Jeff Bezos Recommended Books & Reading List

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Discover and read the best books Jeff Bezos has recommended. Find out what books Jeff Bezos has read, and which ones have inspired and changed his life.

Jeff Bezos has given his top picks for recommended books, but there is also a mix of mentions and suggestions on this reading list.

Jeff Bezos

Jeffrey Preston Bezos (born January 12, 1964) is an American entrepreneur, media proprietor, investor, computer engineer, and commercial astronaut. He is the founder, executive chairman, and former president and CEO of Amazon.

Wikipedia

1. Sam Walton: Made In America

Sam Walton
Publication Date: May 1, 1992
Sam Walton describes the inspiration, heart, and optimism that drove him to lasso the American Dream in a tale filled with tales and the “rules of the road” of both Main Street and Wall Street in his book, The Rules of the Road.

Meet Sam Walton, a true American folk hero who emerged from the heartland of the country to transform a tiny dime store in a struggling cotton town into Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world. Sam, the unquestioned king of the late 20th-century merchants, never lost his sense of humor.


2. Rework

Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
Publication Date: March 9, 2010
Rework is the ideal guidebook for everyone who has ever fantasized about making it on their own, thanks to its simple language and easy-is-better philosophy.

If you read it, you’ll understand why making plans can be detrimental, why you don’t need outside investors, and why ignoring the competition is a better option. You should actually stop talking and get to work. The path is laid forth in this book. You’ll discover ways to increase productivity, gain exposure without spending a fortune, and a ton of other illogical concepts that will challenge and excite you.


3. The Remains of the Day

Kazuo Ishiguro
Publication Date: September 12, 1990
The perfect butler and his vanishing, insular world in post-World War II England are the subjects of this dense and fascinating novel by the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

This is a really moving depiction of Stevens, a butler, by Kazuo Ishiguro. After thirty years of employment at Darlington Hall, Stevens takes a day trip across the countryside and begins a voyage through time in an effort to reassure himself that by working for the “great gentleman,” Lord Darlington, he has served humanity.


4 – 9. The Dune Saga Collection: Books 1 -6

Frank Herbert
Publication Date: August 25, 2020
An exciting journey is in store for you in the distant future on a faraway planet. Here are the first six books in Frank Herbert’s famous Dune trilogy, one of the best-selling science fiction series of all time and a triumph of the imagination.

The Dune Saga opens on the arid planet Arrakis with the tale of the little boy Paul Atreides, later known as Muad’Dib, and the aspiration of a great family to realize humanity’s most illustrious and impossible dream.


10. Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric

Thomas Gryta & Ted Mann 
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
According to the two Wall Street Journal reporters who covered General Electric’s fall, this is the indisputable account of the company’s dramatic decline.

The documentary Lights Out looks at how Jeff Immelt, Welch’s hand-picked successor, struggled to correct Welch’s profit-making system while also making his own mistakes. In the end, GE’s long-standing culture of “win at all costs” seemed to lose focus, which led to the company’s deterioration on both a personal and organizational level. In Lights Out, it is explained how one of America’s greatest businesses ever became a lesson for the present.


11. Creation: Life and How to Make It

Steve Grand 
Publication Date: May 30, 2003
Steve Grand offers a solution in this book, giving both the devoted reader and the casual observer an opportunity to see the world from the viewpoint of an original philosopher-engineer and intellectual maverick.

Creation explores the practical, social, and ethical consequences of the state of the art, from the structure of the brains and bodies of artificial life forms to the philosophical principles and computational frameworks that define them. But more than that, the book gives readers access to the revelations Grand had while researching and writing Creatures; revelations that produce a worldview that is surprisingly antireductionist, anti-materialist, and (to a degree) anti-mechanistic, a view that sees matter, life, mind, and society as merely different manifestations of the same thing.


12. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

Jim Collins & Jerry I Porras
Publication Date: October 26, 1994
Built to Last is a comprehensive guide for creating businesses that will thrive well into the 21st century and beyond.

James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras analyzed each of the 18 genuinely remarkable and enduring businesses in relation to one of its leading rivals, drawing on a six-year study effort at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. They looked at the businesses as start-ups, midsize businesses, and huge enterprises, from the very beginning to the present.


13. The Culture Series I: Consider Phlebas

Iain M. Banks
Publication Date: March 26, 2008
The first volume of The Culture, a groundbreaking science fiction series by Iain M. Banks. Consider Phlebas introduces readers to the utopian assemblage of human and extraterrestrial cultures that probes the ethics of war and the boundless potential of human imagination.

All around the galaxy, the war raged. Billion after billion have already perished and were doomed. Moons, planets, and even the stars themselves faced ruthless, violent, and worse, arbitrary devastation. The Culture fought for its moral right to exist, while the Idirans fought for their Faith. There were issues of principles. There was no surrender possible.


14. The Culture Series II: The Player of Games

Iain M. Banks
Publication Date: December 1, 1992
Gurgeh Jernau Morat Gurgeh is one of the best game players to come out of The Culture, a human/machine symbiotic society. The game’s player master of all games, computers, and tactics.

Gurgeh, who has seen success, decides to try the fantastic game of the ruthless and opulent Empire of Azad. . . A game that is so difficult to win, much like life itself. Gurgeh accepts the game and, along with it, the challenge of his life—and very probably his demise. He has been mocked, blackmailed, and nearly killed.


15. The Culture Series III: The State of The Art

Iain M. Banks
Publication Date: May 1, 1993
The celebrated novella The State of the Art is included in this anthology, which is the first compilation of short stories by Iain M. Banks.

By employing the Earth of 1977 as a point of comparison, this startling addition to the increasing collection of Culture mythology gives the earlier works more scale and definition. The remaining tales in the anthology cover a variety of genres, including science fiction, horror, dark fantasy, and morality tales. All of them bore the indelible mark of Iain Banks’ prodigious talent.


16. The Culture Series IV: Use of Weapons

Iain M. Banks
Publication Date: January 1, 1992
Use of Weapons is a masterpiece of science fiction. It is brutally intelligent, funny, and horrifying.

One of the most powerful Special Circumstances agents, Cheradenine Zakalwe changed the course of worlds to suit the Culture by scheming, deceit, or military force. He had been rescued from obscurity and propelled to his current prominence by the woman known as Diziet Sma, but despite all of their interactions, she did not know him as well as she believed. Both of these individuals were acquainted with Skaffen-Amtiskaw, the drone. It had once killed the woman’s attackers in an extremely violent way, saving her life. It assumed that the man was a burned-out case. But even its artificial intelligence was unable to recognize the tragedies in his background.


17. The Culture Series V: Excession

Iain M. Banks
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
The fifth novel in the Culture series was written by science fiction writer Iain M. Banks, whose imagination is amazing.

The artifact first surfaced 2.5 millennia ago next to a dying, trillion-year-old sun from a separate universe in a remote area of space. The black-body sphere was flawless, and it did nothing. Then it vanished.


18. The Culture Series VI: Inversions

Iain M. Banks
Publication Date: October 19, 2007
A superbly written and highly inventive science fiction masterpiece, INVERSIONS is by an author who has ignited the field.

The King’s new physician at the winter palace has more opponents than she initially thinks. However, she also has more treatments on hand than those who want her harm can possibly be aware of. The head bodyguard also has opponents in another palace over the mountains, where he works for the regicidal Protector General. His adversaries, however, attack more quickly, and his methods of defense are more conventional.


19. The Culture Series VII: Look to Windward

Iain M. Banks
Publication Date: August 1, 2001
In The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, John Allegro describes his journey across the language tree to discover the origins of Christianity.

This book questions everything we believe to be true about religion. Christianity’s foundational fertility cult from antiquity. the dynamic force behind cultic rituals and symbols. The sacred mushroom serves as a symbol and representation of divinity.


20. The Culture Series VIII: Matter

Iain M. Banks
Publication Date: February 10, 2009
A book with brilliant wit and a serious message. It is a work of art from a writer who has subverted science fiction, an astounding achievement in storytelling, and breathtaking inventiveness on a large scale.

A crime within a war in a famous world within a galaxy full of wonders. For one brother, it entails a desperate escape and a hunt for one or two individuals who might be able to clear his name. For his brother, it entails an existence marked by a perpetual fear of betrayal and murder. Even though she doesn’t know the whole story, their sister will have to go back to a location she had assumed was permanently deserted.


21. The Culture Series IX: Surface Detail

Iain M. Banks
Publication Date: May 12, 2011
One of Iain M. Banks’s Culture books is Surface Detail, a remarkable accomplishment from a writer whose body of work is unparalleled in science fiction’s contemporary history.

Despite being generous, wise, and almost eternally resourceful, the Culture can only do so much for any one person. Lededje finds herself in a battle zone with one of the Culture’s most potent and maybe insane battleships while unsure of which side the Culture actually supports. The digital realms that house the souls of the dead already host a battle that is terrible and extensive, and it is about to spill over into the physical world.


22. The Culture Series X: The Hydrogen Sonata

Iain M. Banks
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
The Scavenger species are circling. It is undeniably the Gzilt civilization’s final days.

The Gzilt were an ancient race that assisted in building the Culture ten thousand years ago and were nearly one of its founding societies before opting against joining at the last minute. They were organized on military principles yet were almost paradoxically benign. They’ve now collectively decided to ascend to a new, nearly exponentially more complicated existence by choosing to Sublime, following in the footsteps of millions of other civilizations.


23. The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design

Richard Dawkins
Publication Date: September 28, 2015
The cornerstone defense of our current understanding of evolution is still Richard Dawkins’ timeless work.

The foundational book for the modern understanding of evolution is The Blind Watchmaker. Theologian William Paley created the well-known creationist metaphor of the expert watchmaker in the eighteenth century. Richard Dawkins creates a sophisticated counterargument in The Blind Watchmaker to demonstrate that the intricate process of Darwinian natural selection is unconscious and automated. If natural selection is the equivalent of a blind watchmaker in nature, it does so without intention or foresight.


24. Data-Driven Marketing: The 15 Metrics Everyone in Marketing Should Know 

Mark Jeffery
Publication Date: February 8, 2010
The American Marketing Association named it the best marketing book of 2011. How businesses can achieve big performance improvements through smart marketing investment.

No company can continue to spend money on marketing in the new world of constrained marketing budgets without knowing what is effective and what is not. Data-driven marketing increases the efficiency and efficacy of marketing expenditures throughout the whole range of marketing operations, from new product launches and Internet marketing to branding and awareness, trail and loyalty, and trail and loyalty.


25. The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Publication Date: May 11, 2010
A stand-alone volume in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s renowned Incerto series, The Black Swan explores opacity, chance, uncertainty, probability, human mistake, risk, and decision-making in an unknowable environment.

A black swan is a highly unlikely event that has three main characteristics: it is unpredictable, it has a significant impact, and we invent an explanation for it after the fact that makes it seem less random and more predictable than it actually was. Google’s incredible success was a black swan event. According to Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans are at the root of practically everything in our world, from the emergence of religions to the occurrences in each of our individual lives.


26. The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail

Clayton M. Christensen
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Listed in Fast Company’s Leadership Hall of Fame as one of the most impactful leadership books. A vintage in innovation. Clay Christensen’s work continues to support today’s most creative leaders and organizations, from Steve Jobs to Jeff Bezos.

Innovation specialist Clayton Christensen demonstrates how even the most exceptional businesses may do everything right and still lose market leadership in this timeless bestseller, one of the most influential business books of all time. Christensen outlines why the majority of businesses miss out on emerging innovation waves. He asserts that, regardless of the industry, a profitable business with well-established products would be passed over unless managers know when and how to renounce conventional management methods.


27. The Mythical Man-Month, Anniversary Edition: Essays On Software Engineering

Frederick Brooks Jr.
Publication Date: August 2, 1995
The Mythical Man-Month is one of the most prominent and classic books on software project management.

Fred Brooks gives advice for anyone managing difficult projects with a blend of information about software engineering and provocative viewpoints. These writings are based on his work managing projects for the vast OS/360 software system and the IBM System/360 computer family. Twenty years after the book’s initial release, Brooks has revisited his original ideas and provided fresh perspectives and recommendations for both readers who are already familiar with his work and readers who are learning about it for the first time.


28. Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation

James P. Womack & Daniel T. Jones 
Publication Date: June 10, 2003
This best-selling business classic by two internationally known management analysts offers a company system for the twenty-first century and has been revised, expanded, and made more current than ever.

The majority of the world views Crazy Horse as a legendary warrior who helped the United States. The army is brought to its knees at the Little Bighorn battle. But to his fellow Lakota Indians, he was a devout son and a modest warrior who, with courage, energy, respect, and unmatched leadership, fought for the land, way of life, and honor of his people.


29. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t

Jim Collins
Publication Date: October 16, 2001
Many readers will be surprised by the findings of the Good to Great study, which shed light on practically every aspect of management strategy and practice.

Collins and his research team selected a group of outstanding businesses using strict criteria that made the transition to great performance and maintained those results for at least fifteen years. How great is it? The good-to-great companies produced cumulative stock returns after the leap that outperformed the general stock market by an average of seven times over a period of fifteen years, outperforming by more than twice the performance of a composite index of the world’s most successful businesses, such as Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.


30. Memos from the Chairman

Alan C. Greenberg
Publication Date: March 1, 1996
True Believer, a thrilling roller-coaster ride that establishes Jack Carr as the new master of political thrillers, explodes with action and authenticity.

The general markets tank when a spate of horrifying terrorist acts rocks the Western world around the holidays. An enigmatic former Iraqi commando who vanished into the European underworld is organizing the attacks.


31. The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement – 30th Anniversary Edition

Eliyahu M. Goldratt & Jeff Cox
Publication Date: June 1, 2014
The Goal, a compelling book with a fast-paced thriller writing style, is revolutionizing management thought all over the world.

Sold more than 4 million copies! utilized by tens of thousands of businesses and business institutions! Anyone interested in the Theory of Constraints must read this. The Theory of Constraints, which is covered in this book, is revolutionizing American industry. The Goal is a suspenseful, quick-paced business book about overcoming obstacles to success. You will have a basic understanding of how to recognize and address issues brought on by restrictions. You will be able to successfully handle persistent productivity and quality issues as soon as you finish the book.


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