In Book Recommendations from Billionaire Charlie Munger That will Make you Smarter, It is not 100% clear what the source is but Shane knows his stuff. Here are 19 others Charlie Munger has recommended via Farnam Street with a bit about them from Amazon.com
Charlie Munger’s book recommendation: No Two Alike
No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality by Judith Rich Harris
The author of the controversial book The Nurture Assumption tackles the biggest mystery in all of psychology: What makes people differ so much in personality and behavior? It can’t just be “nature and nurture,” because even identical twins who grow up together—same genes, same parents—have different personalities. And if psychologists can’t explain why identical twins are different, they also can’t explain why each of us differs from everyone else. Why no two people are alike.
Harris turns out to be well suited for the role of detective—it isn’t easy to pull the wool over her eyes. She rounds up the usual suspects and shows why none of the currently popular explanations for human differences—birth order effects, for example, or interactions between genes and environment—can be the perpetrator she is looking for. None of these theories can solve the mystery of human individuality.
Charlie Munger’s book recommendation: Darwin’s Blind Spot
Darwin’s Blind Spot: Evolution Beyond Natural Selection by Frank Ryan
While Charles Darwin’s vision of evolution was brilliant, natural selection ignores a crucial force that helps to explain the diversity and wonder of life: symbiosis. In Darwin’s Blind Spot, Frank Ryan shows how the blending of life forms through symbiosis has resulted in gigantic leaps in evolution. The dependence of many flowering plants on insects and birds for pollination is an important instance of symbiosis. More surprising may be the fact that our cells have incorporated bacteria that allow us to breathe oxygen. And the equivalent of symbiosis within a species — cooperation — has been a vital, although largely ignored, force in human evolution. In Ryan’s view, cooperation, not competition, lies at the heart of human society.
Ryan mixes stories of the many strange and beautiful results of symbiosis with accounts of the dramatic historic rivalries over the expansion of Darwin’s theory. He also examines controversial research being done today, including studies suggesting that symbiosis among viruses led to the evolution of mammals and thus of humans. Too often Darwin’s interpreters have put excessive emphasis on competition and struggle as the only forces in evolution. But the idea of “survival of the fittest” does not always reign. Symbiosis is critically important to the richness of Earth’s life forms.
Charlie Munger’s book recommendation: Man’s Search For Meaning
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”)-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.
At the time of Frankl’s death in 1997, Man’s Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. A 1991 reader survey for the Library of Congress that asked readers to name a “book that made a difference in your life” found Man’s Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America.
Charlie Munger’s book recommendation: The Blind Watchmaker
Twenty years after its original publication, The Blind Watchmaker, framed with a new introduction by the author, is as prescient and timely a book as ever. The watchmaker belongs to the eighteenth-century theologian William Paley, who argued that just as a watch is too complicated and functional to have sprung into existence by accident, so too must all living things, with their far greater complexity, be purposefully designed. Charles Darwin’s brilliant discovery challenged the creationist arguments; but only Richard Dawkins could have written this elegant riposte. Natural selection—the unconscious, automatic, blind, yet essentially nonrandom process Darwin discovered—has no purpose in mind. If it can be said to play the role of a watchmaker in nature, it is the blind watchmaker in nature.
Charlie Munger’s book recommendation: Judgment in Managerial Decision Making
Judgment in Managerial Decision Making by Max H. Bazerman
In situations requiring careful judgment, every individual is influenced by their own biases to some extent. With Bazerman’s new seventh edition, readers can quickly learn how to overcome those biases to make better managerial decisions. The book examines judgment in a variety of organizational contexts, and provides practical strategies for changing and improving decision-making processes so that they become part of one’s permanent behavior.
Charlie Munger’s book recommendation: The Language Instinct
The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language by Steven Pinker
In this classic, the world’s expert on language and mind lucidly explains everything you always wanted to know about language: how it works, how children learn it, how it changes, how the brain computes it, and how it evolved. With deft use of examples of humor and wordplay, Steven Pinker weaves our vast knowledge of language into a compelling story: language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution. The Language Instinct received the William James Book Prize from the American Psychological Association and the Public Interest Award from the Linguistics Society of America. This edition includes an update on advances in the science of language since The Language Instinct was first published.
Charlie Munger’s book recommendation: Master of the Game
Master of the Game: Steve Ross and the Creation of Time Warner by Connie Bruck
In a career that began in Brooklyn and spanned Wall Street, Hollywood, and the Mafia, Ross built his father-in-law’s funeral business and a parking lot company into Time Warner, the largest media and entertainment company in the world. Hard-hitting and compulsive reading, this book takes you into the heart of what made this arrogant yet irresistible man tick.
Charlie Munger’s book recommendation: In The Plex
In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy
Written with full cooperation from top management, including cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, this is the inside story behind Google, the most successful and most admired technology company of our time, told by one of our best technology writers.
Few companies in history have ever been as successful and as admired as Google, the company that has transformed the Internet and become an indispensable part of our lives. How has Google done it? Veteran technology reporter Steven Levy was granted unprecedented access to the company, and in this revelatory book he takes readers inside Google headquarters—the Googleplex—to show how Google works.
Charlie Munger’s book recommendation: A Universe out of Nothing
A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss
Bestselling author and acclaimed