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20 Book Recommendations from Billionaire Charlie Munger That will Make you Smarter
Munger, of course, is the billionaire business partner of Warren Buffett and the Vice Chairman at Berkshire Hathaway.
Not only is Munger one of the smartest people on the planet—his lecture on the psychology of human misjudgment is the best 45 minutes you might spend this year—but he’s put all of those brains to use in a practical way.
If you’re looking for a book to read this summer, this list of books recommended by Munger is a great place to start.
It’s a combination of scientific biography and explanation of the physics, particularly relating to electricity. It’s just the best book of its kind I have ever read, and I just hugely enjoyed it. Couldn’t put it down. It was a fabulous human achievement. And neither of the writers is a physicist.
4. Ice Age
Of this book Munger said: “(The) best work of science exposition and history that I’ve read in many years!”
5. How the Scots Invented the Modern World
A lot of really important stuff like: the first modern nation, the first literate society, the ideas for (modern) democracy and free markets, all originated with the Scots.
6. Models of My Life
An autobiography of Nobel laureate Herbert A. Simon, a remarkable polymath who more people should know about. In an age of increasing specialization, he’s a rare generalist — applying what he learned as a scientist to other aspects of his life. Crossing disciplines, he was at the intersection of “information sciences.” He won the Nobel for his theory of “bounded rationality,” and is perhaps best known for his insightful quote “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” (Also part of five books that will change your life.)
What is it about that two percent difference in DNA that has created such a divergence between evolutionary cousins? … renowned Pulitzer Prize–winning author and scientist Jared Diamond explores how the extraordinary human animal, in a remarkably short time, developed the capacity to rule the world … and the means to irrevocably destroy it.
Dawkins explains how the selfish gene can also be a subtle gene. The world of the selfish gene revolves around savage competition, ruthless exploitation, and deceit, and yet, Dawkins argues, acts of apparent altruism do exist in nature. Bees, for example, will commit suicide when they sting to protect the hive, and birds will risk their lives to warn the flock of an approaching hawk.
14. Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
At 800 or so pages this is the perfect book for a week-long vacation. From humble beginnings to the height of great power Rockefeller did it all. I think you’ll find he has more in common with Marcus Aurelius than today’s billionaires.
Born the son of a flamboyant, bigamous snake-oil salesman and a pious, straitlaced mother, Rockefeller rose from rustic origins to become the world’s richest man by creating America’s most powerful and feared monopoly, Standard Oil. Branded “the Octopus” by legions of muckrakers, the trust refined and marketed nearly 90 percent of the oil produced in America.