Reading List & Recommendations

Salman Khan is an American educator who founded Khan Academy, a free online education platform and an organization with which he has produced over 6,500 video lessons teaching a wide spectrum of academic subjects, originally focusing on mathematics and sciences. He is also the founder of Khan Lab School, a brick-and-mortar school associated with Khan Academy.

Sal recommended books in a Reddit AMA and like Musk and others particularly enjoys science fiction.

“In my view, no subject is ever finished. No concept is sealed off from other concepts. Knowledge is continuous; ideas flow.” — Sal Khan.

Dune
by Frank Herbert
Also Recommended By: Jeff Bezos | Elon Musk | Tim Ferris |

In Summary: Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune tells the story of the boy Paul Atreides. A triumph of imagination and a stunning blend of adventure, mysticism, environmentalism and politics, this science fiction classic is also cherished by both Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

Ender’s Game
by Orson Scott Card
Also Recommended By: Jeff Bezos | Mark Zuckerberg | Elon Musk

In Summary: In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut–young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

The Catcher in the Rye
by J.D. Salinger
Also Recommended By: Bill Gates | Elon Musk

In Summary: The book that introduced us to the ever loved and ever hated Holden Caulfield. The unique narrative gives us a glimpse into the mind of a 16 year old boy and the events surrounding his expulsion from prep school.

The Foundation Series
by Isaac Asimov
Also Recommended By: Jeff Bezos | Elon Musk

In Summary: For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. Only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future—a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save humanity, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire—both scientists and scholars—and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for future generations. He calls this sanctuary the Foundation.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams
Also Recommended By: Jeff Bezos | Elon Musk

In Summary: Seconds before Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect.

The Lord of the Rings
by J.R.R. Tolkien
Also Recommended By: Jeff Bezos | Elon Musk

In Summary: The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring and their perilous quest to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.