Favorite Books of Famous People?

Click on the person’s name to see a list of books they’ve read.


David Bowie

Bowie’s top 100 favorite books, listed in reverse chronological order.

Bill Gates

He has reviews for several of the books he’s read. It’s like listening to a friend tell you why he likes a book. There’s a lot of non-fiction books in the list: autobiographies, books about science (especially physics), books about business and finance,  books about diseases and public health, and books with ideas about how to be a good steward of our planet.

I’m not going to list all of them, but I will list a few that this has made me want to read.

  • The Rosie Effect - Graeme Simsion
  • The Fever: How Malaria has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years - Sonia Shah
  • The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism – Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua Foer
  • 50 Physics Ideas You Really Need to Know - Joanne Baker
  • Epidemics and Pandemics: Their Impacts on Human History –  Jo N. Hays
  • Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest Lifesaver – Arthur Allen

all the things

Update 5/23/2015: Here’s Bill Gates’ 2015 summer reading list.  It includes Hyperbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh, XKCD and What If?, both by Randall Munroe, On Immunity by Eula Biss, The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins, How to Lie With Statistics by Darrell Huff and Should We Eat Meat? by Vaclav Smil.

Carlos Santana

His books appear to be spiritual self-help books.

  • The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self Mastery -Don Miguel Ruiz
  • A Course in Miracles – Foundation For Miracles

Eric Idle

He has a blog of archived reviews of books he read between January 2010 and December 2014. I’m not going to even try to give a sample. There’s lots of fiction and he’ll tell you which he liked and which he didn’t.

Alan Turing

This is a list of books he checked out of the school library when he was a child. There’s lots of math and science. Looking at that list, you can see that the man who was a computer science pioneer and code-breaker must have been a brilliant, inquisitive child. Although, if what you read as a child forms who you become as an adult, I should by all rights be a superhero.

Tupac Shakur

This rapper/songwriter has a lot of classics and black history in his list.

Charlaine Harris

The True Blood author recommends a short list of books each week on her blog.

Art Garfunkel

Singer, actor and reader. Wow. He lists the books he’s read from 1968 through 2014. There are no comments, just the title, author,  number of pages, when it was published, and when he read it.

Wil Wheaton

Actor, writer, producer, and one of the earliest celebrity bloggers.

 Ken Follet

The author lists books he’s been reading. He also shares what he’s reading on Twitter.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

List of 8 books every intelligent person should read. Includes links to read them for free online.

Karl Rove

The author and political genius lists 70 books he’s read between 2010 and 2013. He provides comments on each book. The list is full of histories and biographies with some action and adventure novels mixed in.

Sergey Brin

The Google co-founder has a huge list of books, alphabetical by the author’s first name. No comments on them.

Christopher Hitchens

Author and critic of religion and anti-theists. His list is alphabetical by author’s last name. The way it’s supposed to be (I’m looking at you Sergey!)

Stephen King

The list of books he recommended in his book On Writing.

Hayao Miyazaki

The Japanese director and producer known for films such as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke,  My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Ponyo, and other anime films has a list of recommended children’s books. The list is in English and Japanese.

Added (5/25/2015):
The Bookshelf of Osama Bin Laden.  His reading choices tended to lean towards politics and conspiracy theories. He would have seemed a lot less scary if we had known before that he read books like Bloodlines of the Illuminati.

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