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Bill Gates is an American business magnate, software developer, investor, and philanthropist. He is best known as the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), president and chief software architect, while also being the largest individual shareholder until May 2014. He is one of the best-known entrepreneurs and pioneers of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s.
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Prepared
What Kids Need for a Fulfilled Life
by Diane Tavenner (Sep 16, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: parentingnonfictioneducationpsychologychildrens
Diane Tavenner, founder of Summit Public Schools, offers a blueprint for a better way to educate our children, based on the revolutionary lessons, insights and methodology she and her faculty developed over 15 years at their famously successful charter schools in California and Washington, which she is now introducing to public school systems acros...
Bill Gates
Sep 12, 2019
Diane Tavenner’s book offers amazing tips on preparing kids for college, a career, and life.     source
Why We Sleep
Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
by Matthew Walker PhD (Jun 18, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionsciencehealth-wellbeingpsychologypersonal-developmentbiology
“Why We Sleep is an important and fascinating book…Walker taught me a lot about this basic activity that every person on Earth needs. I suspect his book will do the same for you.” —Bill Gates A New York Times bestseller and international sensation, this “stimulating and important book” (Financial Times) is a fascinating dive into the purpose and po...
Bill Gates
Jul 28, 2019
It took me a little longer than usual to finish Why We Sleep—ironically, because I kept following Walker’s advice to put down the book I was reading a bit earlier than I was used to, so I could get a better night’s sleep. But Walker taught me a lot about this basic activity that every person on Earth needs. I suspect his book will do the same for you.     source
Growth
From Microorganisms to Megacities (The MIT Press)
by Vaclav Smil (Sep 23, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: sciencenonfictionhistorymoney-and-financebusiness
A systematic investigation of growth in nature and society, from tiny organisms to the trajectories of empires and civilizations.Growth has been both an unspoken and an explicit aim of our individual and collective striving. It governs the lives of microorganisms and galaxies; it shapes the capabilities of our extraordinarily large brains and the f...
Bill Gates
Jun 28, 2019
Vaclav Smil’s latest masterpiece.     source
An American Marriage
A Novel
by Tayari Jones (Feb 04, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: fictioncontemporary-fiction
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years f...
Bill Gates
Jun 28, 2019
I wouldn’t say An American Marriage is a light, easy read, but it’s so well-written that you’ll find yourself sucked into it despite the heavy subject matter. If you’re looking for something thought-provoking to read this winter, you should add this one to your list.     source
This book is also recommended by
Barack ObamaOprah Winfrey
The Man Who Fed the World
by Leon Hesser (Dec 04, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
A Gentleman in Moscow
A Novel
by Amor Towles (Mar 25, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: historical-fictionfiction
The mega-bestseller with more than 1.5 million readers that is soon to be a major television series He can't leave his hotel. You won't want to.From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility--a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel.In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed...
Bill Gates
May 20, 2019
You don’t have to be a Russophile to enjoy the book, but if you are, it’s essential reading. I think early 20th century Russian history is super interesting, so I’ve read a bunch of books about Lenin and Stalin. A Gentleman in Moscow gave me a new perspective on the era, even though it’s fictional.     source
This book is also recommended by
Barack ObamaMark Russinovich
These Truths
A History of the United States
by Jill Lepore (Sep 30, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: historynonfictionpolitics
Widely hailed for its “sweeping, sobering account of the American past” (New York Times Book Review), Jill Lepore’s one-volume history of America places truth itself—a devotion to facts, proof, and evidence—at the center of the nation’s history. The American experiment rests on three ideas—“these truths,” Jefferson called them—political equality, n...
Bill Gates
May 01, 2019
I loved the book and hope lots of people read it. In keeping with its title, it’s the most honest account of the American story I’ve ever read, and one of the most beautifully written.     source
This book is also recommended by
Roman Mars
The Moment of Lift
How Empowering Women Changes the World
by Melinda Gates (Apr 22, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionbiography-and-memoir
A debut from Forbes' third most powerful woman in the world, Melinda Gates, a timely and necessary call to action for women's empowerment.For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission. Her goal, as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. ...
Bill Gates
Apr 08, 2019
I would say this even if I weren’t married to the author: The Moment of Lift is a terrific read.     source
Blueprint
The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society
by Nicholas A. Christakis MD PhD (Mar 25, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: sciencenonfictionpsychologyhistorysociologyphilosophy
For too long, scientists have focused on the dark side of our biological heritage: our capacity for aggression, cruelty, prejudice, and self-interest. But natural selection has given us a suite of beneficial social features, including our capacity for love, friendship, cooperation, and learning. Beneath all of our inventions -- our tools, farms, ma...
Bill Gates
Apr 01, 2019
In his terrific book Blueprint, Christakis explains that humans have evolved to work together and be social. Although this instinct originally developed because it made us more likely to live longer, our need to form groups has had a huge impact on human history.     source
This book is also recommended by
Eric SchmidtNassim Nicholas TalebNiall Ferguson
Army of None
Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War
by Paul Scharre (Mar 11, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionsciencetechnologypolitics
The era of autonomous weapons has arrived. Today around the globe, at least thirty nations have weapons that can search for and destroy enemy targets all on their own. Paul Scharre, a leading expert in next-generation warfare, describes these and other high tech weapons systems—from Israel’s Harpy drone to the American submarine-hunting robot ship ...
Bill Gates
Dec 03, 2018
Unfortunately, my first attempt to educate myself on autonomous weapons was a bust. I read a book that was dry and felt really outdated. Then a few months ago I picked up Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War, by Paul Scharre. It’s the book I had been waiting for. I can’t recommend it highly enough.     source
Educated
A Memoir
by Tara Westover (Feb 19, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionbiography-and-memoireducationspirituality-and-religionadult
Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag". In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's ...
Bill Gates
Dec 03, 2018
I thought I was pretty good at teaching myself—until I read Tara Westover’s memoir Educated. Her ability to learn on her own blows mine right out of the water. I was thrilled to sit down with her recently to talk about the book.     source
Upheaval
Turning Points for Nations in Crisis
by Jared Diamond (May 06, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: historynonfictionpoliticssciencemoney-and-finance
In his international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Now, in his third book in this monumental trilogy, he reveals how successful nations recover from crises while adopting selective changes -- a coping mechanism more commonly associated with indi...
Bill Gates
Nov 12, 2018
Jared Diamond explains why some nations flourish in tough times.     source
The Future of Capitalism
Facing the New Anxieties
by Paul Collier (Dec 03, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: money-and-financenonfictionpoliticsbusiness
Bill Gates's Five Books for Summer Reading 2019From world-renowned economist Paul Collier, a candid diagnosis of the failures of capitalism and a pragmatic and realistic vision for how we can repair it.Deep new rifts are tearing apart the fabric of the United States and other Western societies: thriving cities versus rural counties, the highly skil...
Bill Gates
Nov 12, 2018
A renowned economist’s thought-provoking new book.     source
This book is also recommended by
Vinod Khosla
Presidents of War
The Epic Story, from 1807 to Modern Times
by Michael Beschloss (Oct 08, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: historynonfictionpolitics
From a preeminent presidential historian comes a groundbreaking and often surprising narrative of America’s wartime chief executives It sometimes seems, in retrospect, as if America has been almost continuously at war. Ten years in the research and writing, Presidents of War is a fresh, magisterial, intimate look at a procession of American leaders...
Bill Gates
Nov 02, 2018
The richest insights for me came from the fact that the book’s broad scope lets you draw important cross-cutting lessons about presidential leadership.     source
Bad Blood
Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
by John Carreyrou (Jan 27, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionbusinessscience
In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the next Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with its breakthrough device, which performed the whole range of laboratory tests from a single drop of blood. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Ti...
Bill Gates
Aug 20, 2018
I don’t read a lot of page turners. I often find myself unable to put a book down—but they’re not the kinds of books that would keep most people glued to their chairs. Still, I recently found myself reading a book so compelling that I couldn’t turn away.     source
This book is also recommended by
Andrew ChenChris MessinaRuss Poldrack
Capitalism without Capital
The Rise of the Intangible Economy
by Jonathan Haskel (Oct 15, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: money-and-financebusinessnonfictionpolitics
Early in the twenty-first century, a quiet revolution occurred. For the first time, the major developed economies began to invest more in intangible assets, like design, branding, and software, than in tangible assets, like machinery, buildings, and computers. For all sorts of businesses, the ability to deploy assets that one can neither see nor to...
Bill Gates
Aug 14, 2018
The book is eye opening, but it’s not for everyone. Although Haskel and Westlake are good about explaining things, you need some familiarity with economics to follow what they’re saying. If you’ve taken an economics course or regularly read the finance section of the Economist, however, you shouldn’t have any trouble following their arguments.     source
Everything Happens for a Reason
And Other Lies I've Loved
by Kate Bowler (Jun 03, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionbiography-and-memoirspirituality-and-religion
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - "A meditation on sense-making when there's no sense to be made, on letting go when we can't hold on, and on being unafraid even when we're terrified."--Lucy Kalanithi"Belongs on the shelf alongside other terrific books about this difficult subject, like Paul Kalanithi's When Breath Becomes Air and Atul Gawande's Being Mo...
Bill Gates
May 21, 2018
Kate Bowler shows in her wonderful new memoir, Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved, some “why” questions can’t be answered satisfactorily with facts.     source
Leonardo da Vinci
by Walter Isaacson (Oct 01, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: biography-and-memoirnonfictionhistoryartscience
"He was history's most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us? The author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography. Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo's astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weav...
Bill Gates
May 21, 2018
Given my fascination with Leonardo, I was eager to read Leonardo da Vinci, Walter Isaacson’s new biography. I’ve read a lot about Leonardo over the years, but I had never found one book that satisfactorily covered all the different facets of his life and work.     source
This book is also recommended by
Shah Rukh KhanMarina Amaral
Origin Story
A Big History of Everything
by David Christian (May 21, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: historynonfictionscience
** A 2018 GoodReads Choice Award Nominee in the History & Biography category**A captivating history of the universe -- from before the dawn of time through the far reaches of the distant future.Most historians study the smallest slivers of time, emphasizing specific dates, individuals, and documents. But what would it look like to study the whole o...
Bill Gates
May 21, 2018
If you haven’t taken Big History, Origin Story introduces you to its concepts in a straightforward, understandable way. David is a very good writer, and he has a way of making complicated subjects fun. If you’re already a Big Historian, Origin Story is a great refresher. It does a fantastic job distilling the latest thinking about the origins of the universe. I learned some things that are simply too new to be included in the course.     source
Lincoln in the Bardo
A Novel
by George Saunders (Feb 05, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: fictionhistorical-fictionfantasy
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented Named One of the Ten Best Books of the...
Bill Gates
May 21, 2018
Lincoln in the Bardo is heavy stuff for a summer book, but I’m really glad I picked it up. It’s a quick read thanks to its play-like format, and some of the ghosts’ stories are surprisingly funny given the subject matter. If you’re an Abraham Lincoln buff like me, you won’t regret taking this one on your next vacation.     source
Factfulness
Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think
by Hans Rosling (Apr 06, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionsciencepsychologymoney-and-financehistorypoliticsbusinesspersonal-developmentsociologyphilosophy
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER“One of the most important books I’ve ever read—an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.” – Bill Gates“Hans Rosling tells the story of ‘the secret silent miracle of human progress’ as only he can. But Factfulness does much more than that. It also explains why progress is so often secret and silent...
Bill Gates
May 18, 2018
Factfulness is one of the most educational books I’ve ever read.     source
This book is also recommended by
Barack ObamaMark SusterHoward Marks
Turtles All the Way Down
by John Green (Jun 10, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: teen-and-young-adultfictioncontemporary-fiction
THE INSTANT #1 BESTSELLER IS NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK! FEATURED ON 60 MINUTES and FRESH AIR"So surprising and moving and true that I became completely unstrung." - The New York Times Named a best book of the year by: The New York Times, NPR, TIME, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, Publishers Weekly, BookP...
Bill Gates
May 18, 2018
Readers of all ages will enjoy John Green’s latest novel, Turtles All the Way Down.     source
Enlightenment Now
The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
by Steven Pinker (Jan 14, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionsciencephilosophyhistorypsychologypolitics
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018ONE OF THE ECONOMIST'S BOOKS OF THE YEAR"My new favorite book of all time." --Bill Gates If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlig...
Bill Gates
Jan 26, 2018
My new favorite book of all time.     source
Becoming Steve Jobs
The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader
by Brent Schlender (Jun 06, 2016)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: biography-and-memoirnonfictionbusinesstechnologyhistoryleadership
Now in paperback, the #1 New York Times bestselling biography of how Steve Jobs became the most visionary CEO in history. With a new foreword by Marc Andreessen and new afterword by the authors, Becoming Steve Jobs is a narrative on Jobs' evolution as a manager and leader, as an astute CEO, as a father, and as a visionary with an unparalled sense o...
Business Adventures
Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street
by John Brooks (Aug 11, 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: businessnonfictionmoney-and-finance
This business classic written by longtime New Yorker contributor John Brooks is an insightful and engaging look into corporate and financial life in America. What do the $350 million Ford Motor Company disaster known as the Edsel, the fast and incredible rise of Xerox, and the unbelievable scandals at General Electric and Texas Gulf Sulphur have in...
Bill Gates
Jul 13, 2014
The best business book I’ve ever read.     source
This book is also recommended by
Warren BuffettMichael DellChristy Lamagna
Checklist Manifesto
by Atul Gawande (Jan 03, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionbusinesspersonal-development
A New York Times BestsellerIn latest bestseller, Atul Gawande shows what the simple idea of the checklist reveals about the complexity of our lives and how we can deal with it.The modern world has given us stupendous know-how. Yet avoidable failures continue to plague us in health care, government, the law, the financial industryin almost every rea...
The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Dec 31, 2020)
Bill Gates
Melinda and I really like The Great Gatsby. When we were first dating, she had a green light that she would turn on when her office was empty and it made sense for me to come over.     source
This book is also recommended by
Daniel Pink
Hit Refresh
The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone
by Satya Nadella (Nov 04, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: businessnonfictionbiography-and-memoirtechnologyleadership
“At the core, Hit Refresh, is about us humans and the unique quality we call empathy, which will become ever more valuable in a world where the torrent of technology will disrupt the status quo like never before.” – Satya Nadella from Hit Refresh“Satya has charted a course for making the most of the opportunities created by technology while also fa...
Bill Gates
Has charted a course for making the most of the opportunities created by technology while also facing up to the hard questions.     source
This book is also recommended by
Mark Russinovich
Billion Dollar Whale
The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World
by Bradley Hope (Oct 21, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionbusinessmoney-and-financebiography-and-memoirhistorypolitics
Named a Best Book of 2018 by the Financial Times and Fortune, this "thrilling" (Bill Gates) New York Times bestseller exposes how a "modern Gatsby" swindled over $5 billion with the aid of Goldman Sachs in "the heist of the century" (Axios).Now a #1 international bestseller, BILLION DOLLAR WHALE is "an epic tale of white-collar crime on a global sc...
Bill Gates
As Bad Blood is to biotech, Billion Dollar Whale is to international finance. A wonderful read. Thrilling.     source
This book is also recommended by
Alexis OhanianRaoul PalMorgan Housel
Tools and Weapons
The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age
by Brad Smith (Sep 09, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: technologynonfictionbusinessscience
With a foreword by Bill Gates From Microsoft's President and one of the tech industry's wisest thinkers, a frank and thoughtful reckoning with how to balance enormous promise and existential risk as the digitization of everything accelerates.Microsoft President Brad Smith operates by a simple core belief: when your technology changes the world, you...
Bill Gates
A clear, compelling guide to some of the most pressing debates in technology today.     source
21 Lessons for the 21st Century
by Yuval Noah Harari (Aug 19, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionhistoryphilosophysciencepoliticspsychologysociologytechnology
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - In Sapiens, he explored our past. In Homo Deus, he looked to our future. Now, one of the most innovative thinkers on the planet turns to the present to make sense of today's most pressing issues."Fascinating . . . a crucial global conversation about how to take on the problems of the twenty-first century."--Bill Gates...
Bill Gates
A guide to worrying in the 21st century.     source
Nine Pints
A Journey Through the Mysterious, Miraculous World of Blood
by Rose George (Jul 31, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionsciencehistoryhealth-wellbeing
An eye-opening exploration of blood, the lifegiving substance with the power of taboo, the value of diamonds, and the promise of breakthrough scienceBlood carries life, yet the sight of it makes people faint. It is a waste product and a commodity pricier than oil. It can save lives and transmit deadly infections. Each one of us has roughly nine pin...
Bill Gates
Everything you wanted to know about blood.     source
Born a Crime
Stories from a South African Childhood
by Trevor Noah (Feb 11, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionbiography-and-memoir
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man's coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followedNAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Michiko Kakutani, New York Times - USA Today - San Francisco Chronicle - NPR - Esquire - Newsday - Booklist...
Bill Gates
Trevor Noah’s funny and moving account of growing up in South Africa.     source
Energy and Civilization
A History (The MIT Press)
by Vaclav Smil (Nov 12, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: historynonfictionsciencemoney-and-financetechnology
A comprehensive account of how energy has shaped society throughout history, from pre-agricultural foraging societies through today's fossil fuel-driven civilization.I wait for new Smil books the way some people wait for the next 'Star Wars' movie. In his latest book, Energy and Civilization: A History, he goes deep and broad to explain how innovat...
Bill Gates
Goes deep and broad to explain how innovations in humans’ ability to turn energy into heat, light, and motion have been a driving force behind our cultural and economic progress over the past 10,000 years.     source
Blitzscaling
The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies
by Reid Hoffman (Oct 08, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: businessnonfictionmanagementtechnology
Foreword by Bill Gates LinkedIn cofounder, legendary investor, and host of the award-winning Masters of Scale podcast reveals the secret to starting and scaling massively valuable companies.What entrepreneur or founder doesn't aspire to build the next Amazon, Facebook, or Airbnb? Yet those who actually manage to do so are exceedingly rare. So what ...
Bill Gates
The case studies you’re about to explore and the tools you’re about to gain have never been more relevant. This is an ideal moment to be reading this book.     source
This book is also recommended by
Eric SchmidtSam AltmanVinod KhoslaBrian Chesky
Homo Deus
A Brief History of Tomorrow
by Yuval Noah Harari (Sep 03, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionhistorysciencephilosophy
Official U.S. edition with full color illustrations throughout.NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans...
Bill Gates
A thoughtful look at what may be in store for humanity.     source
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
by Robert A. Heinlein (Jul 30, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: science-fictionfictionclassics
For fans of Artemis--The visionary tour de force from "one of the grand masters of science fiction" (The Wall Street Journal).Widely acknowledged as one of Robert A. Heinlein's greatest works, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress rose from the golden age of science fiction to become an undisputed classic--and a touchstone for the philosophy of personal res...
Bill Gates
Probably the science fiction book I read the most when I was younger.     source
This book is also recommended by
Paul GrahamChristopher Sommer
Life 3.0
Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
by Max Tegmark (Jul 30, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: sciencenonfictiontechnologyphilosophy
In this authoritative and eye-opening book, Max Tegmark describes and illuminates the recent, path-breaking advances in Artificial Intelligence and how it is poised to overtake human intelligence. How will AI affect crime, war, justice, jobs, society and our very sense of being human? The rise of AI has the potential to transform our future more th...
Bill Gates
Anyone who wants to discuss how artificial intelligence is shaping the world should read this book.     source
The New Science of Strong Materials
Or Why You Don't Fall through the Floor (Princeton Science Library)
by James Edward Gordon (May 21, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: sciencenonfictiontechnology
J. E. Gordon's classic introduction to the properties of materials used in engineering answers some fascinating and fundamental questions about how the structural world around us works. Gordon focuses on so-called strong materials--such as metals, wood, ceramics, glass, and bone--explaining in engaging and accessible terms the unique physical and c...
Bill Gates
A recapitulation of the history of materials told in an interesting and approachable way.     source
Sapiens
A Brief History of Humankind
by Yuval Noah Harari (May 14, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionhistorysciencephilosophy
100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be ens...
Bill Gates
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a fun, engaging look at early human history.     source
Shoe Dog
A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
by Phil Knight (Apr 30, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: businessbiography-and-memoirnonfiction
In this instant and tenacious New York Times bestseller, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight “offers a rare and revealing look at the notoriously media-shy man behind the swoosh” (Booklist, starred review), opening up about his company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing,...
Bill Gates
A refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like.     source
Measure What Matters
How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs
by John Doerr (Apr 23, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: businessnonfictionmanagementleadership
Legendary venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growth--and how it can help any organization thrive.
Bill Gates
I’d recommend John Doerr’s book for anyone interested in becoming a better manager.     source
This book is also recommended by
Reid HoffmanLarry PageWalter IsaacsonJim Collins
Tomorrow's Table
Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food
by Pamela C. Ronald (Apr 09, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: cooking-and-food-wine-and-spiritssciencenonfiction
"Tomorrow's Table" argues that a judicious blend of two important strands of agriculture--genetic engineering and organic farming--is key to helping feed the world's growing population in an ecologically balanced manner. Pamela Ronald, a geneticist, and her husband, Raoul Adamchak, an organic farmer, take the reader inside their lives for roughly a...
Bill Gates
For anyone who wants to learn about the science of seeds and the challenges faced by farmers.     source
I Contain Multitudes
The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life
by Ed Yong (Jan 15, 2018)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: sciencenonfictionbiologyhealth-wellbeingnature
Joining the ranks of popular science classics like The Botany of Desire and The Selfish Gene, a groundbreaking, wondrously informative, and vastly entertaining examination of the most significant revolution in biology since Darwin—a “microbe’s-eye view” of the world that reveals a marvelous, radically reconceived picture of life on earth.Every anim...
Bill Gates
Helped me see microorganisms in a whole new light.     source
Principles
Life and Work
by Ray Dalio (Sep 18, 2017)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: businessnonfictionpersonal-developmentleadershipmoney-and-finance
Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he’s developed, refined, and used over the past forty years to create unique results in both life and business—and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals.In 1975, Ray Dalio founded an investment firm, ...
Bill Gates
Ray Dalio has provided me with invaluable guidance and insights that are now available to you in Principles.     source
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)
by Robert J. Gordon (Aug 28, 2017)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: money-and-financehistorynonfictionbusinesspolitics
How America's high standard of living came to be and why future growth is under threatIn the century after the Civil War, an economic revolution improved the American standard of living in ways previously unimaginable. Electric lighting, indoor plumbing, motor vehicles, air travel, and television transformed households and workplaces. But has that ...
Bill Gates
I did find his historical analysis, which makes up the bulk of the book, utterly fascinating.     source
This book is also recommended by
Satya NadellaPatrick CollisonDan Price
Capital in the Twenty-First Century
by Thomas Piketty (Aug 13, 2017)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: money-and-financenonfictionhistorypoliticsbusinessphilosophysociologyscience
A New York Times #1 Bestseller An Amazon #1 Bestseller A Wall Street Journal #1 Bestseller A USA Today Bestseller A Sunday Times BestsellerWinner of the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year AwardWinner of the British Academy MedalFinalist, National Book Critics Circle Award"It seems safe to say that Capital in the Twenty-First Cen...
Bill Gates
A 700-page treatise on economics translated from French.     source
This book is also recommended by
David Heinemeier HanssonAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Believe Me
A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens (Random House Large Print)
by Eddie Izzard (Jun 12, 2017)
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Tags: nonfictionbiography-and-memoirhumor-and-comedy
Critically acclaimed, award-winning British comedian and actor Eddie Izzard details his childhood, his first performances on the streets of London, his ascent to worldwide success on stage and screen, and his comedy shows which have won over audiences around the world.Over the course of a thirty-year career, Eddie Izzard has proven himself to be a ...
Bill Gates
If you have seen Eddie’s stuff and you like it I promise you’ll love this book.     source
The Gene
An Intimate History
by Siddhartha Mukherjee (May 01, 2017)
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Tags: sciencenonfictionhistorybiology
The #1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller The basis for the PBS Ken Burns Documentary The Gene: An Intimate History From the Pulitzer Prizewinning author of The Emperor of All Maladiesa fascinating history of the gene and a magisterial account of how human minds have laboriously, ingeniously picked apart what makes us tick (Elle). "Sid Mukherjee has the un...
Bill Gates
Mukherjee once again shows his gift for making hard science easily accessible.     source
This book is also recommended by
John LegendAmit ParanjapeBryan Johnson
Epic Measures
One Doctor. Seven Billion Patients.
by Jeremy N. Smith (Mar 27, 2017)
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Tags: nonfictionsciencehealth-wellbeing
Moneyball meets medicine in this remarkable chronicle of one of the greatest scientific quests of our time—the groundbreaking program to answer the most essential question for humanity: how do we live and die?—and the visionary mastermind behind it.Medical doctor and economist Christopher Murray began the Global Burden of Disease studies to gain a ...
Bill Gates
A highly readable account for anyone who wants to know more about [Chris Murray]’s work and why it matters.     source
The Best We Could Do
An Illustrated Memoir
by Thi Bui (Mar 06, 2017)
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Tags: biography-and-memoirnonfictionhistory
This illustrated memoir is about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new liv...
Bill Gates
This powerful graphic novel explores parenthood and life during wartime.     source
Evicted
Poverty and Profit in the American City
by Matthew Desmond (Feb 27, 2017)
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Tags: nonfictionsociologypoliticshistory
In Evicted, Princeton sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of 21st-century America's most devastating problems. Its unforgettable sc...
Bill Gates
Gave me a better sense of what it is like to be very poor in this country than anything else I have read.     source
This book is also recommended by
Barack Obama
Energy
A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides)
by Vaclav Smil (Feb 13, 2017)
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Tags: sciencenonfictionphysicstechnologyhistory
With one famous equation, E=mc2, Einstein proved all matter can be described as energy. It is everywhere and it is everything. In this newly updated and engaging introduction, renowned scientist Vaclav Smil explores energy in all its facets – from the inner workings of the human body to what we eat, the car we drive and the race for more efficient ...
Bill Gates
There is no author whose books I look forward to more than Vaclav Smil.     source
This book is also recommended by
Mark Zuckerberg
Heart
by Maylis De Kerangal (Feb 13, 2017)
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Tags: fiction
Just before dawn on a Sunday morning, three teenage boys go surfing. While driving home exhausted, the boys are involved in a fatal car accident on a deserted road. Two of the boys are wearing seat belts; one goes through the windshield. The doctors declare him brain-dead shortly after arriving at the hospital, but his heart is still beating.The He...
Bill Gates
Melinda thought I would love The Heart. She was right.     source
Energy Transitions
Global and National Perspectives, 2nd Edition
by Vaclav Smil (Dec 04, 2016)
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Tags: sciencenonfictionhistorytechnologymoney-and-financepolitics
Based on the best international and national statistical sources, the second edition of Energy Transitions: Global and National Perspectives supplies an in-depth evaluation of how economies and nations around the world are striving to move away from traditional energy sources, the unfolding decarbonization process, and problems with intermittent en...
Bill Gates
Explains the energy transitions that have driven social, economic and technological change worldwide over time.     source
The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness
How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life in Ten Minutes a Day
by Andy Puddicombe (Sep 26, 2016)
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Tags: nonfictionpersonal-developmentpsychologyhealth-wellbeing
This program was previously published as Get Some Headspace: How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life in Ten Minutes a Day.Quiet the mind, feel less stressed and less tired, and achieve a new level of calm and fulfillment in just ten minutes a day.Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk, the Voice of Headspace, and the UK's foremost mindfulness expert,...
Bill Gates
If you want to try meditation for yourself, one good way to ease into it—especially if you’re as skeptical as I was—is to pick up a copy of The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness.     source
A Full Life
Reflections at Ninety
by Jimmy Carter (Jul 18, 2016)
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Tags: biography-and-memoirnonfictionhistorypolitics
In his major New York Times bestseller, Jimmy Carter looks back from ninety years of age and “reveals private thoughts and recollections over a fascinating career as businessman, politician, evangelist, and humanitarian” (Booklist).At ninety, Jimmy Carter reflects on his public and private life with a frankness that is disarming. He adds detail and...
Bill Gates
A quick, condensed tour of Jimmy Carter’s fascinating life.     source
This book is also recommended by
Richard Branson
Hillbilly Elegy
A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
by J. D. Vance (Jun 27, 2016)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionbiography-and-memoir
From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of Americas white working classHillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisisthat of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic o...
Bill Gates
I came away with new insights into the multifaceted cultural and family dynamics that contribute to poverty.     source
This book is also recommended by
Ben ShapiroStewart Butterfield
The Vital Question
Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life
by Nick Lane (Jun 20, 2016)
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Tags: sciencenonfictionbiologyhistory
The Earth teems with life: in its oceans, forests, skies and cities. Yet theres a black hole at the heart of biology. We do not know why complex life is the way it is, or, for that matter, how life first began. In The Vital Question, award-winning author and biochemist Nick Lane radically reframes evolutionary history, putting forward a solution to...
Bill Gates
One of those original thinkers who makes you say: More people should know about this guy’s work.     source
This book is also recommended by
PZ Myers
Seveneves
by Neal Stephenson (May 16, 2016)
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Tags: thrillerfictionscience-fictionengineering
What would happen if the world were ending?A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature co...
Bill Gates
Belongs in the subgenre of hard science fiction, which means it emphasizes scientific accuracy.     source
This book is also recommended by
Barack ObamaAdam SavageChris Young
String Theory
David Foster Wallace on Tennis
by David Foster Wallace (May 09, 2016)
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Tags: nonfiction
An instant classic of American sportswriting—the tennis essays of David Foster Wallace, “the best mind of his generation” (A. O. Scott) and “the best tennis-writer of all time” (New York Times) Both a onetime "near-great junior tennis player" and a lifelong connoisseur of the finer points of the game, David Foster Wallace wrote about tennis with th...
Bill Gates
I would say to anyone who likes tennis as much as I do, you have to read String Theory.     source
This book is also recommended by
Ben Shapiro
The Sympathizer
A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Apr 11, 2016)
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Tags: fictionhistorical-fiction
Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Sympathizer is a Vietnam War novel unlike any other. The narrator, one of the most arresting of recent fiction, is a man of two minds and divided loyalties, a half-French half-Vietnamese communist sleeper agent living in America after the end of the war.It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At ...
Bill Gates
This thrilling story about a double agent lived up to the hype.     source
The Box
How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger - Second Edition with a new chapter by the author
by Marc Levinson (Apr 04, 2016)
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Tags: nonfictionhistorybusinessmoney-and-financetechnology
In April 1956, a refitted oil tanker carried fifty-eight shipping containers from Newark to Houston. From that modest beginning, container shipping developed into a huge industry that made the boom in global trade possible. "The Box" tells the dramatic story of the container's creation, the decade of struggle before it was widely adopted, and the s...
Bill Gates
Mostly about globalization, but there is also a larger story here that touches on business and philanthropy more broadly.     source
This book is also recommended by
Jeff DeanTobi Lutke
Being Nixon
A Man Divided
by Evan Thomas (Mar 07, 2016)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: biography-and-memoirhistorypoliticsnonfiction
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH • “What was it really like to be Richard Nixon? Evan Thomas tackles this fascinating question by peeling back the layers of a man driven by a poignant mix of optimism and fear.”—Walter Isaacson,...
Bill Gates
Explores the different sides of a complicated man.     source
When Breath Becomes Air
by Paul Kalanithi (Jan 11, 2016)
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Tags: nonfictionbiography-and-memoirphilosophyscience
At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decades worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chro...
Bill Gates
This book left me in tears.     source
This book is also recommended by
Bethany S. MandelArianna Simpson
Thing Explainer
Complicated Stuff in Simple Words
by Randall Munroe (Nov 23, 2015)
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Tags: sciencenonfictionhumor-and-comedy
In Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words, things are explained in the style of Up Goer Five, using only drawings and a vocabulary of the 1,000 (or "ten hundred") most common words. Explore computer buildings (datacenters), the flat rocks we live on (tectonic plates), the things you use to steer a plane (airliner cockpit controls), and ...
Bill Gates
Nuclear physics, space travel, and other topics made easy.     source
This book is also recommended by
Naval Ravikant
Sustainable Materials Without the Hot Air
Making Buildings, Vehicles and Products Efficiently and with Less New Material
by Julian M. Allwood (Sep 30, 2015)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfiction
Part of the hugely popular Without the Hot Air series, this book is accessibly written from an engineering perspective on a wide range of materialsPresenting a vision of change for how future generations can still use steel, cement, plastics, etcetera, but with less impact on the environment, this book is a wake-up call first, and then a solutions ...
Bill Gates
An excellent book about another key factor: how we make stuff.     source
On Immunity
An Inoculation
by Eula Biss (Sep 14, 2015)
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Tags: nonfictionsciencehealth-wellbeinghistory
The hugely acclaimed New York Times Best Seller, now available in paperback!*A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist*ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2014:The New York Times Book Review (Top 10), Entertainment Weekly (Top 10), New York Magazine, Chicago Tribune (Top 10), Publishers Weekly (Top 10), Time Out New York (Top 10), Los Angeles Times, Kirku...
Bill Gates
I had no idea how informative On Immunity would be, even for someone like me who has been supporting and learning about vaccine research for many years.     source
This book is also recommended by
Mark Zuckerberg
Harvesting the Biosphere
What We Have Taken from Nature (The MIT Press)
by Vaclav Smil (Aug 20, 2015)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: sciencenonfiction
An interdisciplinary and quantitative account of human claims on the biosphere's stores of living matter, from prehistoric hunting to modern energy production.The biosphere--the Earth's thin layer of life--dates from nearly four billion years ago, when the first simple organisms appeared. Many species have exerted enormous influence on the biospher...
Bill Gates
Gives as clear and as numeric a picture as is possible of how humans have altered the biosphere.     source
The Rosie Effect
A Novel
by Graeme Simsion (Jul 20, 2015)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: fictionromancecontemporary-fictionhumor-and-comedy
Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are back. The Wife Project is complete, and Don and Rosie are happily married and living in New York. But they're about to face a new challenge because - surprise - Rosie is pregnant. Don sets about learning the protocols of becoming a father, but his unusual research style gets him into trouble with the law. Fortunatel...
Bill Gates
Melinda and I enjoyed The Rosie Effect so much that we invited Graeme to come to Seattle to talk to us about it.     source
The Great Escape
Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality
by Angus Deaton (May 25, 2015)
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Tags: money-and-financenonfictionhistorypoliticssociologyhealth-wellbeingscience
A Nobel Prize-winning economist tells the remarkable story of how the world has grown healthier, wealthier, but also more unequal over the past two and half centuriesThe world is a better place than it used to be. People are healthier, wealthier, and live longer. Yet the escapes from destitution by so many has left gaping inequalities between peopl...
Bill Gates
If you want to learn about why human welfare overall has gone up so much over time, you should read The Great Escape.     source
How Not to Be Wrong
The Power of Mathematical Thinking
by Jordan Ellenberg (May 25, 2015)
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Tags: nonfictionsciencemathpsychology
The Freakonomics of math—a math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our handsThe math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is: Math isn’t confined t...
Bill Gates
On the surface it’s about math, but it’s really about how much math plays into our daily lives without our even knowing it.     source
This book is also recommended by
Keith RaboisNick Ganju
Stress Test
Reflections on Financial Crises
by Timothy F. Geithner (May 04, 2015)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: money-and-financenonfictionbusinesspoliticshistorybiography-and-memoir
As president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and then as President Barack Obama’s secretary of the Treasury, Timothy F. Geithner helped the United States navigate the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, from boom to bust to rescue to recovery. In a candid, riveting, and historically illuminating memoir, he takes readers behin...
Bill Gates
The former Treasury Secretary's front-row view of the financial crisis.     source
This book is also recommended by
Warren BuffettPeter Adeney
The Myth of the Strong Leader
Political Leadership in the Modern Age
by Archie Brown (Apr 16, 2015)
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Tags: politicsnonfictionleadershiphistorybusiness
Archie Brown challenges the widespread belief that 'strong leaders', dominate individual wielders of power, are the most successful and admirable.Within authoritarian regimes, a collective leadership is a lesser evil compared with a personal dictatorship. Within democracies, although ‘strong leaders’ are seldom as strong or independent as they purp...
Bill Gates
Most people think strength is a positive quality in a leader, but this book proves them wrong.     source
The Road to Character
by David Brooks (Apr 13, 2015)
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Tags: nonfictionphilosophypsychologypersonal-developmentbiography-and-memoirleadership
“I wrote this book not sure I could follow the road to character, but I wanted at least to know what the road looks like and how other people have trodden it.”—David Brooks   With the wisdom, humor, curiosity, and sharp insights that have brought millions of readers to his New York Times column and his previous bestsellers, David Brooks has consist...
Bill Gates
It got me thinking about my own motivations and limitations in new ways.     source
The Signal and the Noise
Why So Many Predictions Fail--but Some Don't
by Nate Silver (Feb 02, 2015)
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Tags: nonfictionsciencebusinessmoney-and-financepoliticspsychology
"Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise is The Soul of a New Machine for the 21st century." —Rachel Maddow, author of Drift Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger—all by the time he was thirty. He solidified his sta...
Bill Gates
About predictions in many domains besides politics.     source
Eradication
Ridding the World of Diseases Forever?
by Nancy Leys Stepan (Jan 19, 2015)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: sciencenonfictionhealth-wellbeing
How shall we improve human health? One answer is: by eradication. The Gates Foundation announced in 2007 that their goal is malaria eradication; another of their priorities is polio eradication. Eradication means the complete elimination of a disease through deliberate human intervention. It stands for an absolute in public health.This book by the ...
Bill Gates
A useful history of efforts to eliminate diseases.     source
The Sixth Extinction
An Unnatural History
by Elizabeth Kolbert (Jan 05, 2015)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionsciencehistorynaturebiology
2015 Pulitzer Prize WinnerOver the last half-billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the din...
Bill Gates
Makes a compelling case that all this human activity is leading to the sixth mass extinction in the Earth’s history.     source
This book is also recommended by
Barack Obama
The Power to Compete
An Economist and an Entrepreneur on Revitalizing Japan in the Global Economy
by Hiroshi Mikitani (Nov 09, 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: businessnonfictionmoney-and-finance
"If you're as interested in Japan as I am, I think you'll find that The Power to Compete is a smart and thought-provoking look at the future of a fascinating country." - Bill Gates, "5 Books to Read This Summer" Father and son - entrepreneur and economist - search for Japan's economic cure The Power to Compete tackles the issues central to the pros...
Bill Gates
A series of dialogues between Hiroshi—founder of the Internet company Rakuten—and his father, Ryoichi, a respected economist and author.     source
The Idealist
Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty
by Nina Munk (Oct 06, 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: money-and-financenonfictionpoliticsbiography-and-memoir
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Bloomberg • Forbes • The SpectatorRecipient of Foreign Policy's 2013 Albie AwardIn 2006, Jeffrey Sachs—celebrated economist, special advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations, and author of the influential bestseller The End of Poverty— launched the Millennium Villages Project, a daring, $120-...
Bill Gates
I’ve told everyone at our foundation that I think it is worth taking the time to read The Idealist.     source
What If?
Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
by Randall Munroe (Sep 01, 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionsciencephysicshumor-and-comedyadult
Randall Munroe left NASA in 2005 to start up his hugely popular site XKCD 'a web comic of romance, sarcasm, math and language' which offers a witty take on the world of science and geeks. It now has 600,000 to a million page hits daily. Every now and then, Munroe would get emails asking him to arbitrate a science debate. 'My friend and I were argui...
Bill Gates
Munroe’s approach is a great way to learn about science.     source
This book is also recommended by
Werner VogelsAstro TellerRhett Allain
The Rosie Project
A Novel
by Graeme Simsion (Jun 02, 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: fictionromancecontemporary-fictionhumor-and-comedyadult
An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelo...
Bill Gates
Anyone who occasionally gets overly logical will identify with the hero. One of the most profound novels I’ve read in a long time.     source
Stuff Matters
Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World
by Mark Miodownik (May 26, 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: sciencenonfictionhistory
A New York Times BestsellerAn eye-opening adventure deep inside the everyday materials that surround us, packed with surprising stories and fascinating science Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does a paper clip bend? Why does any material look and behave the way it does? These are the sorts of questions that Mark Miodownik...
Bill Gates
Read this book and you’ll never look at a pencil or razor the same way.     source
How Asia Works
by Joe Studwell (May 19, 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: money-and-financenonfictionbusinesshistorypolitics
“Pithy, well-written and intellectually vigorous . . . Studwell’s thesis is bold, his arguments persuasive, and his style pugnacious. It adds up to a highly readable and important book.” —Financial TimesIn the 1980s and 1990s many in the West came to believe in the myth of an East-Asian economic miracle, with countries seen as not just development ...
Bill Gates
A good read for anyone who wants to understand what actually determines whether a developing economy will succeed.     source
This book is also recommended by
Patrick Collison
Behind the Beautiful Forevers
Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
by Katherine Boo (Apr 07, 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionhistory
In this brilliant, breathtaking book by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport. As India starts to prosper, the residents of Ann...
Bill Gates
If you want to read an unvarnished, first-hand account of life in one of India’s slums you should pick up Behind the Beautiful Forevers.     source
This book is also recommended by
Nick Thompson
Reinventing American Health Care
How the Affordable Care Act Will Improve Our Terribly Complex, Blatantly Unjust, Outrageously Expensive, Grossly Inefficient, Error Prone System
by Ezekiel J. Emanuel (Mar 03, 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionpoliticshealth-wellbeing
Health care is the largest employer in America, one of the largest perceived drains on the budget of the Federal government, a system with the capacity to bankrupt entire state economies, and one of the areas of personal expenditure that gives individual American citizens most financial anxiety. It matters like almost no other dimension of the gove...
Bill Gates
Makes the case for why the U.S. health care system needed reform and how Obamacare sets out to fix the problems.     source
Tap Dancing to Work
Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2013
by Carol J. Loomis (Dec 30, 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: businessnonfictionbiography-and-memoirmoney-and-finance
Warren Buffett built Berkshire Hathaway into something remarkable— andFortunejournalist Carol Loomis had a front-row seat for it all. When Carol Loomis first mentioned a little-known Omaha hedge fund manager in a 1966Fortunearticle, she didn’t dream that Warren Buffett would one day be considered the world’s greatest investor—nor that she and Buffe...
Bill Gates
A compilation of forty-plus years’ worth of coverage of Warren Buffett by the writers of Fortune.     source
This book is also recommended by
Warren Buffett
Making the Modern World
Materials and Dematerialization
by Vaclav Smil (Dec 15, 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: sciencenonfictionmoney-and-financebusinesshistorytechnologyphilosophy
How much further should the affluent world push its material consumption? Does relative dematerialization lead to absolute decline in demand for materials? These and many other questions are discussed and answered in Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization.Over the course of time, the modern world has become dependent on unpreceden...
Bill Gates
I gained a new appreciation for all the materials that make modern life possible.     source
The World Until Yesterday
What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?
by Jared Diamond (Oct 28, 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionhistorysciencesociologypolitics
The bestselling author of Collapse and Guns, Germs and Steel surveys the history of human societies to answer the question: What can we learn from traditional societies that can make the world a better place for all of us? Most of us take for granted the features of our modern society, from air travel and telecommunications to literacy and obesity....
Bill Gates
Made me think about how we have had to overcome some deeply ingrained behaviors in order to develop a modern, interconnected society.     source
Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China
by Ezra F. Vogel (Oct 13, 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Bill Gates
If you’re going to read one book about modern China in the period after Mao, then this is the book you should read.     source
The Bet
Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble over Earth’s Future
by Paul Sabin (Sep 02, 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionmoney-and-financesciencepoliticshistory
Are we headed for a world of scarce resources and environmental catastrophe, or will innovation and markets yield greater prosperity In 1980, the iconoclastic economist Julian Simon challenged celebrity biologist Paul Ehrlich to a bet. Their wager on the future prices of five metals captured the public’s imagination as a test of coming prosperity o...
Bill Gates
Gave me new perspective on why so many big challenges get bogged down in political battles rather than being focused on problem-solving.     source
Interventions
A Life in War and Peace
by Kofi Annan (Sep 02, 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionpoliticsbiography-and-memoirhistory
A “candid, courageous, and unsparing memoir” (The New York Review of Books) of post–Cold War politics and global statecraft Written with eloquence and unprecedented candor, Interventions is the story of Kofi Annan’s remarkable time at the center of the world stage. After forty years of service at the United Nations, Annan—who received the Nobel Pea...
Bill Gates
For anybody who wants to understand the complexities of the role of the Secretary General, this book is an illuminating read.     source
Should We Eat Meat?
Evolution and Consequences of Modern Carnivory
by Vaclav Smil (May 27, 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionsciencecooking-and-food-wine-and-spiritshealth-wellbeing
This book is a wide-ranging and interdisciplinary examination and critique of meat consumption by humans, throughout history and around the world. Setting the scene with a chapter on meat's role in human evolution and its growing influence during the development of agricultural practices, the book goes on to examine modern production systems, their...
Bill Gates
I can’t think of anyone better equipped to present a clear-eyed analysis of this subject than Vaclav Smil.     source
Prime Movers of Globalization
The History and Impact of Diesel Engines and Gas Turbines (The MIT Press)
by Vaclav Smil (Feb 07, 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: sciencehistorymoney-and-financenonfictiontechnology
The many books on globalization published over the past few years range from claims that the world is flat to an unlikely rehabilitation of Genghis Khan as a pioneer of global commerce. Missing from these accounts is a consideration of the technologies behind the creation of the globalized economy. What makes it possible for us to move billions of ...
Bill Gates
An entire book about the development and impact of gas turbines and diesel engines.     source
Poor Numbers
How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do about It (Cornell Studies in Political Economy)
by Morten Jerven (Jan 23, 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: money-and-financenonfiction
One of the most urgent challenges in African economic development is to devise a strategy for improving statistical capacity. Reliable statistics, including estimates of economic growth rates and per-capita income, are basic to the operation of governments in developing countries and vital to nongovernmental organizations and other entities that pr...
Bill Gates
Makes a strong case that a lot of GDP measurements we thought were accurate are far from it.     source
Change.edu
Rebooting for the New Talent Economy
by Andrew S Rosen (Dec 31, 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictioneducationbusiness
It’s no wonder American higher education is facing a crisis.While low-income students can’t find a spot in their local community colleges for lack of funding, public four-year universities are spending staggering sums on luxurious residence halls, ever-bigger football stadiums, and obscure research institutes. We have cosseted our most advantaged s...
Bill Gates
Builds a persuasive case that many non-traditional students, such as working adults, parents and those at risk of dropping out, are not well served by traditional institutions.     source
Hyperbole and a Half
Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened
by Allie Brosh (Dec 31, 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionbiography-and-memoirhumor-and-comedy
This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative--like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it--but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off conv...
Bill Gates
You will rip through it in three hours, tops. But you’ll wish it went on longer, because it’s funny and smart as hell.     source
The Bully Pulpit
Theodore Roosevelt and the Golden Age of Journalism
by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Dec 31, 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: historynonfictionbiography-and-memoirpolitics
One of the Best Books of the Year as chosen by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Time, USA TODAY, Christian Science Monitor, and more. A tale so gripping that one questions the need for fiction when real life is so plump with drama and intrigue; (Associated Press).Doris Kearns Goodwins The Bully Pulpit is a dynamic history of ...
Bill Gates
How Teddy Roosevelt and William Taft changed America.     source
This book is also recommended by
Nancy Pelosi
Getting Better
Why Global Development Is Succeeding--And How We Can Improve the World Even More
by Charles Kenny (Dec 03, 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: money-and-financenonfictionscience
As the income gap between developed and developing nations grows, so grows the cacophony of voices claiming that the quest to find a simple recipe for economic growth has failed. Getting Better, in sharp contrast, reports the good news about global progress. Economist Charles Kenny argues against development naysayers by pointing to the evidence of...
Bill Gates
Shines a light on the real successes of aid.     source
Awakening Joy
10 Steps to Happiness
by James Baraz (Nov 14, 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: personal-developmentnonfictionspirituality-and-religion
Awakening Joy is more than just another book about happiness. More than simply offering suggested strategies to change our behavior, it uses time-tested practices to train the mind to learn new ways of thinking. The principles of the course are universal, although much of the material includes Buddhist philosophy drawn from the author’s thirty year...
Bill Gates
Even if you don’t read many inspirational books, try this is one.     source
The Quest
Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World
by Daniel Yergin (Sep 25, 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionhistorymoney-and-financepoliticsbusinessscience
A master storyteller as well as a leading energy expert, Daniel Yergin continues the riveting story begun in his Pulitzer Prize–winning book, The Prize. In The Quest, Yergin shows us how energy is an engine of global political and economic change and conflict, in a story that spans the energies on which our civilization has been built and the new e...
Bill Gates
Quite comprehensive in looking at many different kinds of energy.     source
The Better Angels of Our Nature
Why Violence Has Declined
by Steven Pinker (Sep 24, 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionhistorypsychologysciencephilosophysociologypolitics
Believe it or not, today we may be living in the most peaceful moment in our species' existence. In his gripping and controversial new work, New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows that despite the ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism, violence has actually been in decline over long stretches of history. Exploding myths abou...
Bill Gates
One of the most important books I’ve read—not just this year, but ever.     source
The Magic of Reality
How We Know What's Really True
by Richard Dawkins (Sep 10, 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: sciencenonfictionphilosophyspirituality-and-religion
An elegant, text-only paperback edition of the New York Times bestseller that’s been hailed as the definitive authority on…everything.Richard Dawkins, bestselling author and the world’s most celebrated evolutionary biologist, has spent his career elucidating the many wonders of science. Here, he takes a broader approach and uses his unrivaled expla...
Bill Gates
An engaging, well-illustrated science textbook offering compelling answers to big questions, from how the universe formed to what causes earthquakes.     source
The Cost of Hope
A Memoir
by Amanda Bennett (Jun 04, 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: biography-and-memoirnonfiction
From Pulitzer Prize winner Amanda Bennett comes a moving, eye-opening, and beautifully written memoir—a love story of two unusual people, their complex marriage and deep devotion, and finally, Bennett’s quest to save her husband’s life.   When Wall Street Journal reporter Amanda Bennett meets the eccentric, infuriating, yet somehow irresistible Ter...
Bill Gates
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.     source
The Art of Being Unreasonable
Lessons in Unconventional Thinking
by Eli Broad (May 07, 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: businessnonfictionleadershipbiography-and-memoirpersonal-developmentpsychology
Unorthodox success principles from a billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropistEli Broad's embrace of "unreasonable thinking" has helped him build two Fortune 500 companies, amass personal billions, and use his wealth to create a new approach to philanthropy. He has helped to fund scientific research institutes, K-12 education reform, and some of ...
Bill Gates
As a creator of successful companies, Eli Broad has few equals, and The Art of Being Unreasonable clearly shows why.     source
Poor Economics
A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty
by Abhijit Banerjee (Mar 26, 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: money-and-financenonfictionbusinesspolitics
Why do the poor borrow to save? Why do they miss out on free life-saving immunizations, but pay for unnecessary drugs? In Poor Economics, Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo, two practical visionaries working toward ending world poverty, answer these questions from the ground. In a book the Wall Street Journal called “marvelous, rewarding,” the au...
Bill Gates
Does a great job of bringing alive the complexities of poor people’s lives.     source
This book is also recommended by
Harini Calamur
The Most Powerful Idea in the World
A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention
by William Rosen (Mar 14, 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: historynonfictionsciencetechnologybusinessmoney-and-finance
Hardly a week passes without some high-profile court case that features intellectual property at its center. But how did the belief that one could own an idea come about? And how did that belief change the way humankind lives and works? William Rosen, author of Justinian's Flea, seeks to answer these questions and more with The Most Powerful Idea i...
Bill Gates
An entertaining narrative weaving together the clever characters, incremental innovations and historical context behind the steam engines that gave birth to our modern world.     source
Moonwalking with Einstein
The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
by Joshua Foer (Feb 27, 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionsciencepsychologypersonal-development
The blockbuster phenomenon that charts an amazing journey of the mind while revolutionizing our concept of memory An instant bestseller that is poised to become a classic, Moonwalking with Einstein recounts Joshua Foer's yearlong quest to improve his memory under the tutelage of top "mental athletes." He draws on cutting-edge research, a surprising...
Bill Gates
I never thought much about whether I could improve my memory across a wider set of domains, but now I think I could, after reading Moonwalking with Einstein.     source
This book is also recommended by
Derek SiversTim CowlishawSahil Lavingia
For the Love of Physics
From the End of the Rainbow to the Edge of Time - A Journey Through the Wonders of Physics
by Walter Lewin (Feb 06, 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: sciencephysicsnonfictioneducation
In For the Love of Physics, beloved MIT professor Walter Lewin, whose riveting physics lectures made him a YouTube super-star, takes readers on a remarkably fun, inventive, and often wacky journey that brings the joys of physics to life.“For the Love of Physics captures Walter Lewin’s extraordinary intellect, passion for physics, and brilliance as ...
Bill Gates
Helps you appreciate that physics is pretty basic stuff.     source
A World-Class Education
Learning from International Models of Excellence and Innovation
by Vivien Stewart (Feb 01, 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: educationnonfiction
Designed to promote conversation about how to educate students for a rapidly changing, innovation-based world, this comprehensive and illuminating book from international education expert Vivien Stewart focuses on understanding what the world's best school systems are doing right for the purpose of identifying what U.S. schools at the national, sta...
Bill Gates
Looks at five countries—Singapore, Canada, Finland, China, and Australia—where students are doing significantly better on global assessments than students in the U.S.     source
Tags: physicssciencenonfiction
Description Timeless and collectible, The Feynman Lectures on Physics are essentialreading, not just for students of Physics, but for anyone seekingan insightful introduction to the field from the inimitable RichardP. Feynman. "When I look at The Feynman Lectures on Physics , I feel a verypersonal sense of closeness to them," said Feynman, looking ...
Bill Gates
You don't have to take a course to learn physics. If you're hardcore, read the Feynman book and do the problems.     source
Where Good Ideas Come From
The Natural History of Innovation
by Steven Johnson (Oct 03, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionbusinesssciencehistorypsychology
A fascinating deep dive on innovation from the New York Times bestselling author of How We Got To Now and FarsightedThe printing press, the pencil, the flush toilet, the battery--these are all great ideas. But where do they come from? What kind of environment breeds them? What sparks the flash of brilliance? How do we generate the breakthrough tech...
Bill Gates
Quite good at giving examples of how you create environments that can encourage good ideas.     source
This book is also recommended by
James AltucherJason SilvaJosh Olin
The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol. I
The New Millennium Edition
by Richard P. Feynman (Oct 03, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: sciencephysicsnonfictioneducationmath
"The whole thing was basically an experiment," Richard Feynman said late in his career, looking back on the origins of his lectures. The experiment turned out to be hugely successful, spawning publications that have remained definitive and introductory to physics for decades. Ranging from the basic principles of Newtonian physics through such formi...
Bill Gates
You don't have to take a course to learn physics. If you're hardcore, read the Feynman book and do the problems.     source
That Used to Be Us
How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back
by Thomas L. Friedman (Sep 04, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionpoliticsmoney-and-financehistorybusinesseducation
America is in trouble. We face four major challenges on which our future depends, and we are failing to meet them—and if we delay any longer, soon it will be too late for us to pass along the American dream to future generations. In That Used to Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our l...
Bill Gates
I mostly agree with their message that the answers to America’s economic challenges are to be found in its past.     source
Class Warfare
Inside the Fight to Fix America's Schools
by Steven Brill (Aug 15, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: educationnonfictionpolitics
In a reporting tour de force, award-winning journalist Steven Brill takes an uncompromising look at the adults who are fighting over America’s failure to educate its children—and points the way to reversing that failure. IN a reporting tour de force, award-winning journalist Steven Brill takes an uncompromising look at the adults who are fighting o...
Bill Gates
Shows just how difficult it is going to be to improve education.     source
The Emperor of All Maladies
A Biography of Cancer
by Siddhartha Mukherjee (Aug 08, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionsciencehistoryhealth-wellbeingbiologybiography-and-memoir
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence...
Bill Gates
I loved this brilliant book about cancer.     source
This book is also recommended by
Peter AttiaChristoph JanzLaura R Walker
Fever
by SONIA SHAH (Jun 20, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: sciencenonfictionhistoryhealth-wellbeing
In recent years, malaria has emerged as a cause célèbre for voguish philanthropists. Bill Gates, Bono, and Laura Bush are only a few of the personalities who have opened their pocketbooks in hopes of eradicating the scourge. How does a parasitic disease that we've known how to prevent for more than a century still infect three hundred million peopl...
Bill Gates
If you want to read just one book about malaria, The Fever is probably the best choice.     source
This book is also recommended by
Sue Desmond-Hellmann
The Rational Optimist
How Prosperity Evolves (P.S.)
by Matt Ridley (Jun 06, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionmoney-and-financehistorysciencebusinessphilosophy
“Ridley writes with panache, wit, and humor and displays remarkable ingenuity in finding ways to present complicated materials for the lay reader.” — Los Angeles TimesIn a bold and provocative interpretation of economic history, Matt Ridley, the New York Times-bestselling author of Genome and The Red Queen, makes the case for an economics of hope, ...
Bill Gates
Its subject is the history of humanity, focusing on why our species has succeeded and how we should think about the future.     source
House on Fire
The Fight to Eradicate Smallpox (Volume 21) (California/Milbank Books on Health and the Public)
by William H. Foege (Jun 05, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: sciencenonfictionhistoryhealth-wellbeing
A story of courage and risk-taking, House on Fire tells how smallpox, a disease that killed, blinded, and scarred millions over centuries of human history, was completely eradicated in a spectacular triumph of medicine and public health. Part autobiography, part mystery, the story is told by a man who was one of the architects of a radical vaccinat...
Bill Gates
The amazing story of the eradication of smallpox.     source
SuperFreakonomics
Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
by Steven D. Levitt (May 23, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionmoney-and-financebusinesssciencepsychology
Freakonomics lived on the New York Times bestseller list for an astonishing two years. Now authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner return with more iconoclastic insights and observations in SuperFreakonomics the long awaited follow-up to their New York Times Notable blockbuster. Based on revolutionary research and original studies SuperFreak...
Bill Gates
I recommend this book to anyone who reads nonfiction. It is very well written and full of great insights.     source
Life Is What You Make It
Find Your Own Path to Fulfillment
by Peter Buffett (May 02, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionpersonal-developmentbusinesspsychology
From composer, musician, and philanthropist Peter Buffett comes a warm, wise, and inspirational book that asks, Which will you choose: the path of least resistance or the path of potentially greatest satisfaction?You may think that with a last name like his, Buffett has enjoyed a life of endless privilege. But the son of billionaire investor Warren...
Bill Gates
Peter Buffett writes about the values he absorbed growing up as one of three children of Warren Buffett and the late Susan Buffett.     source
Academically Adrift
Limited Learning on College Campuses
by Richard Arum (Jan 14, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: educationnonfiction
In spite of soaring tuition costs, more and more students go to college every year. A bachelor’s degree is now required for entry into a growing number of professions. And some parents begin planning for the expense of sending their kids to college when they’re born. Almost everyone strives to go, but almost no one asks the fundamental question pos...
Bill Gates
Raises some fundamental and surprising questions about the quality of U.S. undergraduate education.     source
Value-Added Measures in Education
What Every Educator Needs to Know
by Douglas N. Harris (Dec 31, 2010)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: educationnonfictionpolitics
In Value-Added Measures in Education, economist and education researcher Douglas N. Harris takes on one of the most hotly debated topics in education. Drawing on his extensive work with schools and districts, he sets out to help educators and policy makers understand this innovative approach to assessment. Written in straightforward language and il...
Bill Gates
An economist explores a controversial subject: teacher accountability.     source
Stretching the School Dollar
How Schools and Districts Can Save Money While Serving Students Best (Educational Innovations Series)
by Frederick M. Hess (Aug 31, 2010)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: educationnonfictionmoney-and-finance
Simultaneous pressures to reduce costs and increase student achievement have never been greater than they are today. Not only is cost-cutting essential in this era of tightened resources, argue Hess and Osberg, but eliminating inefficient spending is critical for freeing up resources to drive school reform.Stretching the School Dollar book brings t...
Bill Gates
Argues that schools can and must improve dramatically without additional resources – even, despite budget cuts.     source
xkcd
volume 0
by Randall Munroe (Aug 23, 2010)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: fiction
Randall Munroe describes xkcd as a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. While it's practically required reading in the geek community, xkcd fans are as varied as the comic's subject matter. This book creates laughs from science jokes on one page to relationship humor on another.xkcd: volume 0 is the first book from the immensely popula...
Bill Gates
This is one of two Randall Munroe books I’ve read, and it is by design the funnier of the pair.     source
Energy Myths and Realities
Bringing Science to the Energy Policy Debate
by Vaclav Smil (Aug 15, 2010)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: sciencenonfictionpolitics
There are many misconceptions about the future of global energy often presented as fact by the media, politicians, business leaders, activists, and even scientists--wasting time and money and hampering the development of progressive energy policies. Energy Myths and Realities: Bringing Science to the Energy Policy Debate debunks the most common fal...
Bill Gates
Examines the various predictions that have been made in the past and are still being made about energy use.     source
In FED We Trust
Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic
by David Wessel (Aug 02, 2010)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: money-and-financenonfictionbusinesshistorypolitics
“Whatever it takes”That was Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s vow as the worst financial panic in more than fifty years gripped the world and he struggled to avoid the once unthinkable: a repeat of the Great Depression. Brilliant but temperamentally cautious, Bernanke researched and wrote about the causes of the Depression during his career a...
Bill Gates
If someone wants to understand what happened during what they call the 'Great Panic,' this is one of the books they should be read.     source
Educational Economics
Where Do School Funds Go? (Urban Institute Press)
by Marguerite Roza (Apr 22, 2010)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: educationmoney-and-financenonfiction
Educational Economics: Where Do School Funds Go? examines education finance from the school's vantage point, explaining how the varied funding streams can prevent schools from delivering academic services that mesh with their stated priorities. As government budgets shrink, linking expenditures to student outcomes will be imperative. Educational Ec...
Bill Gates
For a basic understanding of where education money comes from and how it gets spent.     source
Liberating Learning
Technology, Politics, and the Future of American Education
by Terry M. Moe (Apr 26, 2009)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: educationnonfiction
Praise for Liberating Learning"Moe and Chubb have delivered a truly stunning book, rich with the prospect of how technology is already revolutionizing learning in communities from Midland, Pennsylvania to Gurgaon, India. At the same time, this is a sobering telling of the realpolitik of education, a battle in which the status quo is well defended. ...
Bill Gates
Looks at current efforts to use technology for online learning and to measure achievement.     source
Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air
by David JC MacKay (Feb 19, 2009)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: sciencenonfictionmoney-and-finance
Addressing the sustainable energy crisis in an objective manner, this enlightening book analyzes the relevant numbers and organizes a plan for change on both a personal level and an international scale—for Europe, the United States, and the world. In case study format, this informative reference answers questions surrounding nuclear energy, the pot...
Bill Gates
If someone wants an overall view of how energy gets used, where it comes from, and the challenges in switching to new sources, this is the book to read.     source
Work Hard. Be Nice.
by Jay Mathews (Jan 19, 2009)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: educationnonfiction
When Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin signed up for Teach for America right after college and found themselves utter failures in the classroom, they vowed to remake themselves into superior educators. They did that—and more. In their early twenties, by sheer force of talent and determination never to take no for an answer, they created a wildly success...
Bill Gates
Gives a great sense of how hard it was to get KIPP going and how intense the focus on good teaching is.     source
The Bottom Billion
Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It
by Paul Collier (Aug 21, 2008)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: money-and-financenonfictionpolitics
In the universally acclaimed and award-winning The Bottom Billion, Paul Collier reveals that fifty failed states--home to the poorest one billion people on Earth--pose the central challenge of the developing world in the twenty-first century. The book shines much-needed light on this group of small nations, largely unnoticed by the industrialized W...
Bill Gates
On the short list of books that I recommend to people.     source
Mindset
The New Psychology of Success
by Carol S. Dweck (Dec 25, 2007)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: psychologynonfictionpersonal-developmentbusinesseducation
Now updated with new research — the book that has changed millions of lives.After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of hum...
Bill Gates
Dweck and her research have helped my foundation colleagues and me understand more about the attitudes and habits that allow some students to persevere in school despite big challenges.     source
Team of Rivals
The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Sep 25, 2006)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: historynonfictionbiography-and-memoirpolitics
Winner of the Lincoln PrizeAcclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln's political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president.On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates,...
Bill Gates
I loved Team of Rivals.     source
This book is also recommended by
J. K. RowlingAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Polio
An American Story
by David M. Oshinsky (Aug 31, 2006)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: historynonfictionscience
Here David Oshinsky tells the gripping story of the polio terror and of the intense effort to find a cure, from the March of Dimes to the discovery of the Salk and Sabin vaccines--and beyond. Drawing on newly available papers of Jonas Salk, Albert Sabin and other key players, Oshinsky paints a suspenseful portrait of the race for the cure, weaving ...
Bill Gates
Influenced the decision that Melinda and I made to make polio eradication the top priority of the foundation, as well as my own personal priority.     source
Creating the Twentieth Century
Technical Innovations of 1867-1914 and Their Lasting Impact (Technical Revolutions and Their Lasting Impact)
by Vaclav Smil (Aug 24, 2005)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: historysciencetechnologynonfiction
The period between 1867 and 1914 remains the greatest watershed in human history since the emergence of settled agricultural societies: the time when an expansive civilization based on synergy of fuels, science, and technical innovation was born. At its beginnings in the 1870s were dynamite, the telephone, photographic film, and the first light bul...
Bill Gates
My favorite Vaclav Smil's book.     source
Guns, Germs, and Steel
The Fates of Human Societies
by Jared Diamond Ph.D. (Jul 16, 2005)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: historynonfictionsciencesociologypolitics
Explaining what William McNeill called The Rise of the West has become the central problem in the study of global history. In Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond presents the biologist's answer: geography, demography, and ecological happenstance. Diamond evenhandedly reviews human history on every continent since the Ice Age at a rate that emphasi...
Bill Gates
Fascinating. Lays a foundation for understanding human history.     source
Jim Grant
Unicef Visionary
by United Nations (Aug 01, 2002)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfiction
Jim Grant was a visionary leader on a global scale. As Executive Director of UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, from 1980 to 1995, he launched a worldwide child survival and development revolution. The practical result was that by 1995, 25 million children were alive who would otherwise have died. Millions more were living with better heal...
Bill Gates
The amazing story of Jim Grant, whose influence in making vaccines widely available in the developing world is credited with saving the lives of 25 million children.     source
How to Lie with Statistics
by Darrell Huff (Oct 16, 1993)
Goodreads Rating
Bill Gates
A great introduction to the use of statistics, and a great refresher for anyone who’s already well versed in it.     source
This book is also recommended by
Neil deGrasse Tyson
The Catcher in the Rye
by J.D. Salinger (Apr 30, 1991)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: classicsfictionteen-and-young-adult
The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for u...
Bill Gates
One of my favorite books ever.     source
This book is also recommended by
Tom HanksJennifer LawrenceLarry King
One Billion Hungry
Can We Feed the World? by Gordon Conway (2012-10-16)
Bill Gates
Provides a roadmap for eliminating hunger in the world.     source