“A Year of Books”: Mark Zuckerberg’s Next Pick

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg possesses a healthy love for many things, including but not limited to: studying Mandarin, fried chicken pizza, and New Year’s resolutions.

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In fact, he takes his New Year’s resolutions so seriously that he asked members of the Facebook community to contribute suggestions for his personal goals this year. Over 50,000 users answered, and the overwhelming consensus is that Zuckerberg should “read a new book every other week—with an emphasis on learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories, and technologies.”

And that is how the Mark Zuckerberg book club was born, aka “A Year of Books,” a group page on Facebook.

Zuckerberg’s first book selection—The End of Power by Moises Naim— caused sales to skyrocket.

So what will his next picks be? Since Zuckerberg took Facebook users’ suggestions seriously, it’d only make sense that he’d do the same with their book recommendations—which is why we’ve scoured Facebook’s Twitter network to see which books Facebookers are raving about.

We decided to highlight the selections of current and former Facebook employees:

LexiconMax Barry  

Recommended by Nicholas Felton, formerly one of Facebook’s Lead Designers

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What if words can be used as weapons? At an exclusive school in Virginia, students aren’t taught history or math—they’re taught to persuade. The very top of the class consists of master wordsmiths, known as “poets,” who are part of a nameless organization of unknown purpose.

When gifted Emily Ruff is recruited and drawn to their strange world, she learns that nobody is safe: every person can be classified by personality type, his mind unlocked by the skillful application of words.

A brilliant thriller, Lexicon explores the themes of identity and the power of language and coercion.

The Skies Belong to UsBrendan I. Koerner

Recommended by Adam Conner, former Public Policy Manager of Facebook

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American history takes an exciting turn during the end of the 60’s, the “golden age” airplane hijackings. These incidents—most times involving guns, bombs, and jars of acid—would occur sometimes as much as once a week, the disillusioned desperate to escape (mostly to Cuba).

The book examines the causes of the epidemic and follows the more famous cases (about 160 in total), including the story of the longest-distance skyjacking in U.S. history involving a young couple that took control of Western Airlines Flight 701 in 1972.

Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities and SoftwareSteven Johnson 

Recommended by Tom Watson, former Product Designer at Facebook

The belief that “the whole is sometimes smarter than the sum of its part,” is media theorist Steven Johnson’s basis for Emergence. He asks questions such as, “Why do people cluster together in neighborhoods?” “How do internet communities spring up from nowhere?” “What causes a media frenzy?”

The answer to these questions is emergence: change that occurs from the bottom up. When enough individual elements interact, the result is collective intelligence, even though no one is in charge. Change the way you see the world with this phenomenon that exists at every level of experience.

Paul Rand: Conversations with StudentsMichael Kroeger

Recommended by Simon Cross, Product Developer at Facebook

Dive into the world of Paul Rand, one of the most influential graphic designers of the twentieth century. From his iconic logo designs for IBM, UPS, and the ABC television network, to his prolific poster and magazine work, Rand is not only revered as an educator, but also for his insight and humor.

This book chronicles Rand’s last interview one year before his death, a tour de force that touches on varied topics ranging from design philosophy to design education.

What books do you think Mark Zuckerberg should add onto his list of must-reads? Drop us a comment and let us know!

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