Some of the most successful people in the world are avid readers.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he was 'raised by books' and credits his success to the books he read as a child and young adult. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates reads every night, has reviewed hundreds of books on his blog and regularly shares reading lists. He tells Time, "Reading fuels a sense of curiosity about the world, which I think helped drive me forward in my career."
Thanksgiving break is the perfect opportunity to crack open a book from the billionaire reading list. Here are five American books that you should read over Thanksgiving weekend:
"A Separate Peace" by John Knowles
This classic coming-of-age novel is one of Bill Gates' favorites. The Microsoft mogul enjoyed "A Separate Peace" by John Knowles so much that he has passed it on to his son. "One of my favorite books. I've read it to my son," he writes on his blog.
"A Separate Peace" explores themes of identity, masculinity and friendship. But what Gates loves the most about Knowles' work is the ways in which the main characters must navigate difficult situations.
"It's really," he explains, "about the bargains we make with the world."
"Benjamin Franklin: An American Life" by Walter Isaacson
This biography of founding father Benjamin Franklin is one of Elon Musk's favorite books of all time. Franklin's story of launching a successful printing business, inventing bifocal glasses and creating the lightning rod inspires Must to create new products and launch new businesses.
"I would say, certainly, he's one of the people I most admire," . "Franklin was pretty awesome."
"You can see how [Franklin] was an entrepreneur," the Tesla CEO says. "He started from nothing. He was just a runaway kid."
"Killers of the Flower Moon" by David Grann
On National Book Lovers Day, former President Bill Clinton took to social media to share some of his favorite titles. Among them was "Killers of the Flower Moon," by David Grann.
"Killers of the Flower Moon," tells the true story about the murder of multiple members of the Osage Native American tribe. Grann follows an undercover team of Texas Rangers who work with the Osage community to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.
According to Penguin Random House, the New York Times Best Seller and National Book Award Finalist is "a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians."
"On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker" by A'Lelia Bundles
Madam C.J. Walker is America's first female self-made millionaire. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove in 1879 on the same Louisiana plantation on which her parents had been enslaved.
When she was just seven years old, her parents died, leaving her an orphan who had to work in the cotton fields to survive. Walker persevered, built a business empire and invented the model that is known today as direct sales.
Her biography, "On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker" is written by A'Lelia Bundles, Walker's great-great-granddaughter. Her story will inspire you to strive for greatness and help you foster your own entrepreneurial passions.
As Walker once said, "Don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them."
"Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change" by Ellen Pao
"Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change" follows Pao's story of suing the esteemed venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for discrimination. Her story shines a light on the overwhelmingly white, male culture of Silicon Valley and the challenges that women still face in the workplace.
Her book was a finalist for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year. "Ellen K. Pao's Reset is a rallying cry — the story of a whistleblower who aims to empower everyone struggling to be heard, in Silicon Valley and beyond," writes the Financial Times.
Pao writes, "Over the past year, despite the ongoing public exposure of the ways both the president and tech companies like Uber discourage diversity and inclusion, we've seen results that give us hope."
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