In Book Recommendations from Billionaire Charlie Munger That will Make you Smarter, we covered some of the books that he’s recommended to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders over the years. As a voracious reader himself, however, offers even more recommendations. Here are 19 others Munger has recommended to the curious reader.
1. No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality
Harris is a great detective and systematically works her way though the currently popular explanations, such as birth order, and explains why none of these solve the mystery of human individuality.
2. Darwin’s Blind Spot: Evolution Beyond Natural Selection
Ryan takes the view that cooperation, not competition, is a factor in natural selection. The dependence, for example, of flowering plans on insects and birds for pollination is symbiosis, or cooperation. Mixing symbiosis with Darwin’s theory, we come to a more accurate picture of the natural world.
3. Man’s Search For Meaning
The book sheds light on the horrible experiences of Auschwitz and what they taught Viktor Frankl about life, love, and our search for meaning. When all seems hopeless, why is it that some people push forward while others subside?
4. The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design
In the eighteenth century, William Paley argued that a watch is too complicated to happen by accident and so too are living things. Darwin undercut that argument with his discovery of natural selection, and here Dawkins offers an elegant riposte. Natural selection has no purpose, it is an unconscious, automatic, and blind watchmaker.
5. Judgment in Managerial Decision Making
This is hands down the most useful book on management decision-making that I’ve ever read. Seriously.
6. The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language
Pinker, one of the world’s foremost experts on language and the mind, explores how language works, how we learn it, and how it evolves. He lands on the site of language being a human instinct, birthed by evolution.
7. Master of the Game: Steve Ross and the Creation of Time Warner
This is a biography of Steve Ross, whose career spanned from Wall Street to Hollywood, by an award-winning journalist. Ross was a polarizing figure, both revered and reviled, who sought out risky deals culminating in the empire of Time Warner.
8. In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives
This book is no surprise to those who follow Munger closely. He loves learning about engineering cultures.
9. A Universe out of Nothing
Bestselling author and acclaimed physicist Lawrence Krauss looks at the biggest question of all: how everything that exists came to be in the first place. “Where did the universe come from? What was there before it? What will the future bring? And finally, why is there something rather than nothing?”
10. Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco
A fascinating look at corporate America and Wall Street culture during the 80s by a masterful storyteller.
11. The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success
A book that details the extraordinary success of CEOs who took a radically different approach to corporate management.
12. Distant Force: A Memoir of the Teledyne Corporation and the Man Who Created It, with an Introduction to Teledyne Technologies
Henry Singleton, the creator of Teledyne detailed in this book, was one of the eight unconventional CEOs mentioned above. If there was a businessman hall of fame, Singleton would be on the first ballot.
13. Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire
How Bill Gates transformed an industry when everyone was trying to prevent him. Gates wasn’t always the richest person in the world.
14. Fortune’s Formula: The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Street
Our man Claude Shannon comes up again with his fascinating work with John Kelly. Together they applied the science of information theory to make as much money as they could as fast as they could.
15. Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story
An intimate exposure of Enron’s implosion. Think it can’t happen again? Think again.
16. The Martians of Science: Five Physicists Who Changed the Twentieth Century
If science had a hall of fame the five men from this book, born at the turn of the twentieth century in Budapest – Theodore von Kármán, Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner, John von Neumann, and Edward Teller – would all be members. Their work underpinned some of the most important political developments of the twentieth century.
17. Einstein: His Life and Universe
Munger, who reads every Einstein biography, considers this one from Walter Isaacson to be the best.
18. Getting It Done: How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge
An interesting book full of practical ideas that takes a realistic view of organizations and asks how, in a world of matrix management and chaos, do we lead when we are not the one in charge?
19. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
One of Munger’s all-time heroes was Ben Franklin. This autobiography was written as a letter of instruction in the ways of the world.