20 Books Recommended by Elon Musk – Complete Guide

Embark on a journey of discovery and innovation with our comprehensive guide to 20 books recommended by the visionary entrepreneur Elon Musk. These carefully curated selections offer insights into the mind of the man behind Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, and more, revealing the ideas that have shaped his groundbreaking work and inspired him as he strives to change the world.

20 Books Recommended by Elon Musk - Complete Guide

Musk is a prolific inventor and CEO with a forward-thinking mindset. His literary influences are as diverse as the solutions he creates, ranging from science fiction to biographies and economics. This guide provides a unique insight into the books that have shaped his exceptional mind.

Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

In “Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence,” the famous Swedish-American physicist Max Tegmark explores the impact of AI on our future, addressing critical questions about automation, career advice for the next generation, and the robustness of AI systems. 

The book delves into ethical concerns such as lethal autonomous weapons and the possibility of machines outsmarting humans. Ultimately, Life 3.0 invites you to join the crucial conversation about the kind of future we want, engaging with diverse perspectives such as superintelligence, consciousness, and the boundaries of life in the cosmos.

The Lord of the Rings

The Lord Of The Rings: One Volume

Hobbit Frodo inherits the One Ring from Bilbo Baggins and embarks on a dangerous quest to destroy it in the Cracks of Doom. Joined by the Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo faces the growing power of the Dark Lord Sauron, who seeks to regain the Ring and dominate Middle-earth. 

J.R.R. Tolkien’s timeless tale, “The Lord of the Rings,” weaves an epic adventure that explores themes of friendship, courage, and the battle between good and evil.

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

In this thought-provoking book “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies,” you’ll explore the concept of superintelligence and its potential impact on humanity. You will delve into topics such as AI development, mind crime, and Malthusian economics while contemplating the challenges of a controlled intelligence explosion. 

Through lucid writing, author Nick Bostrom takes you on a fascinating journey to understand the future of intelligent life. He redefines the essential task of our time – ensuring the survival and prosperity of our species in the face of machine superintelligence.

Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged

Delve into the mystery of “Atlas Shrugged,” where industrialist Hank Rearden and railroad executive Dagny Taggart strive to save a crumbling nation while uncovering enigmatic secrets. As you explore the lives of these extraordinary characters, you’ll unravel the motives behind their actions and answer the burning question: Who is John Galt? 

This modern classic showcases Ayn Rand’s groundbreaking philosophy, objectivism, celebrating human greatness through the lens of one of the twentieth century’s most influential artists. 

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

Robert Heinlein’s masterpiece “The Is a Harsh Mistress” takes you on a wild ride in a lunar revolution. This classic novel explores personal responsibility, political freedom, humanity, technology, and free will, resonating with readers today just as much as it did upon its initial publication.

Heinlein’s intoxicating story gives us a glimpse into the future and showcases the timeless relevance of his ideas. 

​Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

In “Zero to One,” Peter Thiel encourages you to build companies that create new things and challenge the status quo. The book guides entrepreneurs, founders, and investors to discover uncharted frontiers and unique opportunities for progress. 

By mastering the art of thinking for yourself, you can go from 0 to 1 and create groundbreaking innovations in any industry, escaping competition by building a truly unique business. 

Ignition!: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants

Ignition!: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants

In “Ignition!,” John Drury Clark takes you on a fascinating journey through the hazardous search for reliable rocket propellant. This engaging memoir provides an insider’s perspective on the development of explosive fuels that ultimately propelled humanity into space. 

As a classic work in the history of science and one of the recommended books by Elon Musk, Ignition offers a thrilling account of scientific innovation and determination against all odds.

Our Final Invention

Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era

In “Our Final Invention,” James Barrat discusses the potential benefits and risks of human-level or super-human artificial intelligence (AI). With AI becoming increasingly integrated into our daily lives, the book explores the possibility of AI surpassing human intelligence within a decade. 

As corporations and government agencies invest heavily in AI development, questions arise about coexisting with beings possessing far superior intelligence. Through profiles of visionaries and groundbreaking AI systems, you’ll delve into the challenges and concerns surrounding the relentless pursuit of advanced AI.

Twelve Against the Gods: The Story of Adventure

Twelve Against the Gods: The Story of Adventure

William Bolitho introduces you to the lives of twelve iconic adventurers, including Alexander the Great, Casanova, and Napoleon, in the “Twelve Against The Gods.” These figures challenged the gods on remarkable quests for adventure and glory. 

Bolitho masterfully captures their struggles and successes, demonstrating how they defied convention and conformity. As you explore these timeless tales of perseverance, bravery, and spirited determination, you’ll find inspiration in the innate love of adventure within us all.

Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down

Structures: Or Why Things Don't Fall Down

J.E. Gordon’s “Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down” is a captivating read that sheds light on the inexplicable realm of engineering. Have you ever pondered why bridges don’t collapse or how dams withstand intense water pressure? With wit and a deep understanding of the subject, 

Gordon reveals the fundamental forces that hold together our world. 

Whether you’re an architect, engineer, or simply curious, Structures offers valuable insights into the foundations of our everyday lives.



The renowned author and neuroscientist Sam Harris presents a compelling case for embracing honesty in every aspect of our lives in “Lying.” Harris contends that by simply telling the truth, even when others resort to “white” lies, you can profoundly simplify your life and contribute to a better society. 

By focusing on these seemingly harmless lies, often told with good intentions, Harris challenges you to reconsider the true impact of deception and embrace the power of honesty.

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life” invites you on a captivating journey through the life of one of America’s most influential founding fathers. Walter Isaacson’s vivid narrative follows Franklin from his early days in Boston to his remarkable achievements in Philadelphia, London, and Paris. 

This masterpiece will enlighten you on how Franklin influenced the American national identity and why his legacy continues to resonate in the 21st century.

​Screw Business as Usual by Richard Branson

Screw Business As Usual: Turning Capitalism into a Force for Good

The renowned entrepreneur Richard Branson challenges you to rethink capitalism and shift your focus from solely pursuing profit to caring for people, communities, and the planet in his famous book “​Screw Business as Usual.”

Branson highlights the flaws of “business as usual,” emphasizing the need for a more sustainable and inclusive approach. He passionately believes that businesses can be forces for good, and by adopting this mindset, you can create positive change in the world. This book demonstrates how businesses and individuals can embrace a new way of working, solve pressing issues, and take pride in their contributions to a better future.



Imagine a world where a book could keep you up all night, heart racing and mind spinning. That world exists, and Daniel Suarez’s “Daemon” is the answer!

When the obituary of a renowned computer game architect surfaces, a dormant daemon awakens. Chaos ensues as this virtual killer sets in motion a series of events that threaten to upend society. As Detective Peter Sebeck races to stop the daemon, he uncovers a larger conspiracy with far-reaching consequences.

Suarez’s cutting-edge thriller takes you on an electrifying journey through the shadowy corners of modern technology, exploring the convergence of online gaming, botnets, viral ecosystems, and corporate power that is silently reshaping our world. 

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Illustrated Edition

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is a British science fiction classic that kick-started a wildly popular comic novel series by Douglas Adams. In this book, you’ll embark on an exciting journey through the cosmos with Arthur Dent, an ordinary Englishman thrust into an extraordinary adventure. 

When Earth is destroyed to make way for a new hyperspace express route, Arthur and his alien best friend navigate a universe filled with randomness, absurdity, and a colorful cast of unreliable characters. Armed with a towel, a language-savvy fish, and the indispensable guidebook, you’ll experience a hilarious romp through space that defies logic, plays with time and physics, and ultimately uncovers the answer to life, the universe, and everything. 

The Foundation Trilogy


Dive into Isaac Asimov’s influential “Foundation” series, where psychohistorian Hari Seldon predicts the collapse of the Galactic Empire and strives to preserve civilization. 

In Foundation, you’ll journey to a remote planet where the beacon of hope for humanity’s future is established. You’ll also immerse in Asimov’s unique blend of breathtaking action, daring ideas, and extensive worldbuilding in this timeless tale that explores the best and worst of human nature.

​The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself

The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself

The acclaimed physicist Sean Carroll takes you on a captivating journey through the profound questions of our existence, from the quantum to the cosmic level on “The Big Picture.” 

As you explore the connections between science and human purpose, you’ll discover how groundbreaking discoveries have transformed our understanding of the world and our place in it. This book promises to be a timeless masterpiece, standing proudly alongside the works of Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Daniel Dennett, and E. O. Wilson.

​The Wealth of Nations

The Wealth of Nations

Explore the foundations of classical economics during the dawn of the Industrial Revolution with Adam Smith’s masterpiece, “The Wealth of Nations.” This influential book unveils how countries amass wealth, arguing for meritocracy and individual self-interest in a free market. Discover what made it a must-read for economists to this day! 

​Das Kapital

Capital: Volume I (Das Kapital series Book 1)

Das Kapital” is a book series by Karl Marx that delivers a powerful critique of capitalism and its impact on society. You’ll uncover the nature, development, and future of the capitalist system, focusing on topics like commodities, wages, and worker exploitation. 

This book is a must-read for understanding modern economics, sociology, and history, as you’ll discover Marx’s predictions about the instability of capitalism and its eventual replacement by a system with common ownership. 



Embark on an epic journey through the harsh desert planet of Arrakis in Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction book series, “Dune.” This book follows Paul Atreides, the heir to a noble family, as he navigates betrayal, seeks vengeance, and evolves into the enigmatic Muad’Dib. 

With its intriguing blend of adventure, mysticism, environmentalism, and politics, Dune has won prestigious awards and remains a grand masterpiece in science fiction.

Final Thoughts

In this complete guide to 20 books recommended by Elon Musk, you’ve discovered a diverse collection of thought-provoking reads that have inspired one of the world’s most innovative minds. From science fiction to economics, these books offer valuable insights into technology, human nature, and the future of our species. Immersing these literary journeys will provide a deeper understanding of the ideas and principles driving today’s visionaries.


How many books does Elon Musk read a day?

Elon Musk used to read two books a day.

How does Elon Musk remember books?

Elon Musk uses the “Richard Feynman” technique to remember books. Essentially, he understands the concepts instead of focusing solely on memorization.

How did Elon Musk become very smart?

Elon Musk became very smart through a combination of factors, such as innate curiosity, a strong work ethic, and a relentless pursuit of knowledge and innovation.

What are Elon Musk’s technical skills?

Elon Musk’s areas of expertise are as broad as they are impressive. Mastering engineering, physics, construction, and tunneling, his mastery extends to rocket science, AI, energy, and solar power.

What is the first principle of Elon Musk?

Musk adopted a first principles approach to simplify the situation to its fundamentals, bypass the astronomical prices of the aerospace industry, and devise a more effective solution.

YouTube video
Elvira Lagud