Start Off 2015 with a Bang Reading Books that Influenced Great Minds

Have you ever found yourself asking, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Don’t worry, you are not alone. The greatest innovators and thinkers of our time, who shaped the world, have one thing in common – they fed their minds. And they did this by reading books and building on what others did. They learned to stand on the shoulders of giants.


When industrialist and serial entrepreneur Elon Musk was asked how he learned about rocketry, he responded that he read books. One way to reduce the frequency of wishing that you had generated a great idea, is to read some of the books that influenced and shaped the minds of the most successful leaders. Start off 2015 with a bang by reading some of the books that have influenced the greatest minds of today. Below, you will find links to the favorite books of some of the world’s most recognized leaders.


  1. 9 Books That Inspired Elon Musk: Elon Musk, who founded companies such as Tesla Motors and SpaceX learns many new things from reading books. Some of his favorite books include JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, John D Clark’s Ignition!: An informal history of liquid rocket propellants, and Walter Isaacson’s Einstein: His Life and Universe.
  2. Steve Jobs’ Reading List: Steve Jobs, the cofounder of Apple, was obsessed with design and the way things looked. He was influenced by such books as Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, George Orwell’s 1984, and Clayton Christensen’s The Innovators Dilemma.
  3. 9 Books Bill Gates Thinks Everyone Should Read: Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft is an avid reader, reading a book each week. He had the internet buzzing a few month ago when he reported that his favorite book is Business Adventures by John Brooks, which Warren Buffett gave to him in 1991. The book, which was out of print, is now available and demonstrates the power of an influential leader. Other books on Gates’ recommended reading list include, Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises by Tim Geithner; Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2012 by Carol Loomis; and The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism’ by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  4. Mark Cuban: 6 great books for entrepreneurs: Are you thinking of entrepreneurship? Successful entrepreneur, Mark Cuban has six book recommendations for you! Books include: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and Call Me Ted by Ted Turner.
  5. 22 Top CEOs Reveal Their Favorite Books: This infographic displays the favorite books of CEOs such as Marissa Mayer, Marillyn Hewson, Meg Whitman, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Larry Page.


When the most successful leaders find books that are worthy of shaping their minds, they do not merely read them, but instead devour them. Francis Bacon once said, “Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.” Great minds understand what the father of inductive reasoning meant by his quote.


Rate this article
5 4 3 2 1