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Who knew Einstein had a book club? Yep, before he put that little E=mc2 equation together he was a young patent clerk hanging out reading with his buds.

Now when we say book club, obviously we are not talking about Fifty Shades of Grey or Eat, Pray, Love. 


Over the course of three years, while living in Bern, Switzerland, the young genius managed to make enough money at his meager job to buy a book or two. He would discuss them with a small group of friends who jokingly called themselves The Olympia Academy

So what did Einstein and his super-smart friends read? Thanks to website From The Grapevine we now know! For a full look at each book and the connection to Einstein's theories go to FTG. Here's a brief glimpse at a few below. 

Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes

17933-Don-quixoteWe'll tell you right now, this may be the only book you have read on this list...

The famous windmill-tilting mad man has become the mascot of pursuing the impossible dream, so there is probably no need to explain the impact of Don Quixote on Einstein's own work.

Ethics by Baruch Spinoza

17933-baruch-bookBaruch Spinoza believed the universe was made of one substance.

Einstein would years later come up with the concept of mass and energy from the same source.


Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume

17933-david-bookThis philosopher's belief is that probability rules the world rather than reason.

For his part, Einstein would go on to prove that it is neither reason nor probability from math that is really in control.


A System of Logic by John Stuart Mill

17933-john-bookJohn Stuart Mill had a theory of subjective reasoning that drawing conclusions through observation could lead to answers.

Mill is just one of the many philosophers on Einstein's list.


The Grammar of Science by Karl Pearson

17933-karl-bookFor this mathematician and writer, imagination was a vital key to making scientific discoveries.

The concepts in Pearson's work about wrinkles in time and the fourth dimension would appear in Einstein's own writings.


Analysis of Sensations by Ernst Mach


Aside from the Freudian aspects of Mach's writings about the Ego, it was probably his fascination with the mysterious effect of our senses and how they impact our observations that had an impact on Einstein.

Mach researched the effect the physical world has on our senses and how that changes perception.

Science and Hypothesis by Henri Poincare


Henri Poincare was the man who first planted the seeds of chaos theory and wrote about the mental puzzles that prove we know very little about anything.

Poincare is also the man whose ideas about Maxwell's equations probably helped push Einstein toward his own special relativity theories. 

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