Bill Gates is reading these books this summer; what's on your list?
High on Gates's summer selection for this year are books that deal with the idea of disruption.
High on his summer selection for this year are books that deal with the idea of disruption.
“None of them are what most people think of as a light read. All but one deal with the idea of disruption, but I don’t mean “disruption” in the way tech people usually mean it,” Gates writes in his blog on www.gatesnotes.com
As he goes on to talk about each, he also has a recommendation for those who prefer a light read for the summer. He suggests Graeme Simsion’s 'The Rosie Result' as the typical summer book, while also adding a line about wife Melinda's recently-released 'The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World', calling it one of the best books he's read so far this year, all while acknowledging the personal bias.
So if you're looking to add books to your list, here's some inspiration from the tech titan.
'Upheaval' by Jared Diamond
Calling himself a big fan of Diamond, Gates said he finished the author's latest work, that explores how societies react during moments of crisis, feeling 'even more optimistic about our ability to solve problems' than when he started.
The tech titan lauds Diamond for using 'a series of fascinating case studies to show how nations managed existential challenges like civil war, foreign threats, or general malaise'.
'A Gentleman in Moscow' by Amor Towles
Describing the book as 'fun, clever, and surprisingly upbeat', Gates said almost everyone he knew had read it, and he only managed to join the club after his brother-in-law sent him a copy. Recommending it, he called it an amazing story that anyone can enjoy, even those who don't enjoy reading about Russia as much as him.
The novel follows the journey of a count sentenced to life under house arrest in Moscow's Metropol hotel - where Gates himself has stayed. In a detailed (separate) review of the book, Gates says the 'book will take you on a trip you’ll never forget'.
'Presidents at War' by Michael Beschloss
Gates revealed that he picked this up due to his interest in all aspects of the Vietnam War. But by the time he was done, he had learned 'a lot not only about Vietnam but about the eight other major conflicts the U.S. entered between the turn of the 19th century and the 1970s'. The book, as Gates says, will help you 'draw important cross-cutting lessons about presidential leadership'.
'Nine Pints of Blood' by Rose George
This recommendation comes with a disclaimer, "if you get grossed out by blood, this one probably isn’t for you." Unless you're like Gates and find it fascinating, then "he says you're bound to enjoy the book, that's filled with 'super-interesting facts that will leave you with a new appreciation for blood'.
'The Future of Capitalism' by Paul Collier
Gates says that while he may not agree with everything in the book, Collier's 'background as a development economist gives him a smart perspective on where capitalism is headed'. The tech titan goes on to add that he finds his analysis better than his proposed solutions, but it's a 'thought-provoking look' at a topic that’s top of mind for a lot of people right now.