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Bill Gates is back with his summer reading list - this time with content to face the pandemic and take a break from it

It's more than just books on the list this time.

ET Online|
Last Updated: May 22, 2020, 01.09 PM IST
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Gates's 2020 list has more than just books to keep you going through these tough times.
NEW DELHI: The silver lining to the pandemic-induced lockdown has been the slowed pace of life that has given us a chance, and the time, to read more, watch more and learn more.

Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, who has committed his time to the fight against Covid, has an annual tradition of sharing his reading list. And while he may have his hands full at the moment, with most of his conversations and meetings these days being about Covid-19 and how to stem the tide, he is often also asked about what he's reading and watching. So the 64-year-old leader decided not to let the pandemic disturb his annual ritual.

In a post on his blog, Gates Notes, the billionaire wrote, "I’m always happy to talk about great books and TV shows (and to hear what other people are doing, since I’m usually in the market for recommendations). So, in addition to the five new book reviews I always write for my summer book list, I included a number of other recommendations. I hope you find something that catches your interest."

While many of the recommendations this summer include books and shows that are relevant for the times we are living in - from having a fighting spirit during challenges and learning from past pandemics, to discovering the best and worst in humanity, and meditation - there are also a few to take your mind off the current situation.

Here's a look at what Gates is reading and watching:

'The Ride of a Lifetime' by Bob Iger

'The Ride of a Lifetime' by Bob Iger
'The Ride of a Lifetime' by Bob Iger

Bill Gates is probably the last person who you would think needs business lessons, but finding this book on his list only goes to show that you should never stop learning. The business book by the Disney boss is one that Gates says is perfect whether you’re looking for business insights or just for an entertaining read.

'Cloud Atlas' by David Mitchell

'Cloud Atlas' by David Mitchell
'Cloud Atlas' by David Mitchell

A book that really kept Gates engrossed. The billionaire boss recommends it to those who're in the mood for a compelling tale about the best and worst of humanity.

'The Great Influenza' by John M. Barry

'The Great Influenza' by John M. Barry
'The Great Influenza' by John M. Barry

If you're looking for lessons on living through a pandemic, chances are you've already been looking up the 1918 influenza pandemic. But Barry's book, Gates says, will teach you almost everything you need to know about one of the deadliest outbreaks in human history.

'The Choice' by Dr. Edith Eva Eger

'The Choice' by Dr. Edith Eva Eger
'The Choice' by Dr. Edith Eva Eger

Describing the book as part memoir and part guide to processing trauma, Gates says it will help people will find comfort right now from Eger's suggestions on how to handle difficult situations.

'Good Economics for Hard Times' by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo

'Good Economics for Hard Times' by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo
'Good Economics for Hard Times' by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo

Economists Banerjee and Duflo have become household names since winning the Nobel Prize in Economics last year. Their book , Gates says, "takes on inequality and political divisions by focusing on policy debates that are at the forefront in wealthy countries like the United States."

In addition to these five, Gates has also listed several other books that kept him company. Among them is Andy Puddicombe's 'The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness', which, as Gates - who meditates thrice a week - notes, "at a time when we all could use a few minutes to de-stress and re-focus each day, this is a great place to start."

Also on the list are 'Moonwalking with Einstein' by Joshua Foer that'll teach you how memory works, Andy Weir's 'The Martian', Amor Towles's 'A Gentleman in Moscow' - a book with a protagonist whose situation may remind you of yourself in more ways than one, and 'The Rosie Trilogy' by Graeme Simsion - which was recommended to him by wife Melinda.

'A Gentleman in Moscow' by Amor Towles
'A Gentleman in Moscow' by Amor Towles

If you're looking for some graphic novels or comic books, Gates has a few of those as well - though he does admit that he doesn't read too many in the genre.

'The Best We Could Do' by Thi Bui, 'Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things that Happened' by Allie Brosh, and former NASA engineer Randall Munroe's 'What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions' and 'XKCD Volume 0' make it to his list.

And if you're not a bibliophile but would still like to consume content that Gates is, he recommends the Netflix documentary 'Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak' in addition to 'A Million Little Things', 'This Is Us', and 'Ozark'.

He also has the 'I, Claudius' - a 1970s BBC series set during the Roman empire - on his to-watch list.

Gates also went back to watch Robert Redford and Brad Pitt's 'Spy Game', which he says is one of his favourite movies.

And finally, a wild card entry in these unprecedented times - online bridge. Gates's favourite partner is Warren Buffett, and while the two top bosses are sheltering in place, they still catch up online, on the platform Bridge Base. Gates has kept their usernames private, but you can always hope to end up playing with them some day.


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