By Mark Abadi

If you want to emulate some of the most successful people in the world, you can start by reading books — lots of them.

From Elon Musk to Mark Cuban to Oprah Winfrey, the most powerful innovators in the world all read several hours a day.

But starting a new book can be a daunting task if you don’t have a lot of free time. With that in mind, we’ve selected 11 insightful, rewarding books around 250 pages or less that you can finish in a week.

Read on for the full list:

‘Wild Ride: Inside Uber’s Quest for World Domination’ by Adam Lashinsky

Page count: 240

Amazon description:

“Wild Ride is the first truly inside look at Uber’s global empire. Veteran journalist Adam Lashinsky, the bestselling author of Inside Apple, traces the origins of Kalanick’s massive ambitions in his humble roots, and he explores Uber’s murky beginnings and the wild ride of its rapid growth and expansion into different industries.”

‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell

Page count: 124

Amazon description:

“Manor Farm is like any other English farm, expect for a drunken owner, Mr Jones, incompetent workers and oppressed animals. Fed up with the ignorance of their human masters, the animals rise up in rebellion and take over the farm. Led by intellectually superior pigs like Snowball and Napoleon, the animals how to take charge of their destiny and remove the inequities of their lives. But as time passes, the realize that things aren’t happening quite as expected. Animal Farm is, one level, a simple story about barnyard animals.

“On a much deeper level, it is a savage political satire on corrupted ideals, misdirected revolutions and class conflict-themes as valid today as they were sixty years ago.”

‘Fight Club’ by Chuck Palahniuk

Page count: 224

Amazon description:

“In his debut novel, Chuck Palahniuk showed himself to be his generation’s most visionary satirist. Fight Club’s estranged narrator leaves his lackluster job when he comes under the thrall of Tyler Durden, an enigmatic young man who holds secret boxing matches in the basement of bars. There two men fight ‘as long as they have to.’ A gloriously original work that exposes what is at the core of our modern world.”

‘What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars’ by Jim Paul

Page count: 192

Amazon description:

“Jim Paul’s meteoric rise took him from a small town in Northern Kentucky to governor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, yet he lost it all―his fortune, his reputation, and his job―in one fatal attack of excessive economic hubris. In this honest, frank analysis, Paul and Brendan Moynihan revisit the events that led to Paul’s disastrous decision and examine the psychological factors behind bad financial practices in several economic sectors.”

‘The Last Lecture’ by Randy Pausch

Page count: 206 

Amazon description:

“When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give … a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

“But the lecture he gave — ‘Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams’ — wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

“In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.”

‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho

Page count: 208 

Amazon description:

“Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different — and far more satisfying — than he ever imagined. Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.”

‘A Brief History of Time’ by Stephen Hawking

Page count: 212

Amazon description:

“Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and “arrows of time,” of the big bang and a bigger God—where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected. With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of creation.”

‘Memos from the Chairman’ by Alan Greenberg

Page count: 160

Amazon description:

“Read by everyone from Warren Buffett to Jeff Bezos to Tom Peters (‘I love this book,’ the coauthor of ‘In Search of Excellence’ said), Greenberg’s ‘Memos From the Chairman’ comprise a unique — and uniquely simple — management philosophy.

“Make decisions based on common sense. Avoid the herd mentality. Control expenses with unrelenting vigil. Run your business at the highest level of morality. Free your motivated, intelligent people from the chain of command. Always return phone calls promptly and courteously. Never believe your own body odor is perfume. And stay humble, humble, humble.”

‘Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook’ by Tony Robbins

Page count: 256

Amazon description:

“After interviewing fifty of the world’s greatest financial minds and penning the #1 New York Times bestseller Money: Master the Game, Tony Robbins returns with a step-by-step playbook, taking you on a journey to transform your financial life and accelerate your path to financial freedom. No matter your salary, your stage of life, or when you started, this book will provide the tools to help you achieve your financial goals more rapidly than you ever thought possible.”

‘Astrophysics for People in a Hurry’ by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Page count: 224

Amazon description:

“While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.”

‘I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced’ by Nujood Ali and‎ Delphine Minoui

Page count: 188

Amazon description:

“Nujood Ali’s childhood came to an abrupt end in 2008 when her father arranged for her to be married to a man three times her age. With harrowing directness, Nujood tells of abuse at her husband’s hands and of her daring escape.

“With the help of local advocates and the press, Nujood obtained her freedom—an extraordinary achievement in Yemen, where almost half of all girls are married under the legal age. Nujood’s courageous defiance of both Yemeni customs and her own family has inspired other young girls in the Middle East to challenge their marriages.”

Originally published at

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