10 Book Recommendations from Sir Richard Branson
Richard Branson started his first company when he was 16-years-old. The Student interviewed celebrities but was best known for its success with ads. He went on to start a mail-order record company that he called Virgin. Since then, Branson has owned and operated businesses in wireless communications, airlines, health clubs, renewable technologies, and even a space tourism company. For someone so busy, he still manages to find time to read!
What does a knight read? Ask Sir Richard Branson, and he’ll give you a few recommendations.
We’ve entered into an age of a period of history where human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment, also called Anthropocene. Authors of the Big World, Small Planet takes a look at the impact humans have on the Earth and look at what is to come if we continue to treat the Earth as we do today. Branson’s nonprofit, Virgin Unite, supports many efforts toward climate change and disease. After looking at the photographs included in Big World, Small Planet, you’ll understand why he’s such a huge advocate for the Earth.
What matters most in life? Some may say money but not Branson. Happiness takes a broad spectrum and narrows it down to explain why society should slow down and reprioritize what we hold dear. See how works of fiction and science combine to find true happiness.
Humanity has ventured the oceans, and now it is time to venture into the solar system. Cosmos goes back fourteen billion years to when the universe began and scientifically looks at how Earth has come to be. If you are a fan of Stephen Hawking, then you’ll find this book equally as satisfying.
At the age of 90, President Jimmy Carter published a New York Times bestseller. Readers probably have a good idea about Carter’s public life, and now he opens up about his personal life. Topics range from racism, hazings that nearly killed him (twice), and what he feels like now quitting the navy many years ago.
You don’t have to have a lot of money to make a difference in this world. Branson encourages humanity to help one another out. In Natasha Milne’s book, she asks some of the biggest Earth advocates why they get out of bed in the morning. Those included in One Hundred & One Reasons To Get Out of Bed are: Scientist Dr. Jane Goodall, filmmaker Louie Psihoyos, business innovator Rick Ridgeway, global economist John Hewson, and Garbage singer Shirley Manson. Don’t forget, Branson himself!
One of Britan’s finest poets, Ben Okri, published a different kind of poetry in his book A Time for New Dreams. Inside you won’t find what you traditionally think of poetry, but instead, essays linked to one another that address themes like childhood, self-censorship, the role of beauty, the importance of education. Essays include titles like, “Africa is our dreamland, our spiritual homeland” and “That would be the loveliest gift of the twenty-first century: to make Africa smile.” With titles like these, how could you not read Okri’s book?
Branson’s recommended many books about humanity’s impact on the climate. Now he recommends one about social, economic, technology impact. Unlike H.G. Wells, James Martine argues that things may work out after all. Tech nerds will enjoy the thoughts Martin has about how that has divided the Earth in a similar way that global warming has. A hefty philosophical read that could double as a piece to practice your speed reading skills.
Jamal Edwards is someone Branson can relate to. At 15, Edwards built an empire that featured the underground music scene. At 20, he became the CEO of a record label with Sony. He turns it over to other inspiring young entrepreneurs with his book, Self Talk. Edwards talks about his own experiences that led to his success and includes ‘decision points” that present choices of how to take your business in the right direction. Any teen should pick up a copy, it’s never too early to start planning a startup company.
In 1928, Henry Beston went off the grid for a year and stayed in a cottage by the sea. Beston originally meant to stay for two weeks, but the beauty of where he was convinced otherwise. He writes, “The fortnight ending, I lingered on, and as the year lengthened into autumn, the beauty and the mystery of this earth and the outer sea so possessed and held me that I could not go.” Fans of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden will enjoy this just as much, if not more so.
Author Tracy Kidder recounts the effect one man had on thousands with his determination to help those around the globe with infectious diseases. Doctor Paul Farmer, a professor, and Harvard University embodies the Haitian proverb, “Beyond mountains, there are mountains.” Meaning that as you are solving one problem, another one will always present itself. It is how you continue to solve each one that matters.
Enjoy these reads that are sure to motivate you to become more aware of the planet, the future, and your career. Speed reading is a great skill to help with productivity and can help you achieve everything that inspires you from these reads. Click to find out more about our Personal Productivity course and get that dream of yours going!