Bill Gates' Top Reads (List 2)
Bill Gates is a co-founder of Microsoft and is an avid reader. Take a look at his lists for some reading suggestions that may help shape you in ways you never imagined.
Reinventing American Health Care: How the Affordable Care Act will Improve our Terribly Complex, Blatantly Unjust, Outrageously Expensive, Grossly Inefficient, Error Prone System
Ezekiel J. Emanuel
The facts and history that Emanuel lays out would be useful to anyone involved in the debate over health care, no matter what their point of view is.
1 / 50
A great introduction to the use of statistics, and a great refresher for anyone who’s already well versed in it.
2 / 50
Unlike a lot of people who write about the environment, Kolbert doesn’t resort to hype. She just lays out the facts and wraps them in memorable anecdotes. It’s a sobering but engaging and informative read.
3 / 50
Julian M. Allwood
Although the topic can be dry as a desert, the authors keep it light with lots of colorful illustrations and clever analogies without sacrificing clarity or rigor. I learned a lot from this thoughtful look at a critical topic.
4 / 50
William H. Foege
Bill Foege is one of my heroes. Among his many accomplishments, he was instrumental in ridding the world of smallpox, which is still the only human disease ever eradicated. This book gives you a great view from the front lines of that battle.
5 / 50
The book is filled with helpful explanations and drawings of everything from a dishwasher to a nuclear power plant. And Munroe’s jokes are laugh-out-loud funny. This is a wonderful guide for curious minds.
6 / 50
Anyone interested in politics may be attracted to Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail – but Some Don’t. Silver got a lot of attention in 2012 for predicting—accurately, as it turned out—the results of the U.S. presidential election. This book actually came out before the election, though, and it’s about predictions in many domains besides politics.
7 / 50
I enjoyed Eli Broad's succinct memoir, The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking. He believes you may have to be “unreasonable” sometimes to accomplish your goals. He’s certainly accomplished a lot.
8 / 50
Awakening Joy: 10 Steps That Will Put You on the Road to Real Happiness by James Baraz (Jan 12 2010)
It’s about enjoying your life, consciously picking the things that make life more enjoyable and purposefully thinking about them. It shows how to think about spirituality and purpose in your life.
9 / 50
I have a soft spot for Japan that dates back three decades or so, when I first traveled there for Microsoft. Today, of course, Japan is intensely interesting to anyone who follows global economics.
10 / 50
Nick is one of those original thinkers who makes you say: More people should know about this guy’s work. He is trying to right a scientific wrong by getting people to fully appreciate the role that energy plays in all living things.
11 / 50
Carol S Dweck
12 / 50
Yuval Noah Harari
I would recommend Sapiens to anyone who’s interested in the history and future of our species.
13 / 50
Rather than just focusing on Nixon’s presidency, Thomas takes a cradle-to-the-grave approach and gives you sharp insights into the inner workings of a brilliant, flawed, and conflicted man.
14 / 50
In his book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, Steven Pinker shows with data and charts how violence is declining.
15 / 50
If you want to read just one book about malaria, The Fever is probably the best choice. Author Sonia Shah doesn’t overwhelm you with data and analytics, but she does cover the whole history of the disease, which—as the title suggests—goes back further than you might think.
16 / 50
Nancy Leys Stepan
Stepan’s history of eradication efforts gives you a good sense of how involved the work can get, how many different kinds of approaches have been tried without success, and how much we’ve learned from our failures.
17 / 50
Cynthia Stokes Brown
If you like big history as much as I do, read this book. The author, Cynthia Stokes Brown, has also written a lot of the material for our Big History online course.
18 / 50
I learned to play bridge from my parents, but I really started to enjoy it after I started playing with Warren Buffett. I’m lucky that I get to play with bridge players who are dramatically better than I am, and who are nice enough to make comments that will help me do it right next time. And that’s a lot of fun.
19 / 50
Richard K. Lester
I could not agree more that energy innovation is crucial to our future—and that we need to change the way we approach that innovation here in the U.S.
20 / 50
Donella H. Meadows
The 1972 findings of these three MIT scientists was a pretty unsettling look at the risk of “overshoot”—overconsumption of the planet’s available resources. This update offers some encouragement.
21 / 50
Peter H. Diamandis
I could relate to a lot in this book. The authors argue that we'll be able to meet and exceed the needs of every person in the world, through technology, innovation, and philanthropy.
22 / 50
Paul Collier’s first book, The Bottom Billion, looked at poverty in 50 small nations. Here, he looks at the need to provide resources to developing countries while protecting the environment.
23 / 50
This book draws from more than 8,500 data sources and 10,000 datasets on disease. I found that it really gives a comprehensive picture of global health through its publication date.
24 / 50
Thomas Byrne Edsall
This book came out in 2012, but I think it continues to be topical, as our political parties in the U.S. debate economic choices.
25 / 50
Smil uses his understanding of a phenomenal range of subjects to consider what catastrophes the next 50 years might bring—and how we need to be prepared.
26 / 50
Lots of countries took advantage of cheap credit, in ways they came to regret. I was interested by the way the author relates it to the U.S. economy.
27 / 50
As a companion guide to the larger book, Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries, this book gives a an overview of the scope of diseases and the work needed to fight them.
28 / 50
I’m fascinated by the work of Dr. Atul Gawande, who is testing the use of a simple checklist to increase the maternal and infant survival rate during childbirth in developing countries.
29 / 50
Vaclav Smil considers the twenty-first century’s crucial question: how to reconcile the increasing demand for energy with the economic, environmental, and security costs of using fossil fuels.
30 / 50
This book really is a “biography” of cancer—a disease that everyone dreads. You learn about its history, from early diagnoses to the 20th century progress in treatments.
31 / 50
Randall M. Packard
Authoritative, fascinating, and eye-opening, this short history of malaria concludes with policy recommendations for improving control strategies and saving lives.
32 / 50
At almost $500, Modernist Cuisine will be out of reach for many people, but for aficionados who want to understand everything there is to know about what they’re cooking and eating, it is a huge contribution.
33 / 50
Carol J. Loomis
Carol Loomis has done us all a big favor in pulling together this collection and writing quite thoughtful introductions to the major pieces. Examining the arc of Warren’s business life in his own words and those of other gifted observers (preeminently, Carol Loomis, herself) is an extremely worthwhile use of time to get into the mind of this remarkable business leader and philanthropist.
34 / 50
I have new perspective on the power of those fears after reading On Immunity, by the Northwestern University lecturer and essayist Eula Biss. When I stumbled across the book on the Internet, I thought it might be a worthwhile read. I had no idea what a pleasure reading it would be.
35 / 50
Though far from a saint, Joseph Kennedy in many ways exemplifies the best in American political, economic, and social life. His rags-to-riches story is one of exclusion and quiet discrimination overcome by entrepreneurship, ingenuity, and unshakable endurance.
36 / 50
But if you care about understanding the impact that humans are having on the Earth, and what that means for our future, it’s a crucial question. Vaclav Smil sets out to answer it in his book Harvesting the Biosphere: What We Have Taken From Nature.
37 / 50
Amanda Bennett’s memoir, The Cost of Hope tells a very human story about her husband Terence and his battle against a rare form of kidney cancer. Amanda’s story is personal, filled with moments of anguish, grief and love but she also tries to draw attention to what she discovers is a flawed health care system. It is a perfect example about why all of the hard decisions about health care spending are just that.
38 / 50
Melinda and I have both read it and like it a lot. We’ve known Peter for many years because of our friendship with Warren, and the whole Buffett family. It’s a thoughtful and touching book, and we plan on reading it with our older children.
39 / 50
Recommended by Bill Gates.
40 / 50
The City That Became Safe: New York's Lessons for Urban Crime and Its Control (Studies in Crime and Public Policy)
Franklin E. Zimring
This is an interesting look at how New York City reduced its crime rate exponentially, without increasing its prison population.
41 / 50
Robert B. Archibald
There’s a lot of concern about the cost of college. This book puts tuition in the context of the larger economy, and offers suggestions for policy to increase access.
42 / 50
Doris Kearns Goodwin
I’m especially interested in the central question that Doris Kearns Goodwin raises in The Bully Pulpit: How does social change happen? Can it be driven by a single inspirational leader, or do other factors have to lay the groundwork first?
43 / 50
This is one of two Randall Munroe books I’ve read, and it is (by design) the funnier of the pair. It’s a collection of posts from his blog XKCD, which is made up of cartoons he draws making fun of things—mostly scientists and computers, but lots of other things too.
44 / 50
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened
It might be even more valuable for those who have a friend, colleague, or family member who has experienced depression. Hyperbole and a Half gave me a new appreciation for what a depressed person is feeling and not feeling, and what’s helpful and not helpful.
45 / 50
The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World)
Robert J. Gordon
Gordon does a phenomenal job illustrating just how different life was in 1870 than it was in 1970, through both an economic analysis and engaging narrative descriptions.
46 / 50
Business Adventures remains the best business book I’ve ever read. John Brooks is still my favorite business writer.
47 / 50
Ultimately the book is less about genetics or thinking too logically or the main character’s hilarious journey than it is about getting inside the mind and heart of someone a lot of people see as odd—and discovering that he isn’t really that different from anybody else.
48 / 50
The Road to Character gave me a lot to think about. It is a thought-provoking look at what it means to live life well.
49 / 50
As a mayor and governor, Rendell faced up to some very messed-up budget situations and made some smart trade-offs. I thought his point of view was really refreshing. He makes a good point about how politics has changed in ways that make it harder for leaders to emerge.
50 / 50