From Rockets to Rings: Elon Musk’s 5-Star Book Recommendations

Elon Musk Top Five Must-Read Books That Deserve a 5-Star Rating

Elon Musk, the visionary entrepreneur and CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, and The Boring Company, is renowned for his revolutionary ideas and relentless pursuit of technological advancement. While he is known for his exceptional intellect and unique approach to problem-solving, many may not be aware of the fact that Musk is an avid reader. He believes in the power of books to broaden one’s horizons and fuel creativity. In this article, we will delve into Elon Musk’s top five must-read books that have left an indelible mark on his journey, and undoubtedly deserve a 5-star rating.

1. “Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down” by J.E. Gordon:

Elon Musk has often mentioned his fascination with engineering and how it has influenced his work. “Structures” by J.E. Gordon is a captivating book that explains the principles of structural engineering in a simple and engaging manner. Musk appreciates how the author breaks down complex concepts, making them accessible to readers with diverse backgrounds. This book not only provides insights into the world of engineering but also inspires a deeper understanding of how things work, fueling Musk’s ambition to push boundaries and engineer groundbreaking solutions.

2. “Einstein: His Life and Universe” by Walter Isaacson:

Albert Einstein, the renowned physicist, is one of Musk’s personal heroes. In “Einstein: His Life and Universe,” Walter Isaacson presents a comprehensive biography that captures the essence of Einstein’s genius and his significant contributions to science. Musk has spoken about his admiration for Einstein’s ability to question conventional wisdom and challenge the status quo. This book serves as a source of inspiration for Musk, reminding him of the importance of thinking outside the box and striving for breakthroughs that can reshape the world.

3. “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien:

While not directly related to technology or business, “The Lord of the Rings” holds a special place in Elon Musk’s heart. This epic fantasy series by J.R.R. Tolkien has been a source of solace and inspiration for Musk during challenging times. Musk has cited the perseverance and determination of the characters in the face of overwhelming odds as qualities he admires and seeks to emulate in his own life. This timeless tale of heroism, friendship, and the struggle against darkness serves as a reminder to Musk of the importance of unwavering resolve in the pursuit of his ambitious goals.

4. “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies” by Nick Bostrom:

As someone deeply invested in the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on society, Elon Musk considers “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies” by Nick Bostrom an essential read. The book delves into the potential risks and rewards associated with the development of superintelligent AI systems. Musk believes that AI has the power to reshape civilization, and it is crucial to navigate its path thoughtfully and responsibly. Bostrom’s work acts as a cautionary guide, reminding Musk and others of the importance of carefully considering the long-term consequences of technological advancements.

5. “Ignition!: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants” by John D. Clark:

For those intrigued by the history and development of rocket science, “Ignition!” by John D. Clark is a must-read. Elon Musk’s interest in space exploration and his founding of SpaceX make this book particularly relevant to his work. The book explores the fascinating world of liquid rocket propellants, taking readers on a journey from early experiments to modern advancements. Musk has praised the book for its captivating storytelling and ability to shed light on the challenges and breakthroughs in rocket science. It serves as a reminder of the remarkable progress made in space exploration and inspires Musk to continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible.


Elon Musk’s insatiable appetite for knowledge and his belief in the power of books have played a significant role in shaping his visionary ideas and groundbreaking ventures. From engineering principles to biographies of great minds, and from epic fantasies to cautionary tales about artificial intelligence, Musk’s book recommendations cover a diverse range of subjects that have influenced his thinking.

The five books mentioned above— “Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down,” “Einstein: His Life and Universe,” “The Lord of the Rings,” “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies,” and “Ignition!: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants”—offer readers a glimpse into the mind of one of the world’s most innovative thinkers.

These books have not only expanded Musk’s understanding of various disciplines but also ignited his imagination, fueled his determination, and provided valuable lessons for navigating the challenges of technological innovation. By delving into these works, readers can gain insights into Musk’s intellectual influences and the diverse range of topics that have shaped his journey.

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, a technology enthusiast, or simply curious about the world around you, these five must-read books recommended by Elon Musk are sure to broaden your horizons and inspire you to think differently. So, grab a copy, embark on a literary adventure, and discover the transformative power of knowledge that has guided one of the most remarkable minds of our time.

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