Bill Gates Names 5 Books You Should Read This Summer

It’s some­thing of a tra­di­tion. Every sum­mer, philanthropist/Microsoft founder Bill Gates rec­om­mends five books to read dur­ing the slow sum­mer months. This year’s list, he tells us, wres­tles with some big ques­tions: “What makes a genius tick? Why do bad things hap­pen to good peo­ple? Where does human­i­ty come from, and where are we head­ed?”

And now, with­out no fur­ther ado, here’s Bil­l’s list for 2018. The text below is his, not mine:

Leonar­do da Vin­ci, by Wal­ter Isaac­son. I think Leonar­do was one of the most fas­ci­nat­ing peo­ple ever. Although today he’s best known as a painter, Leonar­do had an absurd­ly wide range of inter­ests, from human anato­my to the the­ater. Isaac­son does the best job I’ve seen of pulling togeth­er the dif­fer­ent strands of Leonardo’s life and explain­ing what made him so excep­tion­al. A wor­thy fol­low-up to Isaacson’s great biogra­phies of Albert Ein­stein and Steve Jobs. [Read his blog post on the book here.]

Every­thing Hap­pens for a Rea­son and Oth­er Lies I’ve Loved, by Kate Bowler. When Bowler, a pro­fes­sor at Duke Divin­i­ty School, is diag­nosed with stage IV colon can­cer, she sets out to under­stand why it hap­pened. Is it a test of her char­ac­ter? The result is a heart­break­ing, sur­pris­ing­ly fun­ny mem­oir about faith and com­ing to grips with your own mor­tal­i­ty. [Read his blog post on the book here.]

Lin­coln in the Bar­do, by George Saun­ders. I thought I knew every­thing I need­ed to know about Abra­ham Lin­coln, but this nov­el made me rethink parts of his life. It blends his­tor­i­cal facts from the Civ­il War with fan­tas­ti­cal elements—it’s basi­cal­ly a long con­ver­sa­tion among 166 ghosts, includ­ing Lincoln’s deceased son. I got new insight into the way Lin­coln must have been crushed by the weight of both grief and respon­si­bil­i­ty. This is one of those fas­ci­nat­ing, ambigu­ous books you’ll want to dis­cuss with a friend when you’re done. [Read his blog post on this book here.]

Ori­gin Sto­ry: A Big His­to­ry of Every­thing, by David Chris­t­ian. David cre­at­ed my favorite course of all time, Big His­to­ry. It tells the sto­ry of the uni­verse from the big bang to today’s com­plex soci­eties, weav­ing togeth­er insights and evi­dence from var­i­ous dis­ci­plines into a sin­gle nar­ra­tive. If you haven’t tak­en Big His­to­ry yet, Ori­gin Sto­ry is a great intro­duc­tion. If you have, it’s a great refresh­er. Either way, the book will leave you with a greater appre­ci­a­tion of humanity’s place in the uni­verse. [Read his blog post on this book here.]

Fact­ful­ness, by Hans Rosling, with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Ronnlund. I’ve been rec­om­mend­ing this book since the day it came out. Hans, the bril­liant glob­al-health lec­tur­er who died last year, gives you a break­through way of under­stand­ing basic truths about the world—how life is get­ting bet­ter, and where the world still needs to improve. And he weaves in unfor­get­table anec­dotes from his life. It’s a fit­ting final word from a bril­liant man, and one of the best books I’ve ever read. [Read his blog post on this book here.]

You can find Gate’s read­ing lists from pre­vi­ous sum­mers in the Relat­eds below.

via Gates Notes

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Bill Gates Rec­om­mends Five Books for Sum­mer 2017

5 Books Bill Gates Wants You to Read This Sum­mer (2016)

Bill Gates, Book Crit­ic, Names His Top 5 Books of 2015

Sum­mer 2014

Sum­mer 2013

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