The importance of reading books can never be stressed enough. Be it casual reading, or voracious reading, it is one of the greatest pleasures of life which has its own rewards. But can reading books place you among the top visionaries of the world? To answer this question, who better to ask than the visionaries themselves? Warren Buffet, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway used to read almost 1000 pages every single day at the start of his career. Now, he makes sure he invests 80% of a day reading various things, which helps him to build up more knowledge and restricts him from making impulsive decisions.
Similarly, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Tesla’s Elon Musk and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos often include the importance of reading whenever they address young minds. Scientific study has shown that reading more books increase the chances of any individual to become smarter, emotionally intelligent, and ultimately richer. Here at QuirkyByte, we have a list of 15 books that world’s greatest tech visionaries want you to read.
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson
In this brief biography, Isaacson explicitly describes how the fascinating founding fathers of America helped in shaping the American character. Walter Isaacson is a bestselling author of Einstein and Steve Jobs.
The Myth of The Strong Leader by Archie Brown
In this deeply engrossing book, Archie Brown unabashedly challenges the deeply entrenched assumptions we have about the strong leaders of the 20th Century. It challenges the core belief that dominant personalities generally become revered leaders who deserve all the admiration.
This book also challenges the leader to look beyond the traits exhibited by the future leaders, in order to elect more capable leaders than the more dominant ones.
How Asia Works by Joe Studwell
In the 1980s and 1990s many in the West came to believe in the myth of an East-Asian economic miracle, with countries seen as not just development prodigies but as a unified bloc, culturally and economically similar, and inexorably on the rise. In How Asia Works, Joe Studwell distils extensive research into the economics of nine countries — Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and China — into an accessible, readable narrative that debunks Western misconceptions, shows what really happened in Asia and why, and for once makes clear why some countries have boomed while others have languished.
Impressive in scope, How Asia Works is essential reading for anyone interested in a region that will shape the future of the world.
The Vital Question by Nick Lane
Science has surely taken long strides in answering many questions regarding our existence. But then, there are still a lot of questions which have left researchers puzzled. The Vital Question by Nick Lane is a deeply engrossing book which tries to answer solve the conundrum of that has kept generations of researchers in the dark. In this book, Nick Lane radically reframes evolutionary history and provides a solution to life’s vital question; why are we as we are, and indeed, why are we here at all?
The Foundation Trilogy by Issac Asimov
Issac Asimov is considered as the forerunners of the science-fiction genre. His Foundation Trilogy is regarded as one of the cornerstones of speculative science fiction, which explores the questions of fate versus determinism and the cyclical nature of history.
It is a saga of a galactic empire built after the earth went to ruins. A peaceful and unified nation which seemingly works flawlessly for many generations, without ever noticing the impending doom on its entire existence. The future is filled with barbarism, mindless violence, and ignorance. To mitigate the catastrophe, the protagonist along with some other members venture to the far corners of space to preserve the wisdom which can potentially someday save the human race from itself.
Our Final Invention by James Barrat
Our Final Invention by James Barrat is the pragmatic approach towards the future of Artificial Intelligence. Within a few decades, humanity can achieve the goal of creating the perfect A.I. But what are the consequences? Barrat argues that a fully sentient A.I. can be a part of the survival race, just like us. In the race to be the apex ruler, humans would have to survive against a much more intelligent and cunning competitor. And what can be the worst possible outcome? Extinction.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
This book is a witty take on the science fiction genre which is bound to make you laugh the entire way. Meet Arthur Dent, a wanderer in the cosmos who regularly gets into trouble and creates a hilarious mess wherever he goes. Accompanying him is his fearless friend Ford Prefect.
Though this book relies on comedy for most of its parts, it never fails to ask thought-provoking questions wrapped in intelligent satire and irreverent humor.
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build The Future by Peter Thiel
In this book, legendary entrepreneur Peter Thiel shows how to find effective ways to create new products in a world where there are still so many things left unchartered. It presents an optimistic view of the future and teaches you to learn the skill to ask the right questions, which can surely lead you to unexpected places.
The Man Who Fed The World by Leon Hesser
In this book, Hesser briefly describes Dr. Norman Borlaug, the man who saved billions from starvation. Dr. Borlaug is only one of five people in history who has won the Nobel Peace Prize, The Presidential Medal of Freedom and The Congressional Gold Medal. In addition, he also won the Padma Vibhushan, the highest civilian award the government of India can present to a non-citizen.
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker
Every day we are flooded with news about war, terrorism, murders, rapes and all other barbaric crimes. But in this controversial book, author Steven Pinker has actually shown that we are living in the most peaceful era of the planet. Despite the ceaseless news about mindless violence, violence has actually declined over long stretches of history. This book explores humankind’s inherent violence and the effect of modernity to depict a vivid picture of this enlightened world.
The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb
Nassim Taleb’s The Black Swan delves into the world of decision making, where factors like uncertainty, opacity, luck, probability, human error, and risk are vital. The other books by Taleb are Fooled by Randomness, Antifragile, and The Bed of Procrustes.
Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins
This particular book is recommended by none other than Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon. In this book, Collins and Porras embarked on six long years of research to find out the success mantra of visionary companies, which have an average age of nearly hundred years and have outperformed the general stock market by a factor of 15 since 1926. The book also offers brief comparisons between these companies. Throughout the book, the question keeps lingering; What makes a truly exceptional company different from other companies?
Memos from The Chairman by Alan Greenberg
Read by everyone from Warren Buffett to Jeff Bezos to Tom Peters (‘I love this book,’ the co-author of In Search of Excellence said), Greenberg’s MEMOS FROM THE CHAIRMAN comprise a unique — and uniquely simple — management philosophy. Make decisions based on common sense. Avoid the herd mentality. Control expenses with the unrelenting vigil. Run your business at the highest level of morality. Free your motivated, intelligent people from the chain of command. Always return phone calls promptly and courteously. Never believe your own body odor is perfume. And stay humble, humble, humble.
Sam Walton: Made in America by Sam Walton
Sam Walton is a household name in the United States of America. Walton is a pioneer, who exemplifies the American Dream through sheer hard-work, networking, and humility. Meet the maker of the largest retail chain of the world, who single-handedly maneuvered a single dime store into Wal-Mart. In this book, Walton shares his stories and keeps them frank, candid and deeply engrossing.
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day was the winner of the Booker Prize. It is a compelling tale of an English butler in the post World War 2 England. Stevens, the butler, embarks on a countryside journey to introspect his past life. In this process, he realizes the true nature of the master he used to serve and starts doubting the nature of his own life.