13+ Books That Should Be On Every Engineer's "Must Read" List

If you’re into engineering, make sure you do not miss out on reading these inspiring, must-read books for engineers.
Kashyap Vyas

Writing and engineering are two entirely different professions, yet both jobs have one thing in common. Don't get puzzled by the above statement because when you will know the intricate relationship between these two distant realms, you will be surprised.

Writing, on one hand, is an art where the writers put their thoughts on a piece of paper that keeps the sanity and knowledge of the soul in check in humans. Similarly, engineers carve out beautiful monuments, powerful machines, and even the mobile phones on which you are reading this post, providing shelter, entertainment, and many more things to our outer self.

Books are a blessing to humankind and as an engineer, when you entwine yourself with the world of books, you will surely be able to craft out the best ideas from your area of expertise. 

Here are some of the best books for engineers.

1. Engineer to Win - Buy Now

13+ Books That Should Be On Every Engineer's "Must Read" List
Source: Carroll Smith/Amazon

Penned down by the legendary high-performance Formula 1 racer, Caroll Smith, here is an excellent read for engineers who have the zeal to build the fastest cars. The book is extremely engaging and it aptly explores the art behind the crafting of the racing car.

So, if you are an engineering student or a professional aspiring to build your future in the world of racing cars, this book is a treasure. Engineer to Win will guide you on how to achieve world-class results and remain committed to it for your entire engineering career.

2. Introduction to Flight - Buy Now

13+ Books That Should Be On Every Engineer's "Must Read" List
Source: John D.Anderson Jr./Amazon

If you are someone interested in understanding the intricacies of aeronautical engineering, then this excellent book written by John D. Anderson should be your first stop. This book explains everything about aeronautical and aerospace engineering in simplified words.

It effortlessly blends history and biography with a discussion of engineering concepts and presents the development of modern-day aircraft through this perspective. Introduction to Flight from Anderson also explores different aspects of aviation such as unmanned air vehicles, the application of CFD, and uninhabited combat aerial vehicles.

3. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People - Buy Now

13+ Books That Should Be On Every Engineer's "Must Read" List
Source: Stephen R. Covey / Amazon


This book is a masterpiece which is penned down by Stephen Covey in a very simple style, which makes it easy for everyone to get into the depth of the subject. Stephen’s book is not only limited to engineering graduates but to everyone who wants to be a master in their field.

The simple tips and tricks encompassed in this book are phenomenal, and if you follow them patiently, you can actually start to see the difference in your life in a very short period of time.

This book lays down some extremely easy challenges for you to take a tour of your fundamental knowledge. The book essentially teaches you to master your basics first so that you can tackle advanced skills easily.

4. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles - Buy Now

13+ Books That Should Be On Every Engineer's "Must Read" List
Source: Steven Pressfield / Amazon


This book is an absolute masterpiece written by American author Steven Pressfield that beautifully paves the way to clear out your roadblock to creativity. Engineering is obviously a profession that demands a lot of imaginative and innovative approaches to design and build something new and different.

And while thinking too much, you will surely bump into the obstructions which the author calls 'Resistance'. This book should be on a must-read list of every engineering student.

It will not only help you to enhance your skills but will also widen your vision and allow you to experience the world from a different angle altogether.

5. The Four Hour Chef - Buy Now

13+ Books That Should Be On Every Engineer's "Must Read" List
Source: Timothy Ferriss / Amazon


It might be astonishing for you to see a book title that sounds like a cookbook. But by going through this book, you will be able to get an idea of the engineering world from an entirely different perspective.

This marvelous book is authored by Timothy Ferris and it basically revolves around the "4-Hour" themes of self-improvement, self-actualization, and the skill of learning new things through the lens of cooking.

This book is an absolute stunner and it will not only elevate your learning abilities but will also teach you how to stay healthy and fit in strenuous work pressure.

6. Structures: Or Why Things Don't Fall Down - Buy Now

13+ Books That Should Be On Every Engineer's "Must Read" List
Source: J. E. Gordon/Amazon

Written by J. E. Gordon, this book is one of the favorites of SpaceX founder Elon Musk, and one of the best books for engineering students and professionals. The book is simple and straightforward, giving answers to some of the trickiest questions like what keeps the bridges stable or what makes some monuments so impressive, and so on.

As an engineer, you will surely find this book an interesting read, as it will help you in easing your anxiety by giving answers to impertinent yet meaningful questions. In this book, you will come across some of the confusing technical terms that are explained by the author in an engrossing manner.

7. The Design of Everyday Things - Buy Now

13+ Books That Should Be On Every Engineer's "Must Read" List
Source: Don Norman/Amazon

Penned down by Donald A. Norman, this book explores the reason behind a simple yet tricky aspect of everyday life. Being a cognitive scientist and usability engineer himself, the author Donald Norman shows the world how the design of an item serves as a communication channel between a non-living object and its user.

The author also presents different tips and tricks that will guide the reader to build objects that will serve the users in the right way thus making their experiences more enjoyable.

8. Introduction to Algorithms - Buy Now

13+ Books That Should Be On Every Engineer's "Must Read" List
Source: Vistaworldstore/Amazon

This is an excellent book for all computer engineering graduates who want to learn the fundamentals of algorithms. Introduction to Algorithms provides a perfect understanding of the vast range of algorithms in depth.

Every topic in this book is concise and self-contained that can be studied in parts. This book is simple and precisely written and can come in handy to all levels of readers.

9. Steve Jobs - Buy Now

13+ Books That Should Be On Every Engineer's "Must Read" List
Source: Walter Isaacson / Amazon


An enticing tale of the CEO of the decade, this self-titled biography of Steve Jobs is an absolute best. Penned down by one of the great authors, Walter Isaacson, this book has captured the complete essence of the life of Apple's CEO.

This book was authored by Isaacson at the request of Jobs, and it took Isaacson three years of exclusive interviews with Steve Jobs to finally come up with this extraordinary marvel that portrays every single aspect of Jobs' journey to success.

10. How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big - Buy Now

13+ Books That Should Be On Every Engineer's "Must Read" List
Source: Scott Adams/Amazon

Written by Scott Adams, this book is an excellent reminder that even after tons of failures, you can still pave your way to success slowly and steadily. As an engineering graduate, this book should be on definitely on your list.

In frustrating scenarios where you feel that you’re out of new ideas, you can apply the tricks from this book and that might lead you to your eureka moment.

In this book, the creator of Dilbert comic strip explores the different techniques that have the capability to drive anyone to the path of success.

11. Zero to One - Buy Now

13+ Books That Should Be On Every Engineer's "Must Read" List
Source: Peter Thiel/Amazon

This book is written by Blake Masters and Peter Thiel and it focuses on startups and how to build the future. Zero to One is an amazing read, offering readers exposure to different techniques that will help them in building their own successful businesses.

Thiel proposes the idea that there is no reason to limit the progress just to computers or Silicon Valley in today’s technological era. Progress can be made across any industry by creating something new and innovative rather than competing on ideas that already exist in the marketplace.

12. To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design - Buy Now

13+ Books That Should Be On Every Engineer's "Must Read" List
Source: Henry Petroski / Amazon


Just like the good old saying, “failures are the pillars of success,” this book offers its readers to understand how a simple mistake in the design can lead to huge disasters.

To Engineer Is Human is a work that looks at our deepest notions of progress and perfection, tracing the fine connection between the quantifiable realm of science and the chaotic realities of everyday life.

The book is penned down by Henry Petroski.

13. The Existential Pleasures of Engineering - Buy Now

13+ Books That Should Be On Every Engineer's "Must Read" List
Source: Samuel C. FLorman/Amazon

The Existential Pleasures of Engineering is a book that marvelously explains the role of engineering in the lives of everyone. Compiled by Samuel C. Florman, this excellent masterpiece elaborates on how engineers play an important role in the lives of people around the world.

It also explains the emotions of engineers and how they feel and think about their profession. This book also busts the myth about the profession that it is cold and passionless.

If you are someone aspiring to spend 30+ years of your life in this profession, you must consider reading this great compilation at least once in your life.

14. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future - Buy Now

13+ Books That Should Be On Every Engineer's "Must Read" List
Source: Ashlee Vance/Amazon

Last but not least, this book should be on the bookshelves of every aspiring person in this world. The tumultuous and inspiring life story of Elon Musk, the entrepreneur and the CEO of SpaceX, Tesla, and Solar City is a must-read book for engineers.

Author Ashlee Vance has beautifully penned down the life and work of this great genius. In addition to this, Vance uses Musk's story to explore one of the pressing questions of our age: can the nation of inventors and creators who led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition?

He argues that Musk is an amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science-fiction fantasy.

15. Designing Engineers - Buy Now

13+ Books That Should Be On Every Engineer's "Must Read" List
Source: Louis L. Bucciarelli/Amazon

Designing Engineers is a book that will take you through the evolution of three different engineering projects: an x-ray inspection system for airports, a photo print machine, and a residential photovoltaic energy system. In each case, the author Louis Bucciarelli takes through the entire process of how a product is designed in companies.

Being a part of all three projects, Louis examines how engineers understand the work and the process they follow for designing, and in doing so, offers fresh insights into engineering design. He learns that engineering design involves more than just engineers and is a social process that requires several negotiations between different non-technical parties to decide the form and function of the product being designed.

Designing Engineers is an excellent book for every engineer, teacher, or designer.

So here you go! This ends our list of books that should be on the must-read list of every engineer. Just go ahead and indulge yourself in one of these amazing titles.

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