23 Book Recommendations from Mark Zuckerberg in 2019

Over the past year, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has been sharing his choices of reading with the world in a Facebook-based book club. The books Zuckerberg has shared focused on “different cultures, beliefs, histories, and technologies.” The book club, titled “A Year of Books reading group,” ended up with 23 different selections.

Zuckerberg's 2019 Reading List

Zuckerberg actually started an online book club in 2015, and has always been an advocate for reading. “I’ve found reading books very intellectually fulfilling,” said Zuckerberg. “Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today. I’m looking forward to shifting more of my media diet towards reading books.”

Zuckerberg's 2019 Reading List creativity

The list has garnered Zuckerberg a bit of attention—more specifically, one particular book raised a few eyebrows earlier this year. Zuckerberg recommended “The Last Days of Night” by Graham Moore. Moore’s book told the story of Thomas Edison’s electricity monopoly, and the lengths that he went to in order to protect that monopoly. With 2020 Democratic presidential candidate calling for big tech companies like Facebook and Amazon being broke up to create more domestic tech competition, a book about protecting your monopoly is what some might call a bold choice. Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote in a blog post, “Today’s big tech companies have too much power—too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy. They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.” In the midst of such comments, reading a book that is essentially a how-to for monopolist is interesting to say the least.

Zuckerberg's 2019 Reading List The Muqaddimah book

But that wasn’t all that Zuckerberg read during 2019. His reading selection covered non-fiction books that discussed the benefits of the free market as well as sci-fi novels that explored where technology could be taking us. Zuckerberg read “The Muqaddimah,” a book about Islamic history. His interest in justice informed his reading choices, as did his curiosity about foreign relationships and the modern global economy. The titles Zuckerberg read cover a wide gamut of topics and genres—there’s something for everyone on the list. It will be interesting to see what books capture the Facebook CEO’s attention in 2020.

Here is the full list of Mark Zuckerberg’s Year of Books and 23 Book Recommendations:

  1. The Muqaddimah by Ibn KhaldunBuy it here
  2. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander – Buy it here
  3. Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson – Buy it here
  4. The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley – Buy it here
  5. Portfolios of the Poor by Daryl Collins, Jonathan Morduch, Stuart Rutherford, and Orlanda Ruthven – Buy it here
  6. World Order by Henry Kissinger  Buy it here
  7. The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James – Buy it here
  8. Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull – Buy it here
  9. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari – Buy it here
  10. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn – Buy it here
  11. Dealing With China by Henry M. Paulson Jr. – Buy it here
  12. The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch – Buy it here
  13. The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker – Buy it here
  14. Genome by Matt Ridley – Buy it here
  15. The End of Power by Moisés Naím – Buy it here
  16. On Immunity by Eula Biss – Buy it here
  17. The Idea Factory by Jon Gertner – Buy it here
  18. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu – Buy it here
  19. Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh – Buy it here
  20. The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks – Buy it here
  21. Orwell’s Revenge by Peter Huber – Buy it here
  22. Energy: A Beginner’s Guide by Vaclav Smil – Buy it here
  23. Rational Ritual by Michael Suk-Young Chwe – Buy it here