Best Science Books: Read like Elon Musk

   

The best science books come in many different forms. Whether it’s an in-depth analysis of the universe or a picture book about the different species on the planet, you’ll find exactly what you need.

Famously, Elon Musk really understands rocket technology. He studied it a lot by reading all the best science books he found. I’ve read in his biography that one of the engineers was really surprised by his grasp of really complicated concepts. Any entrepreneur should have an understanding of the science behind their work. They don’t need to have PhDs in their field, but a little bit of reading helps a lot in communicating with your engineers.

Science is by far one of the fascinating subjects on the planet; it makes us what we are and is responsible for the beauty we see every day. You can also bet that with every read, you’ll have a new experience, and you’ll learn innovative and exceptional things that you never knew before.

As an incredibly vast and diverse genre of books, there’s something for everyone when it comes to science. Gripping tales of gene mutations, explanations of black holes from the world’s top cosmologists, or even stories from modern environmentalists are just a few examples. You can learn absolutely anything from how humanity is said to have started to where it is predicted 20,000 years from now.

The best science books have inserts and topics that are easy enough for the everyday person to understand, as you’ll want to diversify your knowledge but still be enthralled. However, multiple titles are best left for professionals in their field, as these books contain specific information to help you build further on your career.

The more science-based books you read, the more you’ll know about the world, its beautiful creatures, and what makes the universe as exceptional as it is. There’s something about science that is so captivating, possibly because there is so much more yet to be discovered. From marine life deep within Mariana’s Trench to more common species in the Amazon, the planet has plenty of interesting questions that we all want answers to.

If you’re searching for something that will be inspiring and jaw-dropping, you’ve certainly come to the perfect genre. Every reader will be able to find a title that suits their needs once you start to search for the best science books that money can buy. Why not try something a little different and explore more of what our world has to offer?

Best Science Books

Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100

Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100

Kaku interviews some of the world's best and brightest scientists to find out what they're working on. What he unveils is a future of sci-fi-like innovations and breakthroughs worth sticking around for.
Michael Dell
CEO/Dell
Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman

Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman

I’ve been reading Perfectly Reasonable Deviations, and I’ve also been rereading Genius.
Naval Ravikant
CEO & Co-Founder/AngelList
Information: The New Language of Science

Information: The New Language of Science

If you want an introduction to information theory, and, in a way, probability theory from the real front door, this is it. A clearly written book, very intuititive, explains things, such as the Monty Hall problem in a few lines. I will make it a prerequite before more technical great books, such as Cover and Thompson.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Flaneur
The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, and Close the Deal

The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, and Close the Deal

This book is a breath of fresh air. While most sales books are based on the author's experience, every chapter in this superbly well-written book is rooted in science.

Gerhard Gschwandtner
CEO/Selling Power
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything

Of the five books I finished over vacation, the one that impressed me the most – and that is probably of broadest interest – is Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, by science writer Joshua Foer. This is an absolutely phenomenal book that looks at memory and techniques for dramatically improving memory. Foer actually mastered these techniques, which led him to the finals of the U.S. Memory Championship. His book gives fascinating insights into how the mind works.
Bill Gates
CEO/Microsoft
Body by Science: A Research Based Program for Strength Training, Body building, and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week

Body by Science: A Research Based Program for Strength Training, Body building, and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week

I feel guilty for not having posted a review earlier: I owe a lot to this book. I figured out the value of intensity training and maximizing recovery. I use the ideas but with minor modifications (my own personal workout is entirely based on free weights and barbells, but I incur --and accept --a risk of injury). I have been applying the ideas for more than three years. Just get over the inhibitions (and illusions of control) and accept the idea of training less. Gratitude.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Flaneur
How Nature Works: The Science of Self-organized Criticality

How Nature Works: The Science of Self-organized Criticality

This book is a great attempt at finding some universality based on systems in a "critical" state, with departures from such state taking place in a manner that follows power laws.

The sandpile is a great baby model for that. Some people are critical of Bak's approach, some even suggesting that we may not get power laws in these "sandpile" effects, but something less scalable in the tails. The point is :so what? The man has vision. I looked at the reviews of this book. Clearly a few narrow-minded scientists do not seem to like it (many did not like Per Bak's ego).

But the book is remarkably intuitive and the presentation is so clear that he takes you by the hand. It is even entertaining. If you are looking to find flaws in his argument his pedagogy allows it (it is immediately obvious to us who dabble with simulations of these processes that you need an infinite sandpile to get a pure power law). Another problem. I have been ordering the book on Amazon for ages.

Copernicus books does not respond to emails. I got my copy at the NYU library. Bak passed away 2 years ago and nobody seems to be pushing for his interest and that of us his readers (for used books to sell for 99 implies some demand). This convinces me NEVER to publish with Springer.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Flaneur
The Art and Science of Training

The Art and Science of Training

I have invested the last 10 years in training, people development and learning design. I suggest that anyone who wants to try this path should first read "The Art and Science of Training" by Elaine Biech. It will give them a very clear idea if this is for them or not. Then they can participate in a public speaking course to see if they like being in front, or a design thinking workshop to see if they like prototyping. Other than that, it's a lot of learning by doing. There are many books out there on instructional design, gamification etc., but whatever is out there, needs testing and piloting first.
Armina Sirbu
Serial Entrepreneur
The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability before Pascal

The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability before Pascal

As a practitioner of probability, I've had to read many books on the subject. Most are linear combinations of other books and ideas rehashed without real understanding that the idea of probability harks back to the Greek pisteuo (credibility) [and pithanon that led to probabile in latin] and pervaded classical thought. Almost all of these writers made the mistake to think that the ancients were not into probability. And most books such as "Against the Gods" are not even wrong about the notion of probability: odds on coin flips are a mere footnote. Same with current experiments with psychology of probability. If the ancients were not into computable probabilities, it was not because of theology, but because they were not into highly standardized games. They dealt with complex decisions, not merely simplified and purified probability. And they were very sophisticated at it.

The author is both a mathematician and a philosopher, not a philosopher who took a calculus class hence has a shallow idea of combinatorics and feels dominated by the subject, something that plagues the subject of the philosophy of probability. This book stands above, way above the rest: I've never seen a deeper exposition of the subject, as this text covers, in addition to the mathematical bases, the true philosophical origin of the notion of probability.

Finally, Franklin covers matters related to ethics and contract law, such as the works of the medieval thinker Pierre de Jean Olivi, that very few people discuss today.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Flaneur
Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships

Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships

This book is the key to understand the way societies reacts and why.

Corneliu Bodea
CEO / Adrem
How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence

How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence

Michael Pollan masterfully guides us through the highs, lows, and highs again of psychedelic drugs. How to Change Your mind chronicles how it’s been a longer and stranger trip than most any of us knew.

Daniel Goleman
Author
Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

This book is a breakthrough, a lyrical, powerful, science-based narrative that actually shows us how to get better (much better) at the things we care about.
Seth Godin
Author & Entrepreneur
The Science of Getting Rich

The Science of Getting Rich

I read everything with an open mind, often challenging myself by choosing books with an odd perspective or religious/spiritual views. These books do not reflect my personal feelings but are books that helped shape my perspective on life, love, and happiness.
Chelsea Frank
Founder/Life and Limb Gel
Science and Sanity

Science and Sanity

Science and Sanity, by Alfred Korzybski. OK, General Semantics was the 30s equivalent of pop-psychology in the 70s, but there are some great concepts there. "The map is not the territory." The idea is that people get stuck in concepts and don't go back to observation. My friend George Simon applied General Semantics to psychology, and gave me a grounding in how to see people and to acknowledge what I saw that is the bedrock of my personal philosophy to this day. There are many popular introductions to General Semantics on the market, and also a fun science-fiction book, A.E. van Vogt's The World of Null-A.
Tim O'Reilly
Founder/O'Reilly Media
Unlimited Power: The New Science of Personal Achievement

Unlimited Power: The New Science of Personal Achievement

First, a word on career paths. In time, I realised that career paths are like one-way streets. Magic happens in unexplored territories. Plus life is how you choose to live every moment, every day. So today, rather than building a career, I prefer to make lateral moves in life, working with great people and being part of ambitious projects impacting the world. There are a few books that got me here: [...] Tony Robbins "Unlimited Power: The New Science of Personal Achievement".
Cristina Riesen
Founder/We Are Play Lab
Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well

Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well

These books and their core ideas have stuck with me the most and continue to guide me when I hit crossroads along the way.
Andra Zaharia
Freelance Content Marketer/The Content Habit
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

It's a history of science book that explores the question of whether science and technology make consistent forward progress or whether progress comes in bursts related to other social forces. I tend to think that science is a consistent force for good in the world. I think we'd all be better off if we invested more in science and acted on the results of research. I'm excited to explore this theme further.
Mark Zuckerberg
CEO/Facebook
A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science

A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science

A good teacher will leave you educated. But a great teacher will leave you curious. Well, Barbara Oakley is a great teacher. Not only does she have a mind for numbers, she has a way with words, and she makes every one of them count
Mike Rowe
CEO/MikeRoweWorks Foundation, Former TV Host/Dirty Jobs
Buddhist Biology: Ancient Eastern Wisdom Meets Modern Western Science

Buddhist Biology: Ancient Eastern Wisdom Meets Modern Western Science

I have no favorite book, but I can tell you a particular genre that continues to capture my literary interests: metacognition. Books like The Tao of Physics, Everyday Zen, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Buddhist Biology, Zen and the Brain, and The Physics of Consciousness all run the gamut of challenging and considering to think of how we think.
Ari Iaccarino
Co-Founder/Ridj-it
This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

Fascinating though older book.
Vinod Khosla
Co-Founder/Sun Microsystem

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