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These books recommended by Jeff Bezos will steer your journey to success

Jeff Bezos is one of the most influential business figures, who has left no stone unturned in building his legacy. Whether it’s his 28-year-long journey as the Amazon CEO or his highly-ambitious aerospace company Blue Origin, Bezos has been a trailblazer in every way. Just like other Silicon Valley bigshots (Bill Gates and Elon Musk), Bezos is also a voracious reader. He has often credited his success to the books he has chanced upon over the years.

Did you know that his love for books resulted in the formation of Amazon? The e-commerce giant started out in 1995 as a website that only sold books. The aim was to give a chance to lesser-known authors and small publications to exhibit their creations. In the biography ‘The Everything Store‘, author Brad Stone mentions that books played a significant role in cultivating Bezos’ leadership style and thought process.

Amazon employees are also familiar with what’s called ‘Jeff’s Reading List’. This list contains books ranging from autobiographies, business, technology and more that helped him achieve billionaire status. So, if you’re a budding entrepreneur looking for new ways and ideas to improve your business or simply seeking inspiration to kickstart your road to success, Bezos’ book recommendations will aid you immensely.

We’ve curated a list of the best book recommendations by Jeff Bezos that’ll steer you on the path to success. Keep reading!

If you’re interested in understanding what goes into the making of successful businesses, this book is for you. Authors Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras closely study eighteen highly successful and prosperous companies. They delve deep into the workings of each firm in direct comparison to one of its top competitors to try and understand what exactly sets them apart.

Built to Last is extremely useful for all entrepreneurs looking to unravel secrets about the success and survival of a company, be it a start-up, midsize or large corporation. The central question echoing throughout the book is ‘What makes the truly exceptional companies different from other companies?’ Providing a framework that is beneficial at various managerial and entrepreneurial levels, this book is a holy grail for Bezos. He called it his ‘favourite business book’.

(Image credit: Amazon)


Kazuo Ishiguro chronicles the tale of a butler named Stevens, who recalls his days serving as a soldier in wartime England by writing diary entries. At the end of his three-decade-long service at Darlington Hall, Stevens starts to question his undying loyalty to his employer, Lord Darlington. Steven starts contemplating his employer’s supposed greatness, in addition to having grave doubts about the nature of his own life.

If you’re not an avid reader, The Remains of the Day has also been adapted into a movie starring Anthony Hopkins. The book remarkably deals with the themes of duty vs. desire, dignity vs. authenticity as well as fulfilling your dreams vs. settling for whatever’s available.

Bezos calls it his favourite novel, which ‘teaches the pain of regret so well you will think you lived it’.

(Image credit: Amazon)


After much brainstorming for countless hours, writing 250,000 computer codes alone and facing several other challenges, Steve Grand produced a revolutionary computer game, Creatures. In this book, the author closely navigates what artificial intelligence and life are, in context to his revolutionary game. 

The book is all about discovering new avenues and possibilities, two things that Amazon strives to do till date. Grant’s book is a thought-provoking and exciting read for all computer-savvy folks, giving useful insights without drowning readers in programming jargon.

For the unversed, the book ‘influenced the creation of Amazon Web Services, or AWS, a service that popularised the notion of the cloud’.

(Image credit: Amazon)

The book has given rise to what’s known as ‘The Black Swan’ theory, which describes an event that comes as a surprise or shock, has severe consequences, and is followed by an explanation that the occurrence was obvious in hindsight. For example, the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 or the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The book poses a pertinent question: “Why do we not acknowledge the phenomenon of black swans until after they occur?” Taleb argues that humans are wired to ‘specifics’ when they should be focusing on ‘generalities’. We always find comfort in the patterns familiar to us, making us unable and inefficient to identify unexpected events with dire consequences.

The book will surely transform the way you visualise the world.

For Bezos, the book offers something particularly important, a “getaway”.

(Image credit: Amazon)


In the Walmart founder’s autobiography, we get to know the blood, sweat, and tears that went into creating the largest retailer in the world. Sam Walton’s book is rich with anecdotes and fundamental ideas that steered him towards fulfilling the American Dream.

Walton stresses the importance of progress, being open to trying new things and committing mistakes that are essential to growth. Amazon rightly describes Walton as a “genuine American folk hero cut from the homespun cloth of America’s heartland.”

Bezos mentioned that there’s a “lot to admire” in the way he started Walmart.

(Image credit: Amazon)


Harvard professor Clayton M. Christensen explains how ‘disruptive innovation’ is the key for companies to stay relevant. He mentions how even the best brands and businesses lose leadership despite doing everything right according to them, just because they miss out on new waves of innovation.

While it’s difficult to examine the fall of such companies, Christensen provides a surprising and paradoxical answer to this. The same practices that led the business to the pinnacle of success are the ones that cause its eventual downfall. He stresses that managers must know when and how to abandon obsolete business practices to make space for new ways.

Amazon itself acted on the principles of this book, which also facilitated the creation of Kindle as well as Amazon Web Services. Each leader, entrepreneur or person at the managerial level must add this book to their reading list.

(Image credit: Amazon)

The book aims to reform management thinking styles across the globe, encouraging companies to point out the biggest constraints in their operations and restructure the organisation accordingly to optimise performance.

The book chronicles the tale of a plant manager called Alex, working around the clock to improve his performance. His factory is on the verge of disaster, not able to fulfil deliveries in a timely manner and rapidly losing money. Given these circumstances, he’s given a 90-day notice by the headquarters to change the trajectory or else the factory will be shut down for good. In addition to his professional woes, his marriage is also in shambles.

Amid this, Alex bumps into a professor from his earlier days, who helps him come out of traditional ways of thinking and figure things out with a new perspective. The compelling story of Alex’s fight to redeem his factory is a wake-up call for all managers in the industry.

(Image credit: Amazon)

This book will help you find a better, easier way to flourish your business by making you unlearn archaic ways of conducting it. While a typical business book will tell you to create a business plan, seek investors, scrutinise your competition and a whole list of things, Rework informs you it’s way more uncomplicated than that.

The authors tell you the harmful implications of these old patterns of building business, stressing that you don’t really need outside investors and that it’s actually better to ignore the competition. The only thing you must do is, start working.

Know how to increase productivity, get exposure without splurging tons of money and familiarise yourself with a host of other counterintuitive/ easy ideas that actually work. The book is the ultimate guide for all those looking to build something from scratch.

(Image credit: Amazon)


The authors break down a business system relevant to 21st-century companies, teaching them how to become a money-making machine by getting rid of anything that doesn’t contribute to enhancing customer value.

The book talks about the revolutionary manufacturing system adopted by Toyota, which ensures steady growth amid diverse economic conditions. This type of manufacturing system is known as the ‘lean system’, which throughout the book has been contrasted with the traditional ‘mass production’ system of manufacturing.

Lean Thinking presents case studies from diverse industries to explain the principles of lean and how to implement them in various environments. The book offers a new way of thinking and running companies, which is beneficial for everyone from an entry-level employee to the CEO.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Another great management book, Good to Great by Jim Collins takes you on a compelling journey of how to make good companies great over the years. Collins, with his 21-people research team, conducted intense research for half a decade, the findings of which have been shared in the book.

The team analysed publicly-traded companies that demonstrated the good-to-great pattern irrespective of the industries they belonged to. The aim was to find the common traits that helped them garner success. The author then unravels the findings and concepts further in the book, making it one of the best management guides to add to your shelf.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What is the best advice of Jeff Bezos?

Answer: Jeff Bezos has shared some incredible lessons for success over the years, telling people to take risks, to not be afraid of dreaming big and understanding that failure is important.

Question: What does Jeff Bezos read?

Answer: Some of the top book recommendations by Jeff Bezos include 'Built to Last' by Jim Collins, 'Creation' by Steve Grand as well as 'The Black Swan' by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Question: What should be your goal according to Jeff Bezos?

Answer: Jeff Bezos has time and again highlighted that your goal should be to create value for everyone you interact with, make high-quality decisions and focus obsessively on the customer.

These books recommended by Jeff Bezos will steer your journey to success

Kriti is a stay-at-home dog mama, whose knack for telling interesting stories keeps her erstwhile monotonous life sane. A literature & journalism degree holder, you'll find her binging on Agatha Christie novels while critiquing the everyday state of affairs. On Kriti's seldom social outings, she's seen devouring coffee sangria with appetizing bread on the side.

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