8 books that Bill Gates thinks you should read
William Henry Gates III. Or for us, peasants, just Bill. The founder of the world’s largest PC software company mentioned (not long ago), some books he thinks you should read. Maybe some of them can sparkle that million-dollar idea that’s hidden inside your head.
Best-known for quitting Harvard to pursue his entrepreneur career and multi-millionaire philanthropy projects, also creating DOS, Windows, Xbox, Skype and a lot of Programming Languages, It’s not hard to understand why Gates is generally regarded as a contemporary genius. With so much baggage under his name, we decided to list 8 books that Bill Gates thinks you should read. No, they don’t follow a specific order of relevance, but they are truly amazing.
1 – Business Adventures, by John Brooks. Recommended by Warren Buffet, this book still is one of the best business book he ever read. Even though Brooks wrote more than four decades ago, he offers sharp insights into timeless fundamentals of business, like the challenge of building a large organization, hiring people with the right skills, and listening to customers’ feedback. Specially recommended for entrepreneurial mind-freaks.
2 – Stress Test, by Timothy F. Geithner. The central irony of Stress Test is that a guy who was accused of being a lousy communicator as U.S. Treasury Secretary has penned a book that is such a good read. Geithner paints a compelling human portrait of what it was like to be fighting a global financial meltdown while at the same time fighting critics inside and outside the Administration as well as his own severe guilt over his near-total absence from his family.
3 – The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Climate change is a big problem—one of the biggest we’ll face this century—but it’s not the only environmental concern on the horizon. Humans are putting down massive amounts of pavement, moving species around the planet, over-fishing and acidifying the oceans, changing the chemical composition of rivers, and more.
4 – The Vital Question, by Nick Lane. 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. He argues that we can only understand how life began, and how living things got so complex, by understanding how energy works.
5 – How Not to be Wrong, by Jordan Ellenberg. Ellenberg, a mathematician and writer, explains how math plays into our daily lives without our even knowing it. Each chapter starts with a subject that seems fairly straightforward—electoral politics, say, or the Massachusetts lottery—and then uses it as a jumping-off point to talk about the math involved. In some places the math gets quite complicated, but he always wraps things up by making sure you’re still with him.
6 – Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson. The plot gets going in the first sentence, when the moon blows up. People figure out that in two years a cataclysmic meteor shower will wipe out all life on Earth, so the world unites on a plan to keep humanity going by launching as many spacecraft as possible into orbit.
7 – The Power to Compete, by Ryoichi Mikitani and Hiroshi Mikitani. Today, of course, Japan is intensely interesting to anyone who follows global economics. Why were its companies—the juggernauts of the 1980s—eclipsed by competitors in South Korea and China? And can they come back? Those questions are at the heart of this series of dialogues between Ryoichi, an economist who died in 2013, and his son Hiroshi, founder of the Internet company Rakuten.
8 – Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Noah Yuval Harari. Harari takes on a daunting challenge: to tell the entire history of the human race in just 400 pages. He also writes about our species today and how artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and other technologies will change us in the future.
Did you like his list? Have you ever read any of these books? Tell us what you think and, If you want to see Bill Gates’s full review of them, go to: