Reading is considered to be the finest education for the soul. Bill Gates to Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and every successful leader makes time to crack open a book for an hour or two.

A good book can inspire, challenge and amuse you. Sometimes, it can even change your whole perspective on life.

There are books that can mold your mindset to attract success, books that can motivate you to keep pushing forward, and books that inspire you to start your own business.

Below are six great books that have been read and recommended by some of the most brilliant business minds of our time.

1. Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker

This book is highly recommended by Bill Gates.

Enlightenment Now is a book that ties science and humanism together to show how technological innovators are actually improving the lives of millions around the world.

This humanitarian view aligns nicely with the Microsoft founder’s own mission. So it’s understandable that this is his “favorite book of all time.

If you’re the kind of entrepreneur seeking a higher purpose, then you will likely find this to be a fascinating read.

2. Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker

The 800 pages can intimidate anyone but it is one of the best books to read by a Harvard psychologist.

The writing is easy and the research on how violence has decreased over time even though it is focused on 24 hours news cycle and social media too.

The book will offer you a perspective that might change your life according to Zuckerberg. Bill Gates considers this book as one of the most important books that he has ever read.

3. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

If you love the Nike brand and wants to know the secrets of its success, then this book is highly recommended for you. One of Gate’s favorite books.

According to Gates, the book is an honest reminder of how the road to success can never be a straight line, it is a winding path filled with fall outs, disagreements and hurt feelings.

Knight is the co-founder of Nike and he gave us the first insight on the most famous retailers in the world.

4. Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson

The book is an overview of research conducted by MIT economist Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson a Harvard political scientist over the span of 15 years. The book was first published in 2012.

The book is about the argument on “extra active governments” using force to empower a selective few and “inclusive governments” using open markets for citizens to spend and invest money freely.

They also argue that economic growth cannot guaranty the long-term health of a country. Zuckerberg read the book to understand global poverty’s origin.

5. Rational Ritual by Michael Suk-Young Chwe

Mark Zuckerberg says “The book is about the concept of ‘common knowledge’ and how people process the world not only based on what we personally know but what we know other people know and our shared knowledge as well,” he says that this book can help people in learning how to use social media to its best.

6. The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner

The book is about country’s most ingenious and greatest inventions of the century, which includes long distance TV transmission, the fax machine, and cell phone technology’s introduction.

“Whatever incredibly advanced devices come out of the digital age probably got their start somewhere inside Bell Labs,” Zuckerberg said.

7. Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

The book is about the story of Pixar and it is written by one if the best founder of computer animation giant.

In the book, Catmull gives his wisdom on entrepreneurial-ism and management while he argues that any company should avoid tampering with the natural creativity of their employees.

Zuckerberg says “I love reading first-hand accounts of how people build great companies like Pixar and nurture innovation and creativity.”

Over to you

Get your hands on these books and read at least once a year. As said earlier, it’ll shape and enlighten you just as it has done to these great minds.

“Read. Everything you can get your hands on. Read until words become your friends. Then when you need to find one, they will jump into your mind, waving their hands for you to pick them. And you can select whichever you like, just like a captain choosing a stickball team.” — Karen Witemeyer