21 CEOs Name Their favourite Books

Jeff BezosJeff Bezos

Photo: AP Images

CEOs lead some of the busiest lives in the business world, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have time to curl up with a book (or e-reader).What are some of their favourite reads? Many of them reference business books as sources of inspiration, but others are partial to fiction or sci-fi.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, the founder of the country's largest virtual bookstore and the Kindle device, told Fast Company in 2001 that he typically bought 10 books per month. He listed his favourites as business book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras and fiction novel The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.

'If you read The Remains of the Day, which is one of my favourite books, you can't help but come away and think, I just spent 10 hours living an alternate life and I learned something about life and about regret,' Bezos said in a 2009 interview with Newsweek.

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh

Hsieh, CEO of the online shoe and clothing shop Zappos.com, told USA Today in 2010 that one of his favourite books is Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving organisation by Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright.

'Tribal Leadership codifies a lot of what we've been doing instinctually and provides a great framework for all companies to bring company culture to the next level,' he said. Other books he mentioned include Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow by Chip Conley and The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt.

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson

Stephenson told Scouting Magazine that his favourite book is The Brothers Karamazov, the final novel by 19th Century Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates

Gates has frequently listed J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye as his favourite novel. 'I didn't actually read Catcher in the Rye until I was 13, and ever since then I've said that's my favourite book,' he said in an interview with the Academy of Achievement.

'It's very clever. It acknowledges that young people are a little confused, but can be smart about things and see things that adults don't really see. So I've always loved it.'

OWN Network CEO Oprah Winfrey

Winfrey has said To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition by Harper Lee is her all-time favourite book. She was even featured in Mary McDonagh Murphy's documentary on the book.

'I remember reading this book and then going to class and not being able to shut up about it,' she said, according to The Baltimore Sun. 'I read it in eighth or ninth grade, and I was trying to push the book off on other kids. So it makes sense to me that now I have a book club, because I have been doing that since probably this book.'

Barclays CEO Bob Diamond

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

While Zuckerberg listed science fiction coming of age novel Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card on his Facebook profile, according to a 2010 New Yorker profile, he later said in the article it was not a favourite book, citing that he preferred the classic Greek novel The Aeneid by Virgil.

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman

Gorman told Bloomberg Markets Magazine that one of his favourite past times is reading spy novels by John le Carre, the author behind Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson

Tillerson told Scouting Magazine that his favourite book is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, which was named the second most influential book in America after the Bible, according to a joint survey conducted by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club.

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn

General Mills CEO Ken Powell

Powell told Fox Business News that he loves any books by Jonathan Franzen, who has written such works as Freedom: A Novel and The Corrections. 'He's just a tremendous author,' Powell said.

Cantor Fitzgerald CEO Howard Lutnick

IMAX Ceo Richard Gelfond

Gelfond's favourite book is Life, the autobiography of Rolling Stones musician Keith Richards, according to an interview with Fox Business News. 'The guy's had an incredibly eclectic and interesting life that no one else has ever lived,' he said.

Former Bloomberg L.P. CEO Michael Bloomberg

Berkshire-Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett

In Berkshire-Hathaway's 2003 annual report, Buffett recommended to investors some of his favourite books, which include Bull! by Maggie Mahar, The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind and In an Uncertain World: Tough Choices from Wall Street to Washington by Robert Rubin and Jacob Weisberg.

Trump organisation CEO Donald Trump

Trump named The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale as his favourite book, according to ShortList Magazine. This book inspired Trump at his lowest moment when he was billions of dollars in debt. He told Psychology Today:

My father was friends with Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, and I had read his famous book, The Power of Positive Thinking. I'm a cautious optimist but also a firm believer in the power of being positive. I think that helped. I refused to be sucked into negative thinking on any level, even when the indications weren't great. That was a good lesson because I emerged on a very victorious level. It's a good way to go.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Tom Cook is a big fan of the book Competing Against Time by George Stalk, which is about how to use supply chains to gain a strategic advantage. In fact, he's known for giving out copies of the book to colleagues.

Virgin CEO Richard Branson

Branson wrote in his book Screw It, Let's Do It that his favourite books 'are Stalingrad by Antony Beevor and Wild Swans by Jung Chang.'

He has also cited Nelson Mandela's Long Walk To Freedom as a major inspiration. As a kid his favourite book was Swallows and Amazons , which he called 'a lovely kids' adventure book.'

How do such important people have time to read? They must get up early

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