerful men into a false sense of security, then exposing them in her ruthless profile pieces.but in radley blake, she may have met her match. immune to her charms, he seems to see through every layer

    Elon Musk

    All characters – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional

    Aug 11, 2016 — Source

  • The Big Picture

    The Big Picture

    The Big Picture

    Sean Carroll
    Science
    4.19 (7,368)

    Already internationally acclaimed for his elegant, lucid writing on the most challenging notions in modern physics, sean carroll is emerging as one of the greatest humanist thinkers of his generation as he brings his extraordinary intellect to bear not only on higgs bosons and extra dimensions but now also on our deepest personal questions. where are we? who are we? are our emotions, our beliefs, and our hopes and dreams ultimately meaningless out there in the void? does human purpose and meaning fit into a scientific worldview?in short chapters filled

    Elon Musk

    Highly recommend anything by Sean Carroll

    Jun 13, 2016 — Source

  • The Player of Games

    The Player of Games

    The Player of Games

    Iain Banks
    Fiction
    4.27 (65,369)

    The culture - a humanoid/machine symbiotic society - has thrown up many great game players. one of the best is jernau morat gurgeh, player of games, master of every board, computer and strategy. bored with success, gurgeh travels to the empire of azad, cruel & incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game, a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. mocked, blackmailed, almost murdered, gurgeh accepts the game and with it the challenge of his life, and very possibly his death.

    Elon Musk

    Reading The Culture series

    Dec 26, 2014 — Source

  • Lying

    Lying

    Lying

    Annaka Harris,Sam Harris
    Philosophy
    3.87 (17,310)

    Elon Musk

    Excellent cover art and lots of good reasons not to lie!

    Dec 21, 2011 — Source

  • Surface Detail

    Surface Detail

    Surface Detail

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction
    4.23 (26,801)

    It begins in the realm of the real, where matter still matters. it begins with a murder. it will not end until the culture has gone to war with death itself. lededje y'breq is one of the intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes, is at a price. to put things right she will need the help of the culture. benevolent, enlightened

    Elon Musk

    [Recommend] All of them, especially Surface Detail

    Jun 17, 2018 — Source

  • Screw Business As Usual

    Screw Business As Usual

    Screw Business As Usual

    Richard Branson
    Business & Economics
    3.63 (1,480)

    Can we bring more meaning to our lives and help change the world at the same time? richard branson, at his brilliant and motivating best, reveals how with his exciting new vision for the future. it is time to turn capitalism upside down – to shift our values, to switch from a profit focus to caring for people, communities and the planet.with inspiration for everyone, screw business as usual shows how easy it is for both businesses and individuals to embark on a whole new way of doing things, solving

    Elon Musk

    Liked a lot. This approach should be taken to heart by all, as it really is the smart move.

    Dec 29, 2011 — Source

  • Consider Phlebas

    Consider Phlebas

    Consider Phlebas

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction
    3.86 (82,146)

    The war raged across the galaxy. billions had died, billions more were doomed. moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. the idirans fought for their faith; the culture for its moral right to exist. principles were at stake. there could be no surrender.within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a planet of the dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive mind. both the culture and the idirans sought it. it was the fate of horza,

    Elon Musk

    Compelling picture of a grand, semi-utopian galactic future. Hopefully not too optimistic about AI.

    Dec 26, 2014 — Source

  • Foundation and Earth

    Foundation and Earth

    Foundation and Earth

    Isaac Asimov
    Fiction
    4.06 (63,354)

    Golan trevize, former councilman of the first foundation, has chosen the future, and it is gaia. a superorganism, gaia is a holistic planet with a common consciousness so intensely united that every dewdrop, every pebble, every being, can speak for all—and feel for all. it is a realm in which privacy is not only undesirable, it is incomprehensible. but is it the right choice for the destiny of mankind? while trevize feels it is, that is not enough. he must know. trevize believes the answer lies at the site of

    Elon Musk

    fundamental to creation of SpaceX

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • Forward the Foundation

    Forward the Foundation

    Forward the Foundation

    Isaac Asimov
    Fiction
    4.15 (50,656)

    Librarian's note: alternate cover for this isbn can be found herehere, from a grand master of science fiction, is the long awaited final novel of the greatest series ever told. completed just before his death, forward the foundation is the crowning achievement of a great writer's life, a stirring testament to the creative genius of isaac asimov. as hari seldon struggles to perfect his revolutionary theory of psychohistory and ensure a place for humanity among the stars, the great galactic empire totters on the brink of apocalyptic collapse. caught in

    Elon Musk

    fundamental to creation of SpaceX

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • Foundation and Empire

    Foundation and Empire

    Foundation and Empire

    Isaac Asimov
    Fiction
    4.21 (179,127)

    Foundation and empire tells the incredible story of a new breed of man who create a new force for galactic government. thus, the foundation hurtles into conflict with the decadent, decrepit first empire. in this struggle for power amid the chaos of the stars, man stands at the threshold of a new, enlightened life which could easily be put aside for the old forces of barbarism. the foundation novels of isaac asimov constitute what is very likely the most famed epic in all of science-fiction

    Elon Musk

    fundamental to creation of SpaceX

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • Dune

    Dune

    Dune

    Frank Herbert
    Fiction
    4.24 (1,014,265)

    Set on the desert planet arrakis, dune is the story of the boy paul atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for...when house atreides is betrayed, the destruction of paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. and as he evolves into the mysterious

    Elon Musk

    Dune series by Herbert also brilliant. He advocates placing limits on machine intelligence.

    Dec 9, 2014 — Source

  • Our Final Invention

    Our Final Invention

    Our Final Invention

    James Barrat
    Computers
    3.74 (3,128)

    In as little as a decade, artificial intelligence could match, then surpass human intelligence. corporations & government agencies around the world are pouring billions into achieving ai’s holy grail—human-level intelligence. once ai has attained it, scientists argue, it will have survival drives much like our own. we may be forced to compete with a rival more cunning, more powerful & more alien than we can imagine. thru profiles of tech visionaries, industry watchdogs & groundbreaking ai systems, james barrat's our final invention explores the perils of the heedless pursuit of

    Elon Musk

    worth reading

    Aug 4, 2014 — Source

  • Heretics of Dune

    Heretics of Dune

    Heretics of Dune

    Frank Herbert
    Fiction
    3.88 (63,631)

    Leto atreides, the god emperor of dune, is dead. in the fifteen hundred years since his passing, the empire has fallen into ruin. the great scattering saw millions abandon the crumbling civilization and spread out beyond the reaches of known space. the planet arrakis-now called rakis-has reverted to its desert climate, and its great sandworms are dying.now, the lost ones are returning home in pursuit of power. and as factions vie for control over the remnants of the empire, a girl named sheeana rises to prominence in the wastelands of

    Elon Musk

    Dune series by Herbert also brilliant. He advocates placing limits on machine intelligence.

    Dec 9, 2014 — Source

  • Second Foundation

    Second Foundation

    Second Foundation

    Isaac Asimov
    Fiction
    4.25 (164,080)

    So far the foundation was safe. but there was a hidden second foundation to protect the first. the mule has yet to find it, but he was getting closer all the time. the men of the foundation sought it, too, to escape from mule's mind control. only arkady, a 14 year-old girl seemed to have the answer, or did she...?

    Elon Musk

    fundamental to creation of SpaceX

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • Human Compatible

    Human Compatible

    Human Compatible

    Stuart Russell
    Technology & Engineering
    4.15 (2,030)

    In the popular imagination, superhuman artificial intelligence is an approaching tidal wave that threatens not just jobs and human relationships, but civilization itself. conflict between humans and machines is seen as inevitable and its outcome all too predictable.in this groundbreaking book, distinguished ai researcher stuart russell argues that this scenario can be avoided, but only if we rethink ai from the ground up. russell begins by exploring the idea of intelligence in humans and in machines. he describes the near-term benefits we can expect, from intelligent personal assistants to vastly

    Elon Musk

    Worth reading

    Oct 9, 2019 — Source

  • Chapterhouse

    Chapterhouse

    Chapterhouse

    Frank Herbert
    3.92 (53,947)

    The desert planet arrakis, called dune, has been destroyed. the remnants of the old empire have been consumed by the violent matriarchal cult known as the honored matres. only one faction remains a viable threat to their total conquest--the bene gesserit, heirs to dune's power.under the leadership of mother superior darwi odrade, the bene gesserit have colonized a green world on the planet chapterhouse and are turning it into a desert, mile by scorched mile. and once they've mastered breeding sandworms, the sisterhood will control the production of the greatest

    Elon Musk

    Dune series by Herbert also brilliant. He advocates placing limits on machine intelligence.

    Dec 9, 2014 — Source

  • The Story of Civilization

    The Story of Civilization

    The Story of Civilization

    Ariel Durant,Will Durant
    History
    4.42 (1,621)

    The story of civilization by will durant represents the most comprehensive attempt in our times to embrace the vast panorama of man's history and culture. this 11 volume set includes: vo1 : our oriental heritage; vol 2: the life of greece; vol.3: caesar and christ; vol 4: the age of faith; vol 5: the renaissance; vol 6: the reformation; vol 7: the age of reason begins; vol 8: the age of louis xiv; vol 9:the age of voltaire; vol. 10: rousseau and revolution; vol 11: the age of napoleon

    Elon Musk

    First book is a little dry, but second book, The Life of Greece, is incredible.

    Sep 14, 2020 — Source

  • A Woman Makes a Plan

    A Woman Makes a Plan

    A Woman Makes a Plan

    Maye Musk
    3.9 (2,542)

    Maye musk is a fashionable, charming, jet-setting supermodel with a fascinating and tight-knit circle of family and friends--and is 71 years old. but things were not always so easy or glamorous--she became a single mom at 31, struggling through poverty to provide for her three children; dealt with weight issues as a plus-size model and overcame ageism in the modeling industry; and established a lifelong career as a respected dietitian, all the while starting over in eight different cities across three countries and two continents. but she made her way

    Elon Musk

    My Mom wrote a book

    Feb 8, 2020 — Source

  • Catherine the Great

    Catherine the Great

    Catherine the Great

    Robert K. Massie
    Biography & Autobiography
    3.91 (103,913)

    Pulitzer prize winner massie offers the tale of a princess who went to russia at 14 and became one of the most powerful women in history. born into minor german nobility, she transformed herself into an empress by sheer determination. possessing a brilliant, curious mind, she devoured the works of enlightenment philosophers, and reaching the throne, tried using their principles to rule the vast, backward empire. she knew or corresponded with notable figures of her time: voltaire, diderot, frederick the great, maria theresa of austria, marie antoinette & john paul

    Elon Musk

    Am reading Robert Massie's book on Catherine the Great. Yeah, I know what you're probably thinking ... did she really f* a horse?

    Dec 30, 2011 — Source

  • Das Kapital

    Das Kapital

    Das Kapital

    Friedrich Engels,Karl Marx
    Political Science
    3.88 (9,187)

    Das kapital, karl marx's seminal work, is the book that above all others formed the twentieth century. from kapital sprung the economic and political systems that at one time dominated half the earth and for nearly a century kept the world on the brink of war. even today, more than one billion chinese citizens live under a regime that proclaims fealty to marxist ideology. yet this important tome has been passed over by many readers frustrated by marx’s difficult style and his preoccupation with nineteenth-century events of little relevance to

    Elon Musk

    Read Das Kapital when I was 14

    Jun 17, 2018 — Source

  • The State of the Art

    The State of the Art

    The State of the Art

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction
    3.85 (16,797)

    The first ever collection of iain banks' short fiction, this volume includes the acclaimed novella, the state of the art. this is a striking addition to the growing body of culture lore, and adds definition and scale to the previous works by using the earth of 1977 as contrast. the other stories in the collection range from science fiction to horror, dark-coated fantasy to morality tale. all bear the indefinable stamp of iain banks' staggering talent.

    Elon Musk

    Compelling picture of a grand, semi-utopian galactic future.

    Dec 26, 2014 — Source

  • Use of Weapons

    Use of Weapons

    Use of Weapons

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction
    4.17 (43,891)

    The man known as cheradenine zakalwe was one of special circumstances' foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the culture through intrigue, dirty tricks and military action.the woman known as diziet sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought.the drone known as skaffen-amtiskaw knew both of these people. it had once saved the woman's life by massacring her attackers in a particularly bloody manner. it believed the man

    Elon Musk

    Compelling picture of a grand, semi-utopian galactic future.

    Dec 26, 2014 — Source

  • The Hydrogen Sonata

    The Hydrogen Sonata

    The Hydrogen Sonata

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction
    4.17 (22,494)

    The scavenger species are circling. it is, truly, provably, the end days for the gzilt civilization.an ancient people, organized on military principles and yet almost perversely peaceful, the gzilt helped set up the culture ten thousand years earlier and were very nearly one of its founding societies, deciding not to join only at the last moment. now they've made the collective decision to follow the well-trodden path of millions of other civilizations; they are going to sublime, elevating themselves to a new and almost infinitely more rich and complex existence.amid

    Elon Musk

    Compelling picture of a grand, semi-utopian galactic future.

    Dec 26, 2014 — Source

  • Inversions

    Inversions

    Inversions

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction
    3.93 (17,410)

    On a backward world with six moons, an alert spy reports on the doings of one dr. vosill, who has mysteriously become the personal physician to the king, despite being a foreigner and, even more unthinkably, a woman. vosill has more enemies than she first realizes. but then she also has more remedies to hand than those who wish her ill can ever guess.elsewhere, in another palace across the mountains, a man named dewar serves as chief bodyguard to the protector general of tassasen, a profession he describes as the

    Elon Musk

    Compelling picture of a grand, semi-utopian galactic future.

    Dec 26, 2014 — Source

  • Starhammer

    Starhammer

    Starhammer

    Christopher B. Rowley
    3.84 (268)

    For a thousand years and more, the worlds of man had been dominated by the laowon imperium. the aliens thought humans made good slaves and better pets, and they were fond of creating new breeds. and the laowon made sure that their playthings never grew too powerful. born one day, on the edge of human space, jon iehard was ordered to hunt eblis bey, a terrorist for old earth. and that was the beginning of the end for the laowon. because iehard had been a laowon slave. and eblis bey

    Elon Musk

    A bit more obscure

    Sep 16, 2020 — Source

  • Matter

    Matter

    Matter

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction
    4.08 (26,453)

    In a world renowned within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime within a war. for one brother it means a desperate flight, and a search for the one - maybe two - people who could clear his name. for his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. and for their sister, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever.only the sister is not what she once was; djan seriy anaplian has become an agent of the culture's special circumstances section, charged

    Elon Musk

    Compelling picture of a grand, semi-utopian galactic future.

    Dec 26, 2014 — Source

  • Excession

    Excession

    Excession

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction
    4.19 (28,929)

    The international sensation iain m. banks offers readers a deeply imaginative, wittily satirical tale, proving once again that he is "a talent to be reckoned with" ("locus"). in excession, the culture's espionage and dirty tricks section orders diplomat byr gen-hofoen to steal the soul of a long-dead starship captain. by accepting the mission, byr irrevocably plunges himself into a conspiracy: one that could either lead the universe into an age of peace or to the brink of annihilation.

    Elon Musk

    Compelling picture of a grand, semi-utopian galactic future.

    Dec 26, 2014 — Source

  • The Stainless Steel Rat
    Elon Musk

    A bit more obscure

    Sep 16, 2020 — Source