Best 15 Books Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg

Sarika Anand Sarika Anand
Nov 25, 2022 18 min read
Best 15 Books Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook, may have made his money through social media and new technology. However, he still recognises the benefits that a good book can offer. As he set out on a goal to read two books a month for a year in 2015, he posted on Facebook, "I've found reading books quite intellectually gratifying. They offer an "engaging" experience", he claims.

As a CEO of a significant technological business, Mark Zuckerberg did something uncommon in 2015, that is, he created a reading club!

About one book every two weeks, Zuckerberg recommended and discussed a few books with the club over that year. It was a fantastic collection of books, 15 of which are talked about in this article.

Therefore, we've put together a list of 15 books Mark Zuckerberg has read himself and would suggest to others to uncover what motivated one of the world's wealthiest individuals to the height of financial achievement.

Creativity Inc.
Sapiens
The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
Why Nations Fail
The End Of Power
The New Jim Crow
Genome
Portfolios of the Poor
Dealing With China
The Varieties Of Religious Experience
The Better Angels of Our Nature
Energy: A Beginnerโ€™s Guide
Rational Ritual
Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets

Creativity Inc.

Author: Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace
Goodreads Rating: 4.21

Creativity Inc. - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg
Creativity Inc. - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg

The first ever all-access look inside Pixar Animation's brain, Creativity, Inc. is a guide for anybody who aspires to create and takes readers into the meetings, postmortems, and "Braintrust" sessions where some of the greatest movies ever produced were created. It is primarily a book on creativity, but it is also an expression of the ideals that will make the best in us attainable.

With such beloved movies as the Toy Story trilogy, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, WALL-E, and Inside Out, which went on to break box office records and win thirty Academy Awards, Pixar has dominated the animation industry for almost twenty years. In some respects, Pixar films serve as a case study for what true creativity looks like thanks to the joy with which they deliver their stories, their clever plotlines, and their emotional realism. Catmull discusses the principles and methods used by Pixar to achieve its success and widespread acclaim in this book.

Ed Catmull had an ambition when he was a young man: he wanted to create the first computer-animated film. He cultivated that goal while pursuing his doctorate at the University of Utah, where many pioneers of computer science began, and then formed a connection with George Lucas that, inadvertently, led to his co-founding Pixar in 1986. Toy Story was released nine years later, profoundly altering the animation industry. The unique environment that Catmull and his colleagues at Pixar created, based on leadership and management philosophies that protect the creative process and defy convention, was a crucial component in that film's successโ€”and in the thirteen films that followed. Examples of these philosophies include:

  • If you give a terrific concept to a subpar team, they will ruin it. A great team, however, will either improve a terrible concept or come up with a superior one if you give it to them.
  • You won't be well-equipped to lead if you don't make an effort to discover the unknown and comprehend its nature.
  • Preventing hazards is not the manager's responsibility. It is the manager's responsibility to ensure that others can take them safely.
  • The price of avoiding errors is frequently far higher than the price of correcting them.
  • The organisational structure of a corporation shouldn't be reflected in its communication structure. Everyone ought to be able to communicate with anyone.
Buy Creativity Inc. Here

Sapiens

Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Goodreads Rating: 4.38

Sapiens - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg
Sapiens - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg

A minimum of 6 distinct human species were present on Earth 100,000 years ago. Currently, there is only one, Us, humanity.

How did our species win the race for dominance? Why did our wandering nomads establish communities and empires? Why did we develop a belief in gods, nations, and civil rights, trust finance, books, and legislation; and be subject to bureaucracies, schedules, and consumer culture? What changes will our world experience in the coming aeons?

In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari explores every aspect of human history, from the planet's earliest hominids through the groundbreaking - and frequently game-changing - intellectual, industrial, and cognitive discoveries.

He looks at how historical trends have shaped human civilizations, the creatures and plants that live nearby, and even our own mindsets. He makes use of ideas from palaeontology, anthropology, biology, and commerce. Have we been joyful as a result of history? Can we ever free ourselves from the influences of our ancestors? What can we do, if anything, to influence how the centuries will develop?

Sapiens challenge everything of our preconceived notions about what it means to be a person, including our ideas, actions, authority, and future. It is powerful, all-encompassing, and debatable.

Buy Sapiens Here

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

Author: Matt Ridley
Goodreads Rating: 3.98

The Rational Optimist - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg
The Rational Optimist - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg

The quality of life is improving quickly. Globally, the availability of food, money, and life expectancy are all increasing, while sickness, infant mortality, and violence are all down. Even though the world is far from ideal, both essentials and pleasures are becoming more affordable, population growth is moderating, Africa is following Asia out of poverty, and the Internet, cell phones, and container shipping are enhancing people's lives like never before. The critics who predominate in public debate maintain that we are rapidly approaching a tipping point and that things will begin to deteriorate. However, this has been the case for 200 years.

However, Matt Ridley goes beyond merely outlining the improvements. He justifies it. Everyone working for everyone else leads to prosperity. The practice of trade and specialisation, which dates back more than 100,000 years, has produced a collective intelligence that drives an upward trend in human living standards. Instead of leading to despair, the resulting mutual dependency, trust, and sharing inspire optimism.

From the Stone Age to the Internet, from the decline of the Ming dynasty to the development of the steam engine, from the population boom to the anticipated effects of climate change, this audacious book covers the entirety of human history.

The book concludes with the bold claim that, despite inevitable setbacks along the road and despite humanity's limitless ability for inventive change, the twenty-first century will see an increase in both human wealth and natural biodiversity. The Rational Optimist will improve your way of thinking about the world since it is acute, invigorating, and revelatory.

Buy The Rational Optimist Here

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Author: Thomas S. Kuhn
Goodreads Rating: 4.03

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg

A great book actually becomes ingrained in our daily consciousness, permeating our thought processes to the point that we take it for granted and forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were and still are. A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness. Such a book is The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. It was a significant turning point in the history and philosophy of science when it was originally published in 1962. It still has a lot to teach 60 years later.

With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn questioned long-held linear ideas of scientific progress. He claimed that revolutionary ideas don't emerge from the routine, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation, but rather that the revolutions in scienceโ€”those breakthrough moments that challenge conventional wisdom and offer unexpected ideas occur outside of what he called "normal science." Even though Kuhn wrote during the era of physics dominance in the sciences, his theories on how scientific revolutions provide order to the anomalies that accumulate over time in research trials are still helpful in the biotech era.

An illuminating introduction by Ian Hacking, which defines words Kuhn popularised, such as paradigm and incommensurability, and relates Kuhn's theories to contemporary science, is included in this new edition of Kuhn's seminal book in the history of science. Hacking's introduction, which is helpfully tied to the various sections of the book, gives significant prior knowledge and a contemporary perspective. This version, which has been newly created and has an extended index, will be eagerly awaited by readers in the following generation who want to comprehend the development of our viewpoints on science.

Buy The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Here

Why Nations Fail

Author: Daron Acemoglu, James A. Robinson
Goodreads Rating: 4.08

Why Nations Fail - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg
Why Nations Fail - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg

Why Nations Fail is a brilliant and readable solution to the age-old puzzle of why some countries are wealthy while others are impoverished, split by riches and poor, health and sickness, food and starvation.

Is it geography, climate, or both? Maybe a lack of knowledge about what the best practices are?

Just no. None of these variables is fixed or predetermined. If so, how can it be explained that while other African countries like the Congo, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe are wracked by poverty and conflict, Botswana has had among of the world's highest growth rates?

Acemoglu and Robinson construct a new political economic theory with immense significance for the major issues of today based on fifteen years of original research and extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, mediaeval Venice, the Soviet Union, Latin America, England, Europe, the United States, and Africa.

Your perspective on and comprehension of the world will alter after reading Why Nations Fail.

Buy Why Nations Fail Here

The End Of Power

Author: Moisรฉs Naรญm
Goodreads Rating: 3.63

The End of Power - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg
The End of Power - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg

We are aware that power is transferring from the West to the East and from the North to the South, from presidential mansions to public squares, from agile startups to once-dominant corporate behemoths, and slowly but surely, from males to women. However, power is not only distributed and shifted. It's decomposing as well. The ability of those in power now is more limited, and they are more vulnerable to losing it than before.

Award-winning journalist and former Foreign Policy editor Moisรฉs Nam shed light on the conflict between once dominating mega players and the emerging micro powers confronting them in all spheres of human endeavour in his book The End of Power. Nam demonstrates how the anti-establishment zeal of micro powers may topple rulers, overthrow monopolies, and create amazing new opportunities, but it can also result in chaos and paralysis by drawing on startling, innovative research. The tectonic changes happening in business, religion, education, among families, and in all war and peace-related issues are expertly covered by Nam.

Those in authority maintain it by creating strong barriers to keep potential rivals at bay. Today's insurgency forces take down such barriers more swiftly and easily than ever, only to discover that doing so leaves them open to attack. Nam provides a groundbreaking look at the impending end of powerโ€”and how it will alter your worldโ€”in an approachable and engrossing way.

Buy The End of Power Here

The New Jim Crow

Author: Michelle Alexander
Goodreads Rating: 4.52

The New Jim Crow - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg
The New Jim Crow - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg

The majority of young black males in major American cities are either in prison or have been given criminal status for life while the country celebrates the "triumph over race" with Barack Obama's victory. Despite the repeal of Jim Crow legislation, a startling portion of the African American community still lives in a position of inferiority, much like their ancestors did.

Michelle Alexander, a former litigator who is now a legal professor, makes the daring claim that racial caste in America has not been abolished but has instead been reconstructed in her sharp analysis. Alexander demonstrates how, although ostensibly adhering to the idea of colour blindness, the U.S. criminal justice system operates as a modern system of racial domination by focusing on black males and destroying communities of colour. The civil rights community, as well as all of us, are challenged by The New Jim Crow to put mass imprisonment at the forefront of a new campaign for racial justice in America.

Buy The New Jim Crow Here

Mark Zuckerberg - All You Need To Know
Read about Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook and now of Whatsapp, and Instagram. He is an American media magnate, internet entrepreneur, and philanthropist.

Genome

Author: Matt Ridley
Goodreads Rating: 4.05

Genome - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg
Genome - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg

The genome has been mapped. What does that signify, though? The book that explains everything, including what it is, how it operates, and what it means for the future, is called Genome by Matt Ridley.

The mapping of the twenty-three pairs of chromosomes that make up the human genome, arguably the most important scientific discovery of the twenty-first century, poses almost as many questions as it does answers. Questions will have a significant influence on how we see illness, ageing, and free choice. The remainder of your life will be impacted by these questions.

The book, Genome, provides exceptional insight into the implications of this amazing discovery. In his book, Matt Ridley tells the history of our species and its forebears from the beginning of existence to the frontier of future medicine by choosing one newly found gene from each pair of chromosomes and recounting its tale. Ridley explores the scientific, philosophical, and ethical challenges raised by the mapping of the human genome, covering everything from cancer to Huntington's illness and from gene therapy's uses to the horrors of eugenics. It will assist you in comprehending the implications of this scientific breakthrough for you, your children, and all of humanity.

Buy Genome Here

Portfolios of the Poor

Author: Daryl Collins, Jonathan Morduch, Stuart Rutherford, Orlanda Ruthven
Goodreads Rating: 3.95

Portfolios of the Poor - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg
Portfolios of the Poor - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg

Nearly 40% of the world's population subsists on less than $2 per day on average. It is difficult to imagine if you have never had to make ends meet on a salary this low. How would you afford to feed your family, buy a house, and send your kids to school? How would you manage old age and emergencies? Over a billion people must respond to these questions every day across the whole planet. The first book to methodically show how the poor find answers to their regular financial issues is Portfolios of the Poor.

In Bangladesh, India, and South Africa, the authors conducted year-long interviews with poor peasants and slum residents to compile records that show penny-by-penny how particular households handle their finances. These families' tales are frequently unexpected and motivating. The majority of impoverished households do not live in poverty, instead using their income to make ends meet. Instead, they use financial instruments, many of which are connected to unofficial networks and familial relationships. They encourage people to save money for reserves, extract cash from debtors when they can, operate complex savings clubs, and take advantage of microloans when they can. Their experiences provide new insights into how to combat poverty and how to imagine the "bottom billion" generation of banks.

Portfolios of the Poor is essential reading for anybody interested in development studies, economics, or microfinance as well as anyone who wants to learn more about poverty and what can be done to combat it.

Buy Portfolios of the Poor Here

Dealing With China

Author: Henry M. Paulson
Goodreads Rating: 3.76

Dealing With China - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg
Dealing With China - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg

The book Dealing With China takes the reader inside closed doors to see how China's state-controlled capitalism was created and developed.

Dealing With China is destined to become the standard and ultimate analysis of dealing with an economic superpower. It is written in the same anecdote-rich, page-turning manner as Paulson's popular book, On the Brink.

No other foreigner has dealt with China as Hank Paulson has. Paulson played a crucial part in China's opening to the private industry while serving as the CEO of Goldman Sachs. After that, he established the Strategic Economic Dialogue with the current second-largest economy in the world while serving as Treasury secretary. He protected the fragile American financial system while negotiating economic changes with China. Paulson has collaborated with several prominent Chinese figures, including Xi Jinping, who is currently the country's most influential person in decades. He now takes readers behind closed doors to see what China's state-controlled capitalism will look like in the future in his book 'Dealing With China.

Buy Dealing With China Here

The Varieties Of Religious Experience

Author: William James
Goodreads Rating: 4.0

The Varieties of Religious Experience - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg
The Varieties of Religious Experience - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg

In 1901, William James travelled to the University of Edinburgh to give a series of lectures on "natural religion," during which he defined religion as "the sentiments, deeds, and experiences of individual individuals in their solitude, so far as they perceive themselves to stand in relation to whatsoever they may conceive the divine." He began a project that, when finished, stands not only as one of the most significant texts on psychology ever written, not only as a vitally serious contemplation of spirituality but for many critics one of the best works of nonfiction written in the 20th century. He did this by considering religion, not as it is defined byโ€”or takes place inโ€”the churches, but as it is felt in everyday life.

It's simple to understand the "why" of the situation, after reading The Varieties of Religious Experience. James develops a pluralistic framework in which "the divine can mean no single quality, it must imply a range of virtues, by becoming champions of which in alternation, various persons may all find meaningful missions" by applying his analytic insight to religious explanations from a number of sources. It is a genuine philosophical appeal for religious respect and tolerance, one whose vigour has not waned through the years.

Buy The Varieties of Religious Experience Here

The Better Angels of Our Nature

Author: Steven Pinker
Goodreads Rating: 4.16

The Better Angels of Our Nature - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg
The Better Angels of Our Nature - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg

Unbelievably, we could be experiencing the most tranquil period in the history of our species right now. In his compelling and contentious new book, New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker demonstrates that, despite the constant news coverage of terrorism, crime, and war, violence has really been on the decline for significant periods of time. This ambitious book continues Pinker's investigation into the fundamentals of human nature by dispelling myths about humankind's inherently violent nature and the curse of modernity. By fusing psychology and history, it paints an amazing picture of a society that is becoming more and more enlightened.

Buy The Better Angels of Our Nature Here

Energy: A Beginnerโ€™s Guide

Author: Vaclav Smil
Goodreads Rating: 3.97

Energy: A Beginner's Guide - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg
Energy: A Beginner's Guide - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg

Einstein noted that all matter might be expressed as energy in his famous equation, E=MC^2. It permeates every single place and item. Vaclav Smil, a well-known author and scholar, introduces the expansive word and helps the reader better grasp energy's role in both past and contemporary civilization in this fascinating book.

He begins by explaining the idea before moving on to more fascinating subjects like the inner workings of the human body and the search for cleaner, more efficient fuels. This book will help clarify the science underlying global warming, measures to stop it, and how our apparently inconsequential everyday actions impact energy usage as it becomes a major political concern.

Energy: A Beginner's Guide will astonish and enlighten you, revealing the physics underlying one of the most significant ideas in our world, whether you're looking for understanding or dinner table discussion.

Buy Energy: A Beginner's Guide Here

Rational Ritual

Author: Michael Suk-Young Chwe
Goodreads Rating: 3.34

Rational Ritual - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg
Rational Ritual - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg

Why does Super Bowl advertising mostly consist of the Internet, financial service, and beer commercials? How are political rituals supposed to build authority? Why do anthems and ritual speech tend to be repetitive? Why did the French Revolution select circular shapes for public celebrations? These inquiries are addressed in this book using just one idea: common knowledge.

Chwe makes a case for tight reciprocity between the viewpoints of rationality and culture by employing a rational-choice argument to explain many cultural activities. He demonstrates how game theory may be used to solve an unexpectedly wide range of issues while demonstrating in an impressively understandable manner what game theory can contain for social science and humanities students who are not yet familiar with it.

Buy Rational Ritual Here

Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets

Author: Sudhir Venkatesh
Goodreads Rating: 4.06

Gang Leader for a Day - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg
Gang Leader for a Day - Best Book Recommended by Mark Zuckerberg

When it was initially told in Freakonomics, the tale of the young sociologist who investigated a Chicago crack-dealing gang from the inside captivated readers all over the world. The intriguing whole account of how Sudhir Venkatesh was able to join the gang, what he discovered, and how his approach transformed the academic establishment is told in Gang Leader for a Day.

In one of Chicago's most notorious housing developments, Venkatesh entered an abandoned building to find participants for a multiple-choice survey on urban poverty. He became friends with JT, a gang boss, in his first year of graduate school, and spent the majority of the following ten years within the projects under JT's protection, recording what he observed there.

Venkatesh watched JT and the other members of the gang over the course of the following seven years as they ran their crack distribution business, engaged in community PR, and moved up or down the gang's intricate organisational ladder.

An intimate look at the ethically murky, highly complex, sometimes dishonest fight to live in an urban combat zone is provided by Gang Leader for a Day. It is also the tale of a complex friendship between two ambitious young men who are from very different worlds.

Buy Gang Leader For a Day Here

Conclusion

Mark Zuckerberg, the man known for co-founding and leading Facebook has been a great supporter of reading and to spread his love for reading among others, he started a book club. All the books mentioned above have been recommended by Mark and according to him, all these books are supposed to emphasise learning about new cultures, beliefs, histories, and technologies.

FAQs

Mark Zuckerberg has recommended the following books:

  • Creativity Inc.
  • The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
  • Why Nations Fail
  • The End of Power
  • Genome
  • The New Jim Crow
  • Portfolios of the Poor

Does Mark Zuckerberg read books?

Mark Zuckerberg has been a great supporter of reading. Mark did something uncommon in 2015โ€”that is, he created a reading club to spread his love for reading among others.

What is Mark Zuckerberg's book club called?

Mark Zuckerberg's book club is known as 'A Year of Books'. Over the course of the year, Zuckerberg recommended and discussed a few books with the club about once every two weeks.

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