Sir Richard Branson’s list of 65 books to read

Richard Branson reading

I don’t think a special introduction is needed when talking about Sir Richard Branson, the selfmade English business magnate, entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. He co-founded the Virgin Group Limited in 1970 (along with Nik Powell), which currently consists of more than 400 companies worldwide. So all in all, he has been a pretty successful chap.

Below is a selection of Sir Branson’s 65 favourite books to read – I wonder how many of them would make (or already has) onto your list.

1.            Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak

2.            Tales of the Unexpected – Roald Dahl

3.            George’s Marvellous Medicine – Roald Dahl

4.            The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain

5.            Oh, The Place You’ll Go – Dr Seuss

6.            Peter Pan – J. M. Barrie

7.            The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling

8.            The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain

9.            Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

10.          The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams

11.          Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stephenson

12.          The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

13.          Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton

14.          Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne

15.          1984 – George Orwell

16.          Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

17.          The Quiet American – Graham Greene

18.          The Dice Man – Luke Rhinehart

19.          Shantaram – Gregory Roberts

20.          One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

21.          Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World – Tracy Kidder

22.          The Outermost House – Henry Beston

23.          Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China – Jung Chang

24.          Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege – Antony Beevor

25.          The Right Stuff – Tom Wolfe

26.          In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex – Nathaniel Philbrick

27.          I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

28.          Travels with Charley – John Steinbeck

29.          Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela – Nelson Mandela

30.          Mao: The Unknown Story – Jung Chang

31.          A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety – Jimmy Carter

32.          No Future Without Forgiveness – Desmond Tutu

33.          Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time – Dava Sobel

34.          Mandela’s Way: Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage – Stengel

35.          Limitless: Leadership That Endures – Ajaz Ahmed

36.          Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World – Adam Grant

37.          If I Could Tell You Just One Thing: 50 of the world’s most remarkable people pass on their best piece of advice – Richard Reed

38.          Remote: Office Not Required – Jason Fried

39.          Start With Why – Simon Sinek

40.          101 Reasons to Get Out of Bed – Natasha Milne

41.          Letters to a Stranger: A publishing project in aid of MIND – Various

42.          Self Belief: The Vision – Jamal Edwards

43.          The Meaning of the 21st Century – James Martin

44.          Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill – Matthieu Ricard

45.          A Time for New Dreams – Ben Okri

46.          A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking

47.          The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution – Frank White

48.          Beyond The Blue – Jim Campbell

49.          Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think – Peter Diamandis

50.          Cosmos – Carl Sagan

51.          The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth – Tim Flannery

52.          Big World, Small Planet – Johan Rockström and Mattias Klum

53.          An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It – Al Gore

54.          Necker: A Virgin Island – Russell James

55.          Lost Ocean – Johanna Basford

56.          Arctica: The Vanishing North – Sebastian Copeland

57.          In Patagonia – Bruce Chatwin

58.          Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster – Jon Krakauer

59.          The World Without Us – Weisman

60.          In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules – Stacy Perman

61.          In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto – Michael Pollan

62.          Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal – Eric Schlosser

63.          Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption – Bryan Stevenson

64.          Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg

65.          Ending the War on Drugs – Various


My immediate additions to the list are:

66. The Science of Serendipity: How to Unlock the Promise of Innovation in Large Organisations – Matt Kingdon

67. Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation – Steven Johnson

68. The Idea In You: How to Find It, Build It and Change Your Life – Martin Amor nd Alex Pellew

69. Shine: How to Survive and Thrive at Work – Chris Barez-Brown

70. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – Haruki Murakami

71. The Happiness Advantage – Shawn Achor

72. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success – Deepak Chopra

73. I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy and Power – Brene Brown

74. I Wish I Worked There! – Kursty Groves and Will Knight

75. The Virgin Way: How to Listen, Learn, Laugh and Lead – Sir Richard Branson


Are you concerned with how much time would you need to go through the above list? Well, not that much. If you stick to reading 20 pages per day, you should be able to learn from 35 books in a year. 20 pages per day, that’s all you need. Happy reading!