5 Books Recommended By Bill Gates To You For Reading This Holiday Season

CIOReviewIndia Team | Saturday, 12 December 2020, 14:44 IST

This Tuesday, Bill Gates released his annual holiday book list, where he recommended books he read throughout the year.

His influencing post says, “In tough times, there’s no doubt that 2020 qualifies as tough times, those of us who love to read turn to all kinds of different books. As a result, I read a wide range of books and a lot of excellent ones.”

Author – Michelle Alexander 

Book – The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

He said, “Like the injustices that underlie this year’s Black Lives Matter protests,” referring to George Floyd who was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis.

As Gates selects a difficult subject, he said that like many white people, he had tried to understand systemic racism in recent months. Gates said, “Alexander’s book gives insights about how the criminal justice system unfairly targets communities of color and especially black communities.” Gates said that the book describes racism as an offense of the criminal justice system, describes the history and the numbers behind mass incarceration.

Author – David Epstein’s

Book – Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

“In this fascinating book, [Epstein] argues that although the world seems to demand more and more specialization—in your career, for example—what we actually need is more people ‘who start broad and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives while they progress,’” Gates said.

The book, “Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World,” looks at “the world’s most successful” people and finds the common traits between them, according to the book’s synopsis.

“His examples run from Roger Federer to Charles Darwin to Cold War-era experts on Soviet affairs,” Gates wrote on his GatesNotes blog post. In fact, “I think his ideas even help explain some of Microsoft’s success because we hired people who had real breadth within their field and across domains.”

Being a former science and investigative reporter at ProPublica, and a former writer at Sports Illustrated, TED Talks had invited Epstein, where he took Gate’s attention. Gates said, “I started following Epstein’s work after watching his fantastic 2014 TED talk on sports performance,” he said.

Bill Gates also wrote, “If you’re a generalist who has ever felt overshadowed by your specialist colleagues, this book is for you.”

Author – Erik Larson 

Book – The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

Gates said, “Sometimes history books end up feeling more relevant than their authors could have imagined. That’s the case with this brilliant account of the years 1940 and 1941 when English citizens spent almost every night huddled in basements and Tube stations as Germany tried to bomb them into submission.” The blog added info from “The Splendid and the Vile.”

Gates said that the book tells the story of the Blitz and profiles British leaders of the time like Winston Churchill.

Gates said, “Larson gives you a vivid sense of what life was like for average citizens during this awful period.”

His blog represents, “The fear and anxiety they felt—while much more severe than what we’re experiencing with COVID-19—sounded familiar.”

Gates also wrote, “Its scope is too narrow to be the only book you ever read on World War II, but it’s a great addition to the literature focused on that tragic period.”

Author – Ben Macintyre

Book – The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War

When Gates “needed a change of pace,” he read “something lighter at the end of the day,” he said – one being “The Spy and the Traitor,” which was published in 2018.

“This nonfiction account focuses on Oleg Gordievsky, a KGB officer who became a double agent for the British and Aldrich Ames, the American turncoat who likely betrayed him,” Gates said of the book. “Macintyre’s retelling of their stories comes not only from Western sources (including Gordievsky himself) but also from the Russian perspective.”

Gates described it as “every bit as exciting as my favorite spy novels.”

Author  Bijal P. Trivedi

Book  Breath from Salt: A Deadly Genetic Disease, a New Era in Science, and the Patients and Families Who Changed Medicine Forever

It is a book about the genetic disease cystic fibrosis, and according to Gates it uplifts a reader as the story states the remarkable scientific innovation, and how it has improved the lives of almost all cystic fibrosis patients and their families.

Gates said that got personally connected with the book. He said, “Because I know families who’ve benefited from the new medicines described in this book. This story is especially meaningful to me. I suspect we’ll see many more books like this in the coming years, as biomedical miracles emerge from labs at an ever-greater pace.” 

Don't Miss ( 1-5 of 25 )