Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s 2015 New Year’s resolution was to read an important book every two weeks and discuss it with the Facebook community.
Zuckerberg’s book club, A Year of Books, has focused on big ideas that influence society and business. For his 14th pick, he’s gone with “Energy: A Beginner’s Guide” by Vaclav Smil, a professor emeritus of environment and geography at the University of Manitoba in Canada.
Smil has written 35 books on subjects including environmental change and technical innovation. “Energy,” originally published in 2006, starts with a basic explanation of what energy is and then moves on to more complex subjects, including the quest to create more efficient and environmentally friendly fuels.
On his personal Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg explains his latest book-club pick:
“This book is about physical rather than social sciences. It explores important topics around how energy works, how our production and use might evolve, and how this affects climate change.”
He also notes that he’s planning to read “Making the Modern World” when he gets a chance.
Zuckerberg’s book choice will likely inspire people to learn more about the global energy crisis, which is exactly what Smil wants to see. In 2014, The Wall Street Journal asked Smil whether there’s a big energy transition going on right now, and he said: “There is and there isn’t. … There are hundreds of millions of people around this planet, and their leaders, who couldn’t care less.”
A Year of Books so far:
- “The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be” by Moisés Naím
- “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined” by Steven Pinker
- “Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets” by Sudhir Venkatesh
- “On Immunity: An Inoculation” by Eula Biss
- “Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration” by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace
- “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” by Thomas S. Kuhn
- “Rational Ritual: Culture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge” by Michael Chwe
- “Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower” by Henry M. Paulson
- “Orwell’s Revenge: The 1984 Palimpsest” by Peter Huber
- “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander
- “The Muqaddimah” by Ibn Khaldun
- “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari
- “The Player of Games” by Iain M. Banks
- “Energy: A Beginner’s Guide” by Vaclav Smil
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