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Recommended Reading of the Successful and Powerful

by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Ever wonder which books the highly successful are reading? People like Vinod Khosla, cofounder of Sun Microsystems,  Nathan Myhrvold, formerly Microsoft’s Chief Technology Officer,  Vaclav Smil, famed energy researcher and author, Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education and former CEO Of Chicago Schools, Atal Gawande, Surgeon and Public Health researcher, or Charles Kelly, Fellow at the Center for Global Development and the New America Foundation? Or what about Bill Gates? What do smart, rich and successful people read for inspiration, for escape, for learning?

The answer is everything from self-help and nonfiction histories and studies to mystery and science fiction novels, even movie tie-ins.  They’re even reading each other’s work in some cases. Here’s some helpful lists which offer just such insight.

Vinod Khosla:

Nathan Myhrvold:

Vaclav Smil:

Arne Duncan:

Atal Gawande:

Steven Pinker – Professor, Department of History, Harvard:

David Christian – member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, creator of the “Big History” online course:

Bill Gates:

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton:

Neil Gaiman:


Bryan Thomas Schmidt is an author and editor of adult and children’s science fiction, fantasy and humor books, short stories and articles. A frequent contributor to blogs like SFSignal, Adventures In SF Publishing, Grasping For The Wind and To Be Read, he also hosts Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat under the hashtag #sffwrtcht on Twitter and blogs about writing and creativity on his own blog at Connect With Bryan On Google+

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