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3 Books Elon Musk Thinks You Should Read In 2021

Matt Lillywhite

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Elon Musk is undoubtedly one of the most inspiring and ambitious people in the entire world. He’s launched rockets into space, built tunnels under Los Angeles, and created one of the world’s most recognizable car brands. And if those aren’t incredible achievements, I don’t know what are.

Elon recently became the richest person in the world. And unsurprisingly, he credits a lot of his success over the past few decades to a passion for reading new books.

“I read books and talked to people. I mean, that’s kind of how one learns anything. There are lots of great books out there & lots of smart people.” — Elon Musk

So below are several fascinating books that Elon Musk has recommended. Each of them helped me to think about the world in completely different ways. I’m confident they will do the same for you, too.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adam.

I read this for the first time during my early teenage years. I remember being yelled at by my mom because I was reading at 3am — a few hours before I was supposed to get up for school. It’s the book that initially inspired me to develop a passion for science fiction and astronomy.

In the book, Earth is destroyed by aliens to make way for an intergalactic highway. But seconds before the planet’s annihilation, the main character (Arthur Dent) hitches a ride on a spaceship to travel throughout the universe while seeking the meaning of life or something close to it.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is an excellent read for anyone wanting to discover an entirely new way of thinking about the world. Quoting Elon Musk:

“I read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which is quite positive I think, and it highlighted an important point, which is that a lot of times, the question is harder than the answer. And if you can properly phrase the question, then the answer is the easy part. So, to the degree that we can better understand the universe, then we can better know what questions to ask.”

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.

I got yelled at by my English teacher in high school for reading a “Lord of The Rings” book during class. She wasn’t happy. But being totally honest, I don’t regret reading when I was supposed to be working. It’s one of my favorite book series of all-time.

In essence, The Lord Of The Rings a fantasy novel set in Middle-Earth. Published in three separate volumes, it’s considered one of the best-selling pieces of literature ever written — with over 150 million copies sold. Quoting Elon Musk:

“The heroes of the books I read, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and the ‘Foundation’ series, always felt a duty to save the world.”

The “Foundation” trilogy by Isaac Asimov.

I want to be totally honest with you. I wasn’t expecting to love these books as they’re entirely different from the type of stuff I’d usually read. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed them.

Set in the distant future, the books describe the various challenges that humankind could face while conquering the stars. For example, tribalism, barbarianism, and many other things that are deeply rooted in human psychology.

So if you’re someone who loves space and science fiction, this book is certainly something you’ll want to read in 2021. Quoting Elon Musk:

“Given that this is the first time in 4.5 billion years where it’s been possible for humanity to extend life beyond Earth, it seems like we’d be wise to act while the window was open and not count on the fact it will be open a long time.”

Over the past few months, I’ve noticed that I have a lot of things in common with Elon Musk. Unfortunately, I’m not talking about owning an aerospace company or inspiring millions of people to think in completely different ways.

Instead, I’m referring to a passion for reading that changes the way I see the world. I enjoy learning new things and discovering what’s truly possible when I put my mind to something.

Each of the above books has been recommended by Elon Musk. And if you enjoy reading about a variety of subjects, you’ll probably enjoy every single one. So what are you waiting for?

Start now.

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