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According to Charlie Munger, the former Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and a close friend of Warren Buffet, reading and self-reflection have been the cornerstones of his success. He believes that without books, one’s journey towards success would remain incomplete. While Buffett’s shareholder letters hold the world in thrall, Munger gets his wisdom via books. Throughout his 99 years of life, Munger has indulged in an extensive collection of literary works, spanning biographies, audiobooks, fiction books, and non-fiction too. Here we highly 26 Charlie Munger books that he has in his very own library.
Munger, one-half of the famed value investing duo, is known for his love of reading and recommending great books to others. He believes that books can provide valuable insights and knowledge, especially in the areas of business, investing, and philanthropy. Munger often recommends memoirs, books on competitive advantage, and bestsellers by well-known authors.
One of Munger’s favorite memoirs is “The Ride of a Lifetime” by Bob Iger, the former CEO of Disney. In the book, Iger shares his experience of leading one of the most successful media companies in the world and the importance of rational decision-making. Munger believes that the book offers valuable lessons on corporate management and strategic planning.
Another book that Munger often recommended is “The Outsiders” by William N. Thorndike, which tells the tales of eight successful CEOs who were able to achieve outstanding success by focusing on long-term profitability. Munger believes that the book is a must-read for any fund manager or capitalist who is interested in owning profitable businesses.
Munger also recommends “The Art of Profitability” by Adrian Slywotzky, which offers insights into the different ways companies can create value and achieve profitable growth. The book highlights the importance of understanding valuation and the margin of safety when deciding on your investment strategy.
For those interested in books about philanthropy, Munger recommended “The Giving Pledge,” a book that features the personal stories of wealthy individuals who have pledged to give away a significant portion of their wealth to charitable causes. Munger believed that the book provides valuable insights into the importance of giving back and the impact of philanthropy on society.
In summary, Charlie Munger’s book recommendations cover a wide range of topics, including corporate management, investing, and philanthropy. Munger believed that reading great books can provide valuable insights into the world of capitalism and the importance of rational decision-making. Whether you’re a fund manager, a wealthy individual, or someone interested in owning profitable businesses, there’s a new book out there waiting for you to read it.
Apart from these books that Munger often talked about in public, the billionaire investor has more books on his personal reading list that he has in his very own library. David Senra’s tweet gives us access to the top books from Charlie Munger’s library that are often not talked about. It is highly recommended that you listen to David Senra’s podcast on his meeting with Charlie Munger.
Top 26 Charlie Munger Book Recommendations From His Very Own Library in 2023
26 Charlie Munger Book Recommendations in 2023
- Top 26 Charlie Munger Book Recommendations From His Very Own Library in 2023
- Not Your Usual Founding Father: Selected Readings from Benjamin Franklin by Ben Franklin and Edmund Morgan
- Benjamin Franklin by Edmund Morgan
- Benjamin Franklin by Carl Van Doren
- Franklin of Philadelphia by Edmond Wright
- “I Never Wanted to be Vice-President of Anything!”: An Investigative Biography of Nelson Rockefeller by Michael Kramer and Sam Roberts
- Henry J. Kaiser: Builder in the Modern American West by Mark Foster
- Carnegie by Peter Krass
- Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew: Citizen Singapore: How to Build a Nation by Tom Plate
- The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World by Charles Mann
- Herbert Hoover: A Public Life by David Burner
- Coolidge by Amity Shlaes
- Ivan Pavlov: A Russian Life in Science by Daniel Todes
- The Story-life of Lincoln: A Biography Composed of Five Hundred True Stories Told by Abraham Lincoln and his Friends by Wayne Whipple
- Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger by Peter Bevelin
- The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln; 8 volumes by Roy Balser
- The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965 by Paul Reid and William Manchester
- The Man from Monticello: An Intimate Life of Thomas Jefferson by Thomas Fleming
- Woodrow Wilson by H.W. Brands
- The Life of Sir William Osler by Harvey Cushing
- Diary and Autobiography of John Adams
- Eugene Meyer by Merlo John Pusey
- Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War by Brandon Brown
- David Sarnoff: A Biography by Eugene Lyons
- Einstein: Life and Times by Ronald W. Clark
- All of Mark Twain’s Letters (5 Volumes)
- John D. Rockefeller Interviews by William O. Inglis 1917-1920
Not Your Usual Founding Father: Selected Readings from Benjamin Franklin by Ben Franklin and Edmund Morgan
The captivating book offers a glimpse into the private life of Benjamin Franklin, the renowned figure who played a key role in framing America’s Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. Through this book, readers gain insights into his daily routines, interests, and unwavering commitment to American democracy and its citizens. With his skillful writing, author Edmund Morgan introduces us to a charismatic, compassionate, and exceptional individual who possessed an insatiable curiosity towards nature and harbored a visionary outlook for America’s future. This book serves as a thoughtful tribute to Benjamin Franklin’s legacy and is sure to resonate with readers, forging an instant connection with this iconic personality.
Benjamin Franklin by Edmund Morgan
This is an outstanding biography of one of America’s greatest figures, who is little known and appreciated today. It seeks to understand who Franklin was and why he thought and did the things he did by conducting extensive research into Franklin’s papers.
Benjamin Franklin by Carl Van Doren
For bibliophiles, this is probably the best historical biography one can attempt to read. Carl Van Doren even won the Pulitzer Prize in 1983 for this work which includes long anecdotes from the various personal letters and published writings of Ben Franklin.
Franklin of Philadelphia by Edmond Wright
In his book, Wright skillfully presents a comprehensive and multi-dimensional account of the extraordinary life of Benjamin Franklin. This approach proves to be a resounding success, as the book delves into the lesser-known truths of Franklin’s life. Despite his charming nature and unparalleled brilliance, Franklin was not always universally admired. However, he persevered and emerged as a prominent public figure, making significant contributions to his country’s independence. Wright captures Franklin’s remarkable inventions and profound wisdom with great accuracy and detail, making this book an absolute delight to read.
“I Never Wanted to be Vice-President of Anything!”: An Investigative Biography of Nelson Rockefeller by Michael Kramer and Sam Roberts
This is one of the most well-researched and entertaining investigative biographies about any political personality. It dives deep into the story of the complex career of Nelson Rockefeller and how public servants became rich soon after joining Rockefeller’s circle. Nelson Rockefeller always wanted to become the President of the United States but was unsuccessful in achieving so, ending up being the Vice President during 1974-1977. This take on his life and his political career is a treat for political biography lovers.
Henry J. Kaiser: Builder in the Modern American West by Mark Foster
Just as Warren Buffet and Donald Trump are household names today, Henry J. Kaiser enjoyed similar fame in 1940s America. This biography chronicles his remarkable journey from humble beginnings as a lower-middle-class individual to becoming a hugely successful entrepreneur, and how he emerged as a major driving force in the development of the western United States. The biography is well-crafted, offering a compelling read for a wide range of audiences, including those interested in studying modern western culture, American and corporate history, and general literature.
Carnegie by Peter Krass
Andrew Carnegie, a significant character in American history, was a cunning businessman and a great philanthropist, who made his wealth in the steel business and ultimately bequeathed most of it. He ascended the political ladder by using his fortune, and he had an impact on the administrations of Cleveland, William McKinley, and T. Roosevelt. After retiring, Carnegie became a fervent advocate for international peace. This book is a fair attempt at capturing diverse dimensions of Carnegie’s life.
Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew: Citizen Singapore: How to Build a Nation by Tom Plate
Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore, was a remarkable individual whose wise decisions and dedication to his nation earned him global recognition. This book offers a summary of an interview with Lee Kuan Yew, and his insightful conversations are sure to inspire deep reflection. His unwavering commitment towards the betterment of his fellow citizens is evident throughout the book, leaving readers in awe of his exceptional leadership and compassion.
The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World by Charles Mann
This non-fiction book is a sharp depiction of Norman Borlaug and William Vogt, two little-known twentieth-century scientists whose opposing viewpoints on the environment helped define our understanding of the environment and set the stage for how people will live in the twenty-first century. The book focuses on the problems of modern world such as climate change, energy deficiency and limited resources which helps the reader connect better with the viewpoints of the opposing counterparts – Wizards and Prophets.
Herbert Hoover: A Public Life by David Burner
This dedicated biography is a must-read about the 31st President of the United States, Herbert Hoover. The book covers his early life, education at Stanford, his life as a mining engineer, his status development as the Secretary of Commerce, playing a huge role in America’s economic development and his eventual election as US President.
Coolidge by Amity Shlaes
Amity finally captures the extravagant story of Calvin Coolidge, 30th US President and the ten years of exceptional prosperity that resulted from his leadership in this enlightening, scholarly biography.
Ivan Pavlov: A Russian Life in Science by Daniel Todes
This is probably the most well-researched life journey depiction of the famous Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov. It portrays his personality, his celebrated works and most importantly his scientific discoveries.
The Story-life of Lincoln: A Biography Composed of Five Hundred True Stories Told by Abraham Lincoln and his Friends by Wayne Whipple
This extensive biography comprises of five hundred true stories told by Abraham Lincoln and his friends and are presented in such a manner that gives the reader a complete tour of Lincoln’s life journey. A well-structured biography, it completely captures the essence of the life of one of the most celebrated men in America’s history.
Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger by Peter Bevelin
For those who seek knowledge and aspire to gain wisdom, this book is an absolute must-read. Its multidisciplinary approach offers a unique perspective on wisdom, one that may challenge and transform the way we think and act in our daily lives. Drawing from the best philosophies of luminaries such as Charles Darwin and Charlie Munger, this book is a treasure trove of insights that can help readers attain greater clarity of thought and wisdom. Its captivating narrative is sure to inspire readers to explore new avenues of learning and self-discovery.
The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln; 8 volumes by Roy Balser
The Abraham Lincoln Association has meticulously compiled all of Abraham Lincoln’s celebrated works into a massive volume, showcasing his significant contributions to American democracy. This hardcover edition is readily available on major e-commerce platforms and is a must-read for bibliophiles everywhere. With its wealth of information and insights, this book promises to be an unforgettable reading experience that will enrich the minds of all who delve into its pages.
The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965 by Paul Reid and William Manchester
The Last Lion brilliantly recollects how Winston Churchill coordinated his country’s military response and defence; obligated FDR to support America’s beleaguered cousins; and personified the “never surrender” ethics, all while adapting himself and his country to the inevitable shift in world power from the British Empire to the United States.
The Man from Monticello: An Intimate Life of Thomas Jefferson by Thomas Fleming
This book offers a fascinating glimpse into the celebrated yet private life of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, and how his wisdom helped shape the foundations of American politics and economy. With its intriguing insights into American history, this book is highly recommended for anyone interested in the intricacies of American polity. Its well-researched content and engaging narrative make it a must-read for history buffs and political enthusiasts alike.
Woodrow Wilson by H.W. Brands
This book provides a clear and chronological account of Wilson’s unordinary path to the presidency, his campaign against commercial interests, his struggles with internal rivals and international allies, and his decline in prominence and wellbeing following Congress’ rejection of his League of Nations proposal.
The Life of Sir William Osler by Harvey Cushing
This book is about William Osler, who is widely regarded as one of the most influential physicians of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and a pivotal figure in medical history. This book celebrates some of his greatest and significant scientific work and research in the field of medicine.
Diary and Autobiography of John Adams
John Adams’ Diary and unfinished autobiography provide a vivid account of his childhood, political career, and the pivotal role he played in the movement that led to America’s independence. This intimate record of Adams’ life is a valuable addition to any fan’s collection, offering a unique glimpse into the mind and experiences of one of America’s most revered statesmen. With its compelling narrative and insightful commentary, this book is a must-have for anyone interested in American history and politics.
Eugene Meyer by Merlo John Pusey
This book recounts the fascinating life story of the American financier and businessman, who owned one of the most famous newspaper businesses in the world – The Washington Post. From his struggles during World War I to his close collaborations with Bernard Baruch, and his eventual appointment as the Governor of the Federal Reserve Board, this book offers a detailed account of Meyer’s extraordinary career. With its insightful commentary and engaging prose, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of American business and finance.
Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War by Brandon Brown
With several passages making an appearance in English for the first time, Brandon R. Brown’s Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War weaves together the opinions and writings of Max Planck, the renowned German physicist, his family, and his contemporaries to paint a picture of a trailblazing scientist working in the period of war.
David Sarnoff: A Biography by Eugene Lyons
This book is a tribute to the remarkable life and legacy of David Sarnoff, the trailblazer of American radio and television. It provides a comprehensive overview of his illustrious career, showcasing how he led the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) across various domains from its inception in 1919 until his retirement in 1970. With its engaging narrative and detailed insights into the evolution of modern communication, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of technology and media.
Einstein: Life and Times by Ronald W. Clark
Ronald W. Clark’s highly significant and empathetic biography offers a brilliant portrayal of the life of Albert Einstein. Through the use of extensive new information, Clark illuminates the many contradictions inherent in the man: a German who held disdain for his own countrymen, a pacifist whose beliefs evolved over time, and a physicist who professed a belief in God.
All of Mark Twain’s Letters (5 Volumes)
Mark Twain, often referred to as the “Father of American Literature” was one of the most celebrated writers of the country. These 5 volumes consist of several letters that Mark Twain wrote during his entire lifetime and captures some of the letters written during America’s important historic events.
John D. Rockefeller Interviews by William O. Inglis 1917-1920
This exquisite collection of records comprises several interviews with John D. Rockefeller, widely regarded as the wealthiest American of all time and the richest person in modern history. It provides unique insights into the life of America’s most celebrated businessman.
If you’re looking for what to read this summer, we highly recommend the books mentioned above. These suggested books include some classic bestsellers that offer great insights into the lives of some of the most successful and influential people in history. Charlie Munger himself recommends investing your time in reading and learning from the experiences of others, just as you would invest your money in the stock market. And it pays to listen to the confidante of one of the richest men in the world.
If you’re looking to attend the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting in Omaha, and maybe rub shoulders with the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates, these books are a great way to prepare and gain a deeper understanding of the principles behind Berkshire Hathaway’s success. With their focus on intrinsic value and the importance of wise investing, they provide a valuable perspective that can benefit anyone looking to invest in their own personal growth and success.
So if you’re looking for a summer reading list that offers more than just entertainment, consider adding these insightful books to your list. With their emphasis on learning and personal growth, they are sure to provide a valuable return on your investment of time.
Nothing beats curling up and reading a good book.
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