/ 3 years ago /

 Article by Aayushi Sharma

Book recommendations from the world’s top CEOs

This post was written by an external contributor. These book recommendations from top CEOs will definitely prep you for success, says Aayushi Sharma.

“Just a casual reminder that 2018 is four months away”. Errmmmm what?! Actually, a more terrifying question would be where did my summer go?! Though the stubborn side of me would argue that watching Game of Thrones and reading fan theories was an extremely productive and intelligent way to beat the heat and spend my time, the more rational side of me would disagree.

The realisation came as a shocking surprise that besides my graduation and a two week family vacation, I have not done anything fruitful over the last three months. I don’t know how many of you are also in the same boat as I am, but if you feel like it’s about time you got around to doing something other than binge watching Netflix or playing the PlayStation all day, then please do keep continue reading this.

I recently read an article on Debut called “This summer reading list from Bill Gates is exactly what you need”, which got me thinking about the sorts of books that CEOs of top organisations recommend people to read. Therefore, I came up with the idea of listing a few of them below. I challenge you (and mostly myself) to read at least three of these books by the time I have to leave for my Masters programme in September. So without further ado, here are some book recommendations from CEOs of some of the largest firms.


Warren Buffett – CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Business Adventures by John Brooks

book recommendations warren buffett

Also known as Bill Gates’ favourite business book, Brooks brings to life stories about Wall Street in a way that is both entertaining and informative.

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

book recommendations

Benjamin Graham teaches the philosophy of “value investing”, i.e. investing in stocks that are undervalued in their market but will appreciate in the long run. A good book for those who want to follow the steps of legendary investors like Graham and Buffett.

Jeff Weiner – CEO of LinkedIn

The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler

Through conversations and stories, the Dalai Lama shows us how to defeat day-to-day anxiety, insecurity and other negative feelings. He explores many aspects of everyday life, including relationships, loss and the pursuit of wealth, and illustrates how to go through life in order to find long lasting inner peace.

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder

Kidder describes the life and work of Dr. Paul Farmer, whose mission is to serve poor countries and put an end to infectious disease while bringing lifesaving medicines to inaccessible regions and for those who need it most.

Elon Musk – CEO of SpaceX

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson

book recommendations elon musk

A biography of Franklin’s life from his childhood to his successes as a scientist, statesman and a Founding Father.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

book recommendations elon musk

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is about Arthur Dent’s journey to outer space after his alien friend whisks him away to save him from Earth’s annihilation. As Arthur makes his way across the stars he tries to better understand the meaning of life and other such questions.

Satya Nadella – CEO of Microsoft

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

book recommendations satya nadella

Chris Hadfield has logged nearly 4000 hours in space. In this book he takes the readers on a journey from his training days to space exploration. His stories teach you how to think like an astronaut and change your view of life on Earth.

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

book recommendations satya nadella

Desmond discusses the lives of eight families as they struggle with poverty in Milwaukee. The book plays an important role in transforming our ideas of poverty and economics whilst providing ideas for solving this crisis in America.

Mark Zuckerberg – CEO of Facebook

Genome by Matt Ridley

book recommendations mark zuckerberg

Ridley concentrates on the each of the 23 pairs of chromosomes in the human body and the genetic information associated with them. Each chapter discusses one pair of chromosomes and the various issues surrounding them. This allows the reader to get an insight into the biochemical and genetic principles by which these genes function.

The Idea Factory by Jon Gertner

book recommendations mark zuckerberg

This book highlights the role of Bell Labs, a scientific development company, as an incubator of innovation as well as the birthplace for some of the most influential technologies.


Jeff Bezos – CEO of Amazon

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

book recommendations jeff bezos

The book focuses on a butler who decides to go on a motoring trip through the West Country, south west England. The character reflects upon his life over this six day trip.

The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen

book recommendations jeff bezos

Christensen demonstrates how successful companies can do everything “right” yet still lose their market leadership – or even fail – as new, unexpected competitors rise and take over the market. As one of the most influential books, a must read for entrepreneurs and those keen in learning about management of innovation.

Charlie Taylor, CEO and founder of Debut

The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly

Poverty and hunger afflicts much of the world’s population, and despite efforts from the West to alleviate the problem, it persists into the 21st century. It’s a thorny and controversial issue, but Easterly tackles it with great depth and perception in this highly acclaimed work. Easterly is one of the world’s best known economists and specialises in development and growth, so this book is thoroughly researched and will help you to see global economics in a whole new light.

Hellfire by Ed Macy

This true story is based on Macy’s experiences with the world’s deadliest helicopter during the Afghan war. His split-second decision to deploy the machine’s ‘Hellfire’ missile changed the course of modern warfare. This is a captivating insight into what it really mains to make decisions under pressure, and how to work with a team under the most challenging of circumstances.

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