If reading is one of your favourite pastimes we applaud you. There aren’t a lot of things you can do that are better than reading a book. Reading makes your life richer with knowledge and experience and with each page you’ve read you become a better version of yourself.
Now, some people enjoy reading prose, while others enjoy poetry. Some enjoy non-fiction novels, while others prefer sci-fi flicks. Some prefer reading self-help books, while others prefer reading just for pleasure. We could go on and on, but we’ll stop there and we’ll take a moment to focus on the books about inventions.
Inventions are the reasons we are where we are at this point in time. Throughout history, we have witnessed many great inventions and many great inventors so it’s only appropriate for us to give them a little bit of our attention and find a way to celebrate their impact on humanity, their work and maybe even learn a thing or two. On that note, here are some of the best books and audiobooks about inventions that you need to add to your library.
1. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future – Ashlee Vance
If you want to learn a few things about arguably the greatest innovator of his generation, Elon Musk, then this book should be the first thing you choose. Ashlee Vance did an amazing job with this biography capturing all the important aspects of Elon – his drive, his quirky personality, his daily life and so much more. Vance got really close to Musk and a lot of his closest friends, so you can be certain you’ll be able to take a closer look into Elon’s life and possibly try and understand where someone like him comes from.
2. Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time – Dava Sobel
If you haven’t read this 1995 classic from Dava Sobel we strongly recommend that you buy it the first chance you get. This is a book about an 18th-century clockmaker that changed the world by creating the chronometer that was used to determine the longitude at sea thus changing the sphere of navigation for good. It’s an easy and quick read and if you wish, you can also get an audiobook. Longitude was also adapted into a TV show in 2000 which you can watch, but we’d strongly recommend reading or listening to a book before you watch the show.
3. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope – William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer
Another best-seller turned into a film, The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind is a tale of a young, Malawi man, called William, who had managed to do the unthinkable in a country where you couldn’t even afford to live another day. When William was just a young man, Malawi was struck with famine and thousands upon thousands of people were dying left and right. William, however, with only the help of his wits, managed to provide for his family what almost the entire Malawi population could only dream of – electricity and running water. How he did that? You’ll have to read this book to find out.
4. My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla – Nikola Tesla, Ben Johnson
If you’re even remotely interested in the life of arguably the greatest inventor that ever lived, Nikola Tesla, you should grab this book. This is another autobiography on our list, only this one was written over 100 years ago, which will come as a shock to you once you realize how far ahead of its time Tesla was. This book touches and his life, his career and work, his greatest and most famous inventions and even some of the “lesser” ones we haven’t heard of. According to Invent Help, this could very well be the greatest book about inventions that was ever written.
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5. Leonardo da Vinci: The Complete Works – Leonardo da Vinci, Augusta Tosone, Catherine Frost
If you want to take a glimpse into the mind of one of the greatest human beings to have ever walked this Earth then this is the book for the. The Complete Works is a compact volume of pretty much everything Leonardo da Vinci has ever done – from his paintings to scribbles in his notebooks. This book contains photographs of his original notebooks, some in-depth explanations of his most famous work, as well as some fascinating historical details about Leo, his life and his work.
6. How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World – Steven Johnson
This audiobook will provide you with an interesting perspective on inventions that have shaped and transformed the world we live in today. It’s an interesting take on history and science and it’s one you might not quite expect. You see, when we’re talking about the greatest inventions most people directly go to the wheel, electricity, the internet and few others. However, according to this book, the six greatest inventions that have made the modern world are glass, cold, sound, clean, time and light. If you’re not quite sure what we’re talking about – give this one a try. An author’s got an interesting perspective that you’ll most likely enjoy a lot.
7. The Kid Who Invented the Popsicle: And Other Surprising Stories about Inventions – Don L. Wulffson
Do you know who Micky the Rabbit is? Well, we’re not going to answer that question for you right away, because, the answer to that and many other intriguing questions lies in this book. This book was written for children but some of the stories in it are so interesting, that we couldn’t possibly skip past this one. You’re going to learn a few things about ice cream, Disney, motorcycles and so much more – and all of that in alphabetical order. This book will remind you of how fun and spontaneous inventing can be.
There you have it. Those were our top 7 picks for the best books about inventions that you should read in 2021. We’ve tried our best to keep the list as diverse as possible so that all of our readers could enjoy at least one title from our list. All of these books are interesting, we can guarantee that much. Which ones are you going to end up liking the most depends only on you.