Here is a list of top books recommended by Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos. Most of them are entrepreneurial and business books sure to activate your millionaire mindset, but there are some on politics and culture as well as love and life.
“Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight
‘I don’t think Knight sets out to teach the reader anything. There are no tips or checklists. Instead, Knight accomplishes something better. He tells his story as honestly as he can. It’s an amazing tale. It’s real. And you’ll understand in the final pages why, despite all of the hardships he experienced along the way, Knight says, “God, how I wish I could relive the whole thing.’- Bill Gates
“A Full Life” by Jimmy Carter
‘A Full Life is a good read about a great man. It made me think of David Brooks’s book The Road to Character and its insights about the values that give life purpose. As Brooks explains, the Book of Genesis contains two very different versions of Adam. “Adam I is the career-oriented, ambitious side of our nature,” Brooks writes. “He wants to have high status and win victories.” Adam II, in contrast, “wants to have a serene inner character, a quiet but solid sense of right and wrong—not only to do good but to be good.” Jimmy Carter brought Adam II to the fore.’- Bill Gates
“Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah
‘Much of Noah’s story of growing up in South Africa is tragic. His Swiss father moves away. His family is desperately poor. He’s arrested. And in the most shocking moment, his mother is shot by his stepfather. Yet in Noah’s hands, these moving stories are told in a way that will often leave you laughing.’- Bill Gates
“Lean Thinking” by James Womanck and Daniel Jones
As the title suggests, this management manual looks at ways to reduce unnecessary costs and increase the bottom line in business . It has heavily influenced Jeff Bezos.
“Memos from the Chairman“ by Alan Greenberg
The chairman of the once- huge Bear Stearns reflects on his time there, referring back constantly to the importance of core values and ethos, something that Amazon has tried to emulate by its annual recycling of the 1997 shareholder letter.
“Data-Driven Marketing” by Mark Jeffery
Another Jeff Bezos recommendation, the book explores how quantitative data metrics can help enhance marketing and by extension, brand power.
Sam Walton, Made in America, by Sam Walton
The memoir of Walmart’s founder, written autobiographically. A quintessential American Dream Story, much like its contemporary equivalent in Amazon.
The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success, by William N. Thorndike
Featuring a profile on Warren Buffet himself, this book looks into the management strategies of eight unconventional CEOs to try and tease out what determined their success, focusing especially on capital allocation strategies.
Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises, by Timothy F. Geithner
The reflections of the former Secretary of the Treasury occupy a prime spot on Warren Buffet’s must-read list. There are many insights that apply to manage a business: such as how to navigate and stay liquid in times of economic and financial crisis.
The Myth of the Strong Leader: Political Leadership in the Modern Age, by Archie Brown
‘Brown does a wonderful job of showing how the same qualities that seem so appealing in strong leaders can lead, in the mildest cases, to bad decisions—and, in the most extreme cases, to death and suffering on a massive scale….. But some of the most fascinating profiles in the book are of leaders on the other end of the spectrum—the ones you probably didn’t dwell on in history class. These leaders didn’t insist on their own infallibility or claim exclusive power over policy decisions. And yet they pulled off incredible feats of leadership simply by working with others and seeking advice when they needed it. Though The Myth of the Strong Leader is about political leadership, you come away from Brown’s analysis with a deeper understanding of leadership in general.’- Bill Gates
″The Remains of the Day″ by Kazuo Ishiguro
Touted as Jeff Bezos’s favorite novel, the book is a memoir of an ordinary butler recounting his time serving in World War II. It is a celebration of duty, sacrifice, and honor that continues to be relevant to building successful businesses today.
″Built to Last″ by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras
A management manifesto that drives home the principle that employees must personally align with their company’s broader purpose and mission.
″Creation″ by Steve Grand
Grand, a video game designer himself, ponders no the development of intelligent systems using basic components. Bezos claimed that the book proved influential in setting up of Amazon’s now prominent cloud function with the establishment of Amazon Web Services.
″Good to Great″ by Jim Collins
Business consultant for Amazon, Collins encourages firms to identify their core competency, and build on it, claiming that this would also accelerate the overall growth of the company. The learnings apply not just to business but also in personal realms and careers.
″The Innovator’s Dilemma″ by Clayton Christensen
This Jeff Bezos recommendation offers a counterintuitive lesson: firms that listen to their customers, constantly innovate and keep costs down to remain competitive may lose out because of this precisely.
″The Goal″ by Eliyahu Goldratt, Jeff Cox and David Whitford
Management lessons offered by means of an enthralling novel – for example, how to identify production bottlenecks and deal with them
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
‘Anyone who occasionally gets overly logical will identify with the hero, a genetics professor with Asperger’s Syndrome who goes looking for a wife … It’s an extraordinarily clever, funny, and moving book about being comfortable with who you are and what you’re good at … This is one of the most profound novels I’ve read in a long time.’- Bill Gates
The Most Important Thing Illuminated: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor, by Howard Marks and Paul Johnson
Marks, the chairman of Capital Oaktree Management, distils his much-revered risk assessment and investment advice into this handy manual. No wonder Warren Buffet considers it a must-read. Business Adventures by John Brookes
Touted by Bill Gates as the best business book you could read -’Unlike a lot of today’s business writers, Brooks didn’t boil his work down into pat how-to lessons or simplistic explanations for success. (How many times have you read that some company is taking off because they give their employees free lunch?) You won’t find any listicles in his work. Brooks wrote long articles that frame an issue, explore it in-depth, introduce a few compelling characters, and show how things went for them.’
“String Theory“ by David Foster Wallace
‘As much as I loved the book for its insights on the game [of tennis], I loved it just as much for the writing itself. I now understand why people talk about David Foster Wallace with the same kind of awe that tennis fans use to talk about Roger Federer or Serena Williams. Wallace’s ability to use language is mind-blowing. He’s an artist who approaches a canvas with the exact same oil paints everyone before him has used and then applies them in breathtaking new and creative ways.’- Bill Gates
Written by Bhavi Shah