Mark Zuckerberg recently completed a year-long reading challenge in which he invited others to join him in a Facebook based book club. Business Insider reported that although his initial goal of reading a book every two weeks proved a bit too ambitious for the new father, he ended the year 23 titles strong, including three from Princeton University Press.
Zuckerberg used his popularity to shed light on influential books that focus on “different cultures, beliefs, histories, and technologies.” One notable PUP choice was Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day.
“It’s mind-blowing that almost half the world — almost 3 billion people — live on $2.50 a day or less. More than one billion people live on $1 a day or less,” Zuckerberg writes. “I hope reading this provides some insight into ways we can all work to support them better as well.”
Zuckerberg didn’t focus only on economic issues in his reading list. He also featured choices highlighting diverse worldviews and religious histories, including The Muqaddimah:
“While much of what was believed then is now disproven after 700 more years of progress, it’s still very interesting to see what was understood at this time and the overall worldview when it’s all considered together,” Zuckerberg writes.
It could be said that one of Facebook’s achievements is its creation of an ubiquitous way to share and create “common knowledge”, so it’s not surprising that Zuckerberg also took an interest in a book that focuses on just what determines “common knowledge” for a certain group of people. In Rational Ritual, differing cultural practices are examined and explained: Why do Internet, financial service, and beer commercials dominate Super Bowl advertising? How do political ceremonies establish authority? Why does repetition characterize anthems and ritual speech? This book answers these questions. Zuckerberg writes:
“The book is about the concept of ‘common knowledge’ and how people process the world not only based on what we personally know, but what we know other people know and our shared knowledge as well,”
Find out more about the other 20 books Zuckerberg chose here. We can’t wait to see his reading list for 2016.