Elon Musk's favorite books

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    Douglas Adams
    42nd Anniversary Edition
    Fiction

    'One of the greatest achievements in comedy. A work of staggering genius' - David Walliams An international phenomenon and pop-culture classic, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has been a radio show, TV series, novel, stage play, comic book and film. Following the galactic (mis)adventures of Arthur Dent, Hitchhiker’s in its various incarnations has captured the imaginations of curious minds around the world . . . It's an ordinary Thursday lunchtime for Arthur Dent until his house gets demolished. The Earth follows shortly afterwards to make way for a new hyperspace express route, and his best friend has just announced that he's an alien. At this moment, they're hurtling through space with nothing but their towels and an innocuous-looking book inscribed, in large friendly letters, with the words: DON'T PANIC. The weekend has only just begun . . . With exclusive bonus material from the Douglas Adams archives, and an introduction by former Doctor Who showrunner, Russell T Davies. The intergalactic adventures of Arthur Dent begin in the first volume of the 'trilogy of five', Douglas Adams' comedy sci-fi classic The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

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    My favorite spaceship ever is in HHGTTG.

    Jun 16, 2016 — Source

  • A Game of Thrones

    A Game of Thrones

    George R. R. Martin
    Fiction

    The kingdom of the royal Stark family faces its ultimate challenge in the onset of a generation-long winter, the poisonous plots of the rival Lannisters, the emergence of the Neverborn demons and the arrival of barbarian hordes. Reissue. TV tie-in.

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    Best books in recent years

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • Ignition!

    Ignition!

    John Drury Clark
    An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants
    Technology & Engineering

    This newly reissued debut book in the Rutgers University Press Classics Imprint 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 nature, with no guarantee of success or safety. Acclaimed scientist and sci-fi author John Drury Clark writes with irreverent and eyewitness immediacy about the development of the explosive fuels strong enough to negate the relentless restraints of gravity. The resulting volume is as much a memoir as a work of history, sharing a behind-the-scenes view of an enterprise which eventually took men to the moon, missiles to the planets, and satellites to outer space. A classic work in the history of science, and described as “a good book on rocket stuff…that’s a really fun one” by SpaceX founder Elon Musk, readers will want to get their hands on this influential classic, available for the first time in decades.

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    On Elon Musk's list of favorite books on space

    May 4, 2012 — Source

  • The Age of Napoleon

    The Age of Napoleon

    Ariel Durant,Will Durant
    The Story of Civilization
    History

    The Story of Civilization, Volume XI: A history of European civilization from 1789 to 1815. This is the eleventh and final volume of the classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning series.

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    an amazing book

    May 16, 2020 — Source

  • A Clash of Kings

    A Clash of Kings

    George R. R. Martin
    Fiction

    Six separate factions vie for control of the realm of the late Lord Eddard Stark, while an ancient form of magic, an everlasting winter, and an unearthly army threaten to return.

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    Best books in recent years

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • The Lord of the Rings

    The Lord of the Rings

    J.R.R. Tolkien
    Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings
    Fiction

    The first volume in J.R.R. Tolkien's epic adventure THE LORD OF THE RINGS One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose. “A unique, wholly realized other world, evoked from deep in the well of Time, massively detailed, absorbingly entertaining, profound in meaning.” – New York Times

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    my favorite book ever

    Mar 13, 2017 — Source

  • A Storm of Swords

    A Storm of Swords

    George R. R. Martin
    Steel and Snow
    American fiction

    The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros are plagued by civil war, while the Night's Watch mounts a reconnaissance force to investigate the mysterious people known as wildlings. Meanwhile Daenerys Targaryen continues her quest to return to and conquer the Seven Kingdoms. All signs are foreshadowing a terrible disaster that is to come.

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    Best books in recent years

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • Benjamin Franklin

    Benjamin Franklin

    Walter Isaacson
    An American Life
    Biography & Autobiography

    Presents a portrait of Benjamin Franklin as a scientist, inventor, diplomat, writer, business strategist, and statesman while tracing his life as one of America's Founding Fathers.

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    Highly recommended.

    Dec 4, 2011 — Source

  • A Feast for Crows

    A Feast for Crows

    George R. R. Martin
    Fiction

    The uneasy peace that exists following the death of Robb Stark is threatened by new plots, intrigues, and alliances that once again will plunge the Seven Kingdoms into all-out war for control of the Iron Throne.

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    Best books in recent years

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • A Dance with Dragons

    A Dance with Dragons

    George R. R. Martin
    Fiction

    New threats emerge to endanger the future of the Seven Kingdoms, as Daenerys Targaryen, ruling in the East, fights off a multitude of enemies, while Jon Snow, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, faces his foes both in the Watch and beyond the great Wallof ice and stone.

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    Best books in recent years

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • Look to Windward

    Look to Windward

    Iain Banks
    Fiction

    A Chelgrian emissary is sent to the Masaq' Orbital to bring Ziller, a famous but reclusive Chelgrian composer, home, on a mission that also has a top-secret purpose that will take him on a haunting odyssey into his own past and into memories of terrible war that cost billions of lives and whose legacy threatens the present. Reprint.

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    He is an amazing writer. Pantheon level.

    Mar 22, 2015 — Source

  • The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

    The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

    Robert A. Heinlein
    Fiction

    A one-armed computer technician, a radical blonde bombshell, an aging academic, and a sentient all-knowing computer lead the lunar population in a revolution against Earth's colonial rule

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    This book is in her favorite book about space

    May 4, 2012 — Source

  • Foundation's Edge

    Foundation's Edge

    Isaac Asimov
    Fiction

    Interplanetary intrigue, hyperspace pursuit, and future technology combine with a desperate search for the planet Earth

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    fundamental to creation of SpaceX

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • Daemon

    Daemon

    Daniel Suarez
    Fiction

    "Previously published as a Dutton hardcover in 2009 and a mass market paperback in 2010"--Title page verso.

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    Yeah, Daemon is a great read

    Aug 3, 2014 — Source

  • Merchants of Doubt

    Merchants of Doubt

    Erik M. Conway,Naomi Oreskes
    How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming
    Technology & Engineering

    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. These 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 campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. Remarkably, the same individuals surface repeatedly-some of the same figures who have claimed that the science of global warming is "not settled" denied the truth of studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. "Doubt is our product," wrote one tobacco executive. These "experts" supplied it. Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, historians of science, roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how ideology and corporate interests, aided by a too-compliant media, have skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.

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

    May 26, 2013 — Source

  • Chapterhouse

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

    Dec 9, 2014 — Source

  • Children of Dune

    Children of Dune

    Frank Herbert
    The Third Dune Novel

    The epic that began with the HUGO and NEBULA Award-winning classic DUNE -- now a major motion picture from the director of Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival -- continues ... The sand-blasted world of Arrakis has become green, watered and fertile. Old Paul Atreides, who led the desert Fremen to political and religious domination of the galaxy, is gone. But for the children of Dune, the very blossoming of their land contains the seeds of its own destruction. The altered climate is destroying the giant sandworms, and this in turn is disastrous for the planet's economy. Leto and Ghanima, Paul Atreides's twin children and his heirs, can see possible solutions - but fanatics begin to challenge the rule of the all-powerful Atreides empire, and more than economic disaster threatens ...

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

    Dec 9, 2014 — Source

  • Dune

    Dune

    Frank Herbert
    Fiction

    Follows the adventures of Paul Atreides, the son of a betrayed duke given up for dead on a treacherous desert planet and adopted by its fierce, nomadic people, who help him unravel his most unexpected destiny.

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

    Dec 9, 2014 — Source

  • The Machine Stops

    The Machine Stops

    E. M. Forster
    Fantasy fiction
    English

    E.M. Forster is best known for his exquisite novels, but these two affecting short stories brilliantly combine the fantastical with the allegorical. In 'The Machine Stops', humanity has isolated itself beneath the ground, enmeshed in automated comforts, and in 'The Celestial Omnibus' a young boy takes a trip his parents believe impossible.

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

    Jan 3, 2016 — Source

  • The Fault in Our Stars

    The Fault in Our Stars

    John Green
    Young Adult Fiction

    Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life.

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    Must admit to liking, Sad, romantic and beautifully named

    Apr 6, 2015 — Source

  • Foundation

    Foundation

    Isaac Asimov
    Fiction

    The first novel in Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction masterpiece, the Foundation series SOON TO BE AN APPLE TV+ SERIES • Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. Only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future—a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save humanity, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire—both scientists and scholars—and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for future generations. He calls this sanctuary the Foundation. But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. And mankind’s last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and live as slaves—or take a stand for freedom and risk total destruction.

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    Foundation Series & Zeroth Law are fundamental to creation of SpaceX

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • Prelude to Foundation

    Prelude to Foundation

    Isaac Asimov
    Fiction

    In the year 12,020 G.E., Hari Seldon arrives in the domed city of Trantor and begins to develop his theory of psychohistory, which predicts the rise of a power greater than the Empire. Reissue.

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    fundamental to creation of SpaceX

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • Our Final Invention

    Our Final Invention

    James Barrat
    Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era
    Computers

    A Huffington Post Definitive Tech Book of 2013 In as little as a decade, artificial intelligence could match and then surpass human intelligence. Corporations and 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, and more alien than we can imagine. Through profiles of tech visionaries, industry watchdogs, and groundbreaking AI systems, James Barrat's Our Final Invention explores the perils of the heedless pursuit of advanced AI. Until now, human intelligence has had no rival. Can we coexist with beings whose intelligence dwarfs our own? And will they allow us to?

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    worth reading

    Aug 4, 2014 — Source

  • Foundation and Earth

    Foundation and Earth

    Isaac Asimov
    Fiction

    The fifth novel in Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction masterpiece, the Foundation series THE EPIC SAGA THAT INSPIRED THE UPCOMING APPLE TV+ SERIES FOUNDATION 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 humanity’s roots: fabled Earth . . . if it still exists. For no one is sure where the planet of Gaia’s first settlers is to be found in the immense wilderness of the Galaxy. Nor can anyone explain why no record of Earth has been preserved, no mention of it made anywhere in Gaia’s vast world-memory. It is an enigma Trevize is determined to resolve, and a quest he is determined to undertake, at any cost.

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    fundamental to creation of SpaceX

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • The Big Picture

    The Big Picture

    Sean Carroll
    On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself
    Science

    "In short chapters filled with intriguing historical anecdotes, personal asides, and rigorous exposition, readers learn the difference between how the world works at the quantum level, the cosmic level, and the human level--and then how each connects to the other. Carroll's presentation of the principles that have guided the scientific revolution from Darwin and Einstein to the origins of life, consciousness, and the universe is dazzlingly unique. Carroll shows how an avalanche of discoveries in the past few hundred years has changed our world and what really matters to us. Our lives are dwarfed like never before by the immensity of space and time, but they are redeemed by our capacity to comprehend it and give it meaning."--Publisher's website.

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    Highly recommend anything by Sean Carroll

    Jun 13, 2016 — Source

  • Acts of Love

    Acts of Love

    Talulah Riley
    Fiction

    'I read this compulsively in one sitting - it's the best escapism you'll have all summer!' - Amazon reviewer ACTS OF LOVE is a wonderfully romantic love story to make your heart soar, perfect for fans of Curtis Sittenfeld's Eligible. Bernadette knows what she wants. Tim is perfect, and she's always had a feeling that something is about to happen between them. He might have just announced his engagement to the sickeningly wonderful Elizabeth, but the ring's not on his finger yet. And when Elizabeth starts meddling in Bernie's own love life, she knows it's time to act. Yes, Elizabeth's best friend Radley might be charming, charismatic and intelligent. But he's not Tim. And Bernadette's not a woman who takes no for an answer. 'Talulah Riley is an absolute force of nature. Read and revel' - Eva Rice

    Buy on Amazon

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

    Aug 11, 2016 — Source

  • Forward the Foundation

    Forward the Foundation

    Isaac Asimov
    Fiction

    The second of two prequel novels in Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction masterpiece, the Foundation series THE EPIC SAGA THAT INSPIRED THE UPCOMING APPLE TV+ SERIES FOUNDATION 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 the maelstrom are Seldon and all he holds dear, pawns in the struggle for dominance. Whoever can control Seldon will control psychohistory—and with it the future of the Galaxy. Among those seeking to turn psychohistory into the greatest weapon known to man are a populist political demagogue, the weak-willed Emperor Cleon I, and a ruthless militaristic general. In his last act of service to humankind, Hari Seldon must somehow save his life’s work from their grasp as he searches for its true heirs—a search that begins with his own granddaughter and the dream of a new Foundation.

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    fundamental to creation of SpaceX

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • Lying

    Lying

    Sam Harris
    Philosophy

    As it was in Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, and Othello, so it is in life. Most forms of private vice and public evil are kindled and sustained by lies. Acts of adultery and other personal betrayals, financial fraud, government corruption—even murder and genocide—generally require an additional moral defect: a willingness to lie. In Lying, best-selling author and neuroscientist Sam Harris argues that we can radically simplify our lives and improve society by merely telling the truth in situations where others often lie. He focuses on "white" lies—those lies we tell for the purpose of sparing people discomfort—for these are the lies that most often tempt us. And they tend to be the only lies that good people tell while imagining that they are being good in the process.

    Buy on Amazon

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

    Dec 21, 2011 — Source

  • The Player of Games

    The Player of Games

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction

    The Culture - a human/machine symbiotic society - has thrown up many great Game Players, and one of the greatest is Gurgeh. Jernau Morat Gurgeh. The Player of Games. Master of every board, computer and strategy. Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel and 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. Praise for Iain M. Banks: "Poetic, humorous, baffling, terrifying, sexy -- the books of Iain M. Banks are all these things and more" -- NME "An exquisitely riotous tour de force of the imagination which writes its own rules simply for the pleasure of breaking them." -- Time Out

    Buy on Amazon

    Reading The Culture series

    Dec 26, 2014 — Source

  • Human Compatible

    Human Compatible

    Stuart Russell
    Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control
    Technology & Engineering

    A leading artificial intelligence researcher lays out a new approach to AI that will enable people to coexist successfully with increasingly intelligent machines.

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    Worth reading

    Oct 9, 2019 — Source

  • Foundation and Empire

    Foundation and Empire

    Isaac Asimov
    Fiction

    The second novel in Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction masterpiece, the Foundation series THE EPIC SAGA THAT INSPIRED THE UPCOMING APPLE TV+ SERIES FOUNDATION Led by its founding father, the psychohistorian Hari Seldon, and utilizing science and technology, the Foundation survived the greed and barbarism of its neighboring warrior-planets. Now cleverness and courage may not be enough. For the Empire—the mightiest force in the Galaxy—is even more dangerous in its death throes. Even worse, a mysterious entity called the Mule has appeared with powers beyond anything humanly conceivable. Who—or what—is the Mule? And how is humanity to defend itself against this invulnerable avatar of annihilation? Filled with nail-biting suspense, nonstop action, and cutting-edge speculation, Foundation and Empire is the story of humanity’s perpetual struggle against the darkness that forever threatens to overwhelm the light—and of how the courage of even a determined few can make all the difference in the universe.

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    fundamental to creation of SpaceX

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • God Emperor of Dune

    God Emperor of Dune

    Frank Herbert
    Dune (Imaginary place)

    The epic that began with the HUGO and NEBULA Award-winning classic DUNE continues ... More than three thousand years have passed since the first events recorded in DUNE. Only one link survives with those tumultuous times: the grotesque figure of Leto Atreides, son of the prophet Paul Muad'Dib, and now the virtually immortal God Emperor of Dune. He alone understands the future, and he knows with a terrible certainty that the evolution of his race is at an end unless he can breed new qualities into his species. But to achieve his final victory, Leto Atreides must also bring about his own downfall ...

    Buy on Amazon

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

    Dec 9, 2014 — Source

  • Screw Business As Usual

    Screw Business As Usual

    Richard Branson
    Turning Capitalism Into a Force for Good
    Business & Economics

    -A book written by Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin (mobile, air, etc) about changing the rules of business as an entrepreneur---

    Buy on Amazon

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

    Dec 29, 2011 — Source

  • Surface Detail

    Surface Detail

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction

    It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters. It begins with a murder. And 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, and to put things right she will need the help of the Culture. Benevolent, enlightened and almost infinitely resourceful though it may be, the Culture can only do so much for any individual. With the assistance of one of its most powerful - and arguably deranged - warships, Lededje finds herself heading into a combat zone not even sure which side the Culture is really on. A war - brutal, far-reaching - is already raging within the digital realms that store the souls of the dead, and it's about to erupt into reality. It started in the realm of the Real and that is where it will end. It will touch countless lives and affect entire civilizations, but at the center of it all is a young woman whose need for revenge masks another motive altogether.

    Buy on Amazon

    [Recommend] All of them, especially Surface Detail

    Jun 17, 2018 — Source

  • Heretics of Dune

    Heretics of Dune

    Frank Herbert
    Fiction

    Book Five in the Magnificent Dune Chronicles--the Bestselling Science Fiction Adventure of All Time 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 these factions vie for control over the remnants of the Empire, a girl named Sheeana rises to prominence in the wastelands of Rakis, sending religious fervor throughout the galaxy. For she possesses the abilities of the Fremen sandriders--fulfilling a prophecy foretold by the late God Emperor....

    Buy on Amazon

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

    Dec 9, 2014 — Source

  • Dune Messiah

    Dune Messiah

    Frank Herbert
    Fiction

    Book Two in the Magnificent Dune Chronicles--the Bestselling Science Fiction Adventure of All Time Dune Messiah continues the story of Paul Atreides, better known--and feared--as the man christened Muad'Dib. As Emperor of the known universe, he possesses more power than a single man was ever meant to wield. Worshipped as a religious icon by the fanatical Fremen, Paul faces the enmity of the political houses he displaced when he assumed the throne--and a conspiracy conducted within his own sphere of influence. And even as House Atreides begins to crumble around him from the machinations of his enemies, the true threat to Paul comes to his lover, Chani, and the unborn heir to his family's dynasty...

    Buy on Amazon

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

    Dec 9, 2014 — Source

  • Superintelligence

    Superintelligence

    Nick Bostrom
    Paths, Dangers, Strategies
    Computers

    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. Other animals have stronger muscles or sharper claws, but we have cleverer brains. If machine brains one day come to surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species then would come to depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed AI or otherwise to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation? To get closer to an answer to this question, we must make our way through a fascinating landscape of topics and considerations. Read the book and learn about oracles, genies, singletons; about boxing methods, tripwires, and mind crime; about humanity's cosmic endowment and differential technological development; indirect normativity, instrumental convergence, whole brain emulation and technology couplings; Malthusian economics and dystopian evolution; artificial intelligence, and biological cognitive enhancement, and collective intelligence.

    Buy on Amazon

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

    Aug 3, 2014 — Source

  • Consider Phlebas

    Consider Phlebas

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction

    The first book in Iain M. Banks's seminal science fiction series, The Culture. Consider Phlebas introduces readers to the utopian conglomeration of human and alien races that explores the nature of war, morality, and the limitless bounds of mankind's imagination. 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, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction.

    Buy on Amazon

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

    Dec 26, 2014 — Source

  • Second Foundation

    Second Foundation

    Isaac Asimov
    Fiction

    The Second Foundation meets the threat of a perilous mutant, only to face the challenge of the corrupt First Foundation for control of the galactic empire. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.

    Buy on Amazon

    fundamental to creation of SpaceX

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • Starhammer

    Starhammer

    Christopher B. Rowley

    Buy on Amazon

    A bit more obscure

    Sep 16, 2020 — Source

  • State of the Art

    State of the Art

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction

    The first ever collection of Iain M. Banks's 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's staggering talent. Praise for the Culture series: 'Epic in scope, ambitious in its ideas and absorbing in its execution' Independent on Sunday 'Banks has created one of the most enduring and endearing visions of the future' Guardian 'Jam-packed with extraordinary invention' Scotsman 'Compulsive reading' Sunday Telegraph The Culture series: Consider Phlebas The Player of Games Use of Weapons The State of the Art Excession Inversions Look to Windward Matter Surface Detail The Hydrogen Sonata Other books by Iain M. Banks: Against a Dark Background Feersum Endjinn The Algebraist

    Buy on Amazon

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

    Dec 26, 2014 — Source

  • Matter

    Matter

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction

    In a world renowned even within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime within a war. For one man 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, even without knowing the full truth, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever. Only the sister is not what she once was; Djan Seriy Anaplian has changed almost beyond recognition to become an agent of the Culture's Special Circumstances section, charged with high-level interference in civilizations throughout the greater galaxy. Concealing her new identity - and her particular set of abilities - might be a dangerous strategy, however. In the world to which Anaplian returns, nothing is quite as it seems; and determining the appropriate level of interference in someone else's war is never a simple matter. MATTER is a novel of dazzling wit and serious purpose. An extraordinary feat of storytelling and breathtaking invention on a grand scale, it is a tour de force from a writer who has turned science fiction on its head.

    Buy on Amazon

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

    Dec 26, 2014 — Source

  • Stalin

    Stalin

    Simon Sebag Montefiore
    The Court of the Red Tsar
    Biography & Autobiography

    This widely acclaimed biography of Stalin and his entourage during the terrifying decades of his supreme power transforms our understanding of Stalin as Soviet dictator, Marxist leader, and Russian tsar. Based on groundbreaking research, Simon Sebag Montefiore reveals the fear and betrayal, privilege and debauchery, family life and murderous cruelty of this secret world. Written with bracing narrative verve, this feat of scholarly research has become a classic of modern history writing. Showing how Stalin's triumphs and crimes were the product of his fanatical Marxism and his gifted but flawed character, this is an intimate portrait of a man as complicated and human as he was brutal and chilling.

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    Was one of the few books so dark I had to stop reading.

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Excession

    Excession

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction

    The fifth Culture book from the awesome imagination of Iain M. Banks, a modern master of science fiction. Two and a half millennia ago, the artifact appeared in a remote corner of space, beside a trillion-year-old dying sun from a different universe. It was a perfect black-body sphere, and it did nothing. Then it disappeared. Now it is back. Praise for the Culture series: 'Epic in scope, ambitious in its ideas and absorbing in its execution' Independent on Sunday 'Banks has created one of the most enduring and endearing visions of the future' Guardian 'Jam-packed with extraordinary invention' Scotsman 'Compulsive reading' Sunday Telegraph The Culture series: Consider Phlebas The Player of Games Use of Weapons The State of the Art Excession Inversions Look to Windward Matter Surface Detail The Hydrogen Sonata Other books by Iain M. Banks: Against a Dark Background Feersum Endjinn The Algebraist

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

    Dec 26, 2014 — Source

  • The Stainless Steel Rat

    A bit more obscure

    Sep 16, 2020 — Source

  • Use of Weapons

    Use of Weapons

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction

    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 to be a lost cause. But not even its machine could see the horrors in his past. Ferociously intelligent, both witty and horrific, USE OF WEAPONS is a masterpiece of science fiction.

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

    Dec 26, 2014 — Source

  • A Woman Makes a Plan

    A Woman Makes a Plan

    MAYE. MUSK
    Advice for a Lifetime of Adventure, Beauty, and Success

    The international supermodel shares personal stories and lessons learned from a life of "living dangerously--carefully" Maye Musk at seventy-one is a fashionable, charming, jet-setting supermodel and public speaker with a fascinating and tight-knit circle of family and friends. But things were not always so easy or glamorous--she became a single mom at thirty-one years old, 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 through it all with an indomitable spirit and a no-nonsense attitude to become a global success and an unexpected icon in what she calls the prime of her life. In A Woman Makes a Plan, Maye shares experiences from her life conveying hard-earned wisdom and frank, practical advice on career, family, health, adventure, and more. You can't control everything that happens, but you can live a happier, healthier, and fun-filled life at any age. All you have to do is make a plan. A PENGUIN LIFE TITLE

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    My Mom wrote a book

    Feb 8, 2020 — Source

  • The Complete Story of Civilization

    The Complete Story of Civilization

    Will Durant
    Our Oriental Heritage, Life of Greece, Caesar and Christ, Age of Faith, Renaissance, Age of Reason Begins, Age of Louis XIV, Age of Voltaire, Rousseau and Revolution, Age of Napoleon, Reformation
    History

    The Complete 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 eleven volume set includes: Volume One: Our Oriental Heritage; Volume Two: The Life of Greece; Volume Three: Caesar and Christ; Volume Four: The Age of Faith; Volume Five: The Renaissance; Volume Six: The Reformation; Volume Seven: The Age of Reason Begins; Volume Eight: The Age of Louis XIV; Volume Nine: The Age of Voltaire; Volume Ten: Rousseau and Revolution; Volume Eleven: The Age of Napoleon

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

    Sep 14, 2020 — Source

  • Catherine the Great

    Catherine the Great

    Robert K. Massie
    Portrait of a Woman
    Biography & Autobiography

    Presents a reconstruction of the eighteenth-century empress's life that covers her efforts to engage Russia in the cultural life of Europe, her creation of the Hermitage, and her numerous scandal-free romantic affairs.

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    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

  • The Hydrogen Sonata

    The Hydrogen Sonata

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction

    The New York Times bestselling Culture novel... 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 preparations though, the Regimental High Command is destroyed. Lieutenant Commander (reserve) Vyr Cossont appears to have been involved, and she is now wanted - dead, not alive. Aided only by an ancient, reconditioned android and a suspicious Culture avatar, Cossont must complete her last mission given to her by the High Command. She must find the oldest person in the Culture, a man over nine thousand years old, who might have some idea what really happened all that time ago. It seems that the final days of the Gzilt civilization are likely to prove its most perilous.

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

    Dec 26, 2014 — Source

  • Das Kapital

    Das Kapital

    Karl Marx
    A Critique of Political Economy
    Political Science

    One of the most notorious works of modern times, as well as one of the most influential, Capital is an incisive critique of private property and the social relations it generates. Living in exile in England, where this work was largely written, Marx drew on a wide-ranging knowledge of its society to support his analysis and generate fresh insights. Arguing that capitalism would create an ever-increasing division in wealth and welfare, he predicted its abolition and replacement by a system with common ownership of the means of production. Capital rapidly acquired readership among the leaders of social democratic parties, particularly in Russia and Germany, and ultimately throughout the world, to become a work described by Marx's friend and collaborator Friedrich Engels as 'the Bible of the Working Class'.

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    Read Das Kapital when I was 14

    Jun 17, 2018 — Source

  • Inversions

    Inversions

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction

    Originally published: London: Orbit, 1998.

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

    Dec 26, 2014 — Source