Dive into the literary world of Lex Fridman, Computer Scientist.

Lex Fridman is a research scientist, technology enthusiast, and popular podcast host known for his work in artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and human-robot interaction. Originally from Russia, Fridman currently works as a research scientist at MIT and focuses on the applications of AI in various domains, including deep learning and autonomous driving technologies. His podcast, which features wide-ranging conversations with experts in science, technology, philosophy, history, and a variety of other fields, has garnered a large following due to its in-depth and thoughtful discourse on complex topics.

The greatest education is the one that gets us to ask the biggest questions and seek the deepest truths.❞ — Lex Fridman

Fridman is known for his intellectual curiosity and multidisciplinary approach, traits likely nurtured by a deep commitment to reading and learning. While specific details about his reading habits are less publicized, his discussions often reveal a broad knowledge base that suggests extensive reading across a spectrum of subjects from technical research to philosophical inquiries. Fridman emphasizes the importance of lifelong learning and the role of education in understanding and shaping the world, reflecting a belief in the transformative power of acquiring knowledge.

Lex Fridman's Favorite Books

Last Updated: June 2024

The Player of Games

In this science fiction novel, Jernau Morat Gurgeh, a skilled player of games in the Culture, embarks on a dangerous mission to compete in a complex and high-stakes game on an alien world.

Foundation

Isaac Asimov's groundbreaking novel introduces his grand narrative of the decline and fall of a Galactic Empire and the scientific effort to shorten the ensuing dark age.
Also recommended by:
Sam Altman  Elon Musk 

The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition

In this epic post-apocalyptic novel, a deadly plague wipes out most of humanity, leading to a struggle between good and evil as the survivors form new societies.

Man's Search for Meaning

Frankl's memoir and psychological exploration discusses his experiences in Nazi concentration camps and introduces logotherapy, a therapeutic approach centered on finding purpose in life.
Also recommended by:
Jordan Peterson 

The Plague

Camus' novel tells the story of a plague sweeping through the Algerian city of Oran, exploring themes of human suffering, resilience, and the absurdity of existence.

Essential Bukowski: Poetry

This collection brings together some of Bukowski's most powerful and raw poems, showcasing his gritty, unflinching perspective on life, love, and the human condition.

The Metamorphosis

Kafka's surreal novella tells the story of Gregor Samsa, who wakes up one morning to find himself transformed into a giant insect, exploring themes of alienation, identity, and the human condition.

Siddhartha

Hesse's philosophical novel follows Siddhartha, a young man in ancient India, on his spiritual journey to enlightenment, exploring themes of self-discovery, inner peace, and the search for meaning.
Also recommended by:
Tupac Shakur  Denzel Washington 

The Old Man And The Sea

This novella tells the story of Santiago, an aging fisherman who engages in an epic struggle to catch a giant marlin, symbolizing themes of perseverance, pride, and the human condition.
Also recommended by:
Jimmy Buffett  Jordan Peterson 

The Road

Cormac McCarthy's stark and haunting novel follows a father and his young son as they journey through a post-apocalyptic landscape, struggling for survival in a world devoid of civilization.
Also recommended by:
Oprah Winfrey 

Machines Who Think: A personal inquiry into the history and prospects of artificial intelligence

McCorduck offers a historical and personal exploration of the development of artificial intelligence, tracing its origins, key figures, and the evolving challenges and potential of the field.

Meditations

Written by a Roman Emperor and philosopher, these personal writings and aphorisms reflect his Stoic philosophy, providing guidance on how to handle adversity and exercise self-control, and offering insights into ethical living.
Also recommended by:
Sam Altman 

Brave New World

Set in a dystopian future where individuals are systematically controlled and conditioned for roles in a totalitarian society, Huxley’s novel critiques the dangers of sacrificing individuality for technological and governmental control.

Foundation and Earth

The continuation of the Foundation series where Golan Trevize continues his quest to understand the choice he made regarding the galaxy's future, leading to a search for Earth with profound implications.
Also recommended by:
Elon Musk  Sam Altman 

Walden

Thoreau's reflective account of his two years of simple living in a cabin near Walden Pond focuses on the themes of self-sufficiency, the beauty of nature, and his philosophical musings on life and society.
Also recommended by:
Ernest Hemingway 

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams' iconic sci-fi comedy follows the intergalactic adventures of Arthur Dent, an ordinary human who hitchhikes through space after Earth is demolished to make way for a cosmic freeway.
Also recommended by:
Elon Musk 

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Pressfield's motivational guide addresses the challenges of creative work, offering strategies to overcome resistance and unlock one's creative potential.

The Art Of War: Complete Text of Sun Tzu

This ancient Chinese military treatise offers strategic insights and tactics for warfare, emphasizing the importance of adaptability, planning, and psychological warfare.
Also recommended by:
Adam Savage  Tupac Shakur  Neil deGrasse Tyson 

Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

Gwynne chronicles the history of the Comanche tribe and their last chief, Quanah Parker, detailing their resistance against European settlers and the eventual decline of their empire.

Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Tegmark explores the future of artificial intelligence and its potential impact on humanity, examining both the opportunities and challenges posed by advanced AI technologies.

On the Road

Jack Kerouac's seminal Beat novel, based on his own travels across America, captures the spirit of freedom and longing for meaning through the adventures of Sal Paradise and his charismatic friend Dean Moriarty.
Also recommended by:
Johnny Depp  David Bowie 

Second Foundation

This installment of Asimov's Foundation series focuses on the mysterious Second Foundation, tasked with preserving the edges of science and ensuring the original Foundation's prophecies come to fruition.
Also recommended by:
Sam Altman  Elon Musk 

Beyond Good and Evil: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche

Nietzsche critiques traditional morality and explores the concepts of power, individualism, and the nature of truth in this seminal work of philosophy.
Also recommended by:
Jordan Peterson 

Foundation and Empire

The second book in Asimov's Foundation series, exploring the inevitable decay of a sprawling empire and the efforts by the Foundation to manage and mitigate the catastrophic loss of knowledge.
Also recommended by:
Sam Altman  Elon Musk 

Think and Grow Rich: The Original, an Official Publication of The Napoleon Hill Foundation

Hill's classic self-help book outlines principles for personal and financial success, based on his study of successful individuals and the power of positive thinking.

Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail

Dalio analyzes historical patterns and economic cycles to provide insights into the rise and fall of nations, offering principles for navigating the complexities of the modern world order.

Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary

Jackson provides a comprehensive biography of Black Elk, the Oglala Lakota holy man, chronicling his spiritual journey, his role in the Native American resistance, and his enduring legacy.

A New Kind of Science

Wolfram proposes a computational approach to understanding the natural world, arguing that simple computational rules can generate complex behaviors observed in nature, challenging traditional scientific paradigms.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Part memoir, part master class, King shares his experiences and insights into the craft of writing, offering practical advice and inspiration for aspiring writers.

How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain

Barrett presents a revolutionary theory of emotions, arguing that they are not hardwired responses but rather constructed experiences shaped by our brains and cultural contexts.

Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality

Frenkel's memoir interweaves his personal journey with the beauty and elegance of mathematics, revealing its profound connections to the mysteries of the universe and human experience.

Animal Farm

Orwell's allegorical novella critiques totalitarianism through the story of a group of farm animals who overthrow their human owner, only to see their new government become equally oppressive.
Also recommended by:
Jordan Peterson 

Doctor Zhivago

Pasternak's novel tells the story of Yuri Zhivago, a physician and poet, whose life is disrupted by the Russian Revolution and the ensuing civil war, capturing the turmoil and human cost of historical upheaval.
Also recommended by:
Winston Churchill 

I, Robot

Asimov's collection of interconnected stories introduces his famous Three Laws of Robotics, exploring the ethical and moral implications of artificial intelligence through the experiences of robots and their interactions with humans.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Yuval Noah Harari provides a compelling overview of the history of our species from the emergence of ancient human tribes to the present day, exploring how biology and history have defined us.
Also recommended by:
Bill Gates  Tom Hanks  Naval Ravikant 
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