23 Book Recommendations from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

November 27, 2016 5:00 am
Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., speaks during an event at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, U.S., on Friday, March 25, 2011. Facebook Inc., owner of the most popular social-networking site, drew investors including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in private stock sales that valued the company at $50 billion as of January. Photographer: George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook Inc., speaks during an event at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, U.S., on Friday, March 25, 2011. (George Frey/Bloomberg/Getty Images)


In 2015, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg started a book club. And what a book club it was. He ended up suggesting and discussing a total of 23 books with the group that year, or about one every two weeks.

It’s a fascinating collection. We’ve put the full list below, so you can feel free to digest each one of these tomes. A couple of our initial takeaways: One, this ain’t Oprah’s book club. There are very few novels on here. None of these look to us like quick reads or “page turners.” These books deal with heavy subjects.

Which is pretty revealing about Zuckerberg. It’s a rather heavy list for a guy who made billions off of people liking other people’s pictures of their kids.

There are books on the list that deal with management, China, the history of the six types of humans, economic history, religion, energy, and scientific revolutions, among others. This book list is like junior year for a philosophy major at Harvard. (Which may be why Zuckerberg dropped out… if you can read these books on your own, who needs professors?)



The second takeaway: Zuckerberg is a big-picture guy. He’s reading about trends of humans (Portfolios of the Poor, Genome). He doesn’t seem to be too concerned with, say, fictional girls on trains. Or the latest challenge for Jack Reacher. He cares about the history of the entire planet. And its future. And why civilizations die.

If we could make a book recommendation to Zuckerberg, it might be: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff.

Here’s the full list. And for more information on each book, go here.

1. Creativity, Inc.

2. Sapiens

3. The Rational Optimist

4. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

5. Why Nations Fail

6. The End of Power

7. The New Jim Crow

8. Genome

9. Portfolios of the Poor

10. Dealing with China

11. The Varieties of Religious Experience

12. The Better Angels of Our Nature

13. The Three-Body Problem

14. Gang Leader for a Day

15. Energy: A Beginner’s Guide

16. Orwell’s Revenge

17. Rational Ritual

18. The Muqaddimah

19. The Player of Games

20. On Immunity: An Inoculation

21. The Beginning of Infinity

22. World Order

23. The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation

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