Bill Gates Recommends Five Books to Read This Summer

It’s becom­ing an annu­al rit­u­al. Every sum­mer Bill Gates offers us a read­ing list–5‑books to take on vaca­tion. As you’ll see, his list assumes that even if you’re phys­i­cal­ly on vaca­tion, your mind isn’t. The curi­ous mind takes no breaks. Bill writes:

Upheaval, by Jared Dia­mond. I’m a big fan of every­thing Jared has writ­ten, and his lat­est is no excep­tion. The book explores how soci­eties react dur­ing moments of cri­sis. He uses a series of fas­ci­nat­ing case stud­ies to show how nations man­aged exis­ten­tial chal­lenges like civ­il war, for­eign threats, and gen­er­al malaise. It sounds a bit depress­ing, but I fin­ished the book even more opti­mistic about our abil­i­ty to solve prob­lems than I start­ed. More here.

Nine Pints, by Rose George. If you get grossed out by blood, this one prob­a­bly isn’t for you. But if you’re like me and find it fas­ci­nat­ing, you’ll enjoy this book by a British jour­nal­ist with an espe­cial­ly per­son­al con­nec­tion to the sub­ject. I’m a big fan of books that go deep on one spe­cif­ic top­ic, so Nine Pints (the title refers to the vol­ume of blood in the aver­age adult) was right up my alley. It’s filled with super-inter­est­ing facts that will leave you with a new appre­ci­a­tion for blood. More here.

A Gen­tle­man in Moscow, by Amor Towles. It seems like every­one I know has read this book. I final­ly joined the club after my broth­er-in-law sent me a copy, and I’m glad I did. Towles’s nov­el about a count sen­tenced to life under house arrest in a Moscow hotel is fun, clever, and sur­pris­ing­ly upbeat. Even if you don’t enjoy read­ing about Rus­sia as much as I do (I’ve read every book by Dos­toyevsky), A Gen­tle­man in Moscow is an amaz­ing sto­ry that any­one can enjoy. More here.

Pres­i­dents of War, by Michael Beschloss. My inter­est in all aspects of the Viet­nam War is the main rea­son I decid­ed to pick up this book. By the time I fin­ished it, I 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. Beschloss’s broad scope lets you draw impor­tant cross-cut­ting lessons about pres­i­den­tial lead­er­ship. More here.

The Future of Cap­i­tal­ism, by Paul Col­lier. Collier’s lat­est book is a thought-pro­vok­ing look at a top­ic that’s top of mind for a lot of peo­ple right now. Although I don’t agree with him about everything—I think his analy­sis of the prob­lem is bet­ter than his pro­posed solutions—his back­ground as a devel­op­ment econ­o­mist gives him a smart per­spec­tive on where cap­i­tal­ism is head­ed.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Bill Gates Names 5 Books You Should Read This Sum­mer (2018)

Bill Gates Rec­om­mends Five Books for Sum­mer 2017

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

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