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Summer’s almost here, and American billionaire Bill Gates has named the books he recommends people read during the season.
The billionaire businessman revealed the book titles he enjoyed in a blog post titled “5 great books for the summer,” admitting that the books do not exactly sound like the stuff of beach reads.
In the no-holds-barred blog post, Gates, who chews through around 50 books each year, wrote that this year’s list comes across as “pretty heavy for vacation reading.”
“They are books here about gender equality, political polarisation, climate change, and the hard truth that life never goes the way young people think it will,” he wrote.
In this science fiction book that won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2017, Alderman explores gender roles and gender inequality by writing about a world in which young women women all over the world gain the power to produce electric bolts from their fingertips – which results in women becoming the dominant sex and forming a matriarchy.
Gates says the book was a recommendation from his first daughter, Jenn.
“I gained a stronger and more visceral sense of the abuse and injustice many women experience today,” he said of the novel in his blog post. “And I expanded my appreciation for the people who work on these issues in the U.S. and around the world.”
In this book, Ezra Klien, a well-known television figure, writer, and a New York Times columnist talks about the political polarisation of American society. Klein argues that the political system in America has become polarised around identity to dangerous effect. According to him, the groups people self-identify with – including political parties – play an outsized role in how they make decisions and view the world.
“If you want to understand what’s going on with politics in the United States right now, this is the book to pick up. The book is fundamentally about American politics, but it’s also a fascinating look at human psychology,” Gates wrote.
This is the second time Amor Towles has featured in the list of books Bill Gates recommends to read. In 2019, his book A Gentleman in Moscow was included in Bill Gates’ 2019 summer reads, and now the American billionaire writes that he enjoyed “The Lincoln Highway” almost as much.
The historical fiction novel, set in 1954, follows the story of an eighteen-year-old boy named Emmett, whose cross-country journey with his younger brother is thrown off course by two other teenagers from the protagonist’s history on a work farm for juvenile offenders.
“Towles takes inspiration from famous hero’s journeys and seems to be saying that our personal journeys are never as linear or predictable as we might hope,” Gates wrote of this book.
Published in 2020, this sci-fi – or cli-fi, short for “climate fiction” novel, focuses on the climate crisis through “fictional eyewitness accounts” of how climate change will affect humanity in the near future.
The story plot is set in the near future, where a fictional subsidiary committee formed under the Paris Agreement is tasked with advocating for the rights of the future generation.
“It’s so complex that it’s hard to summarise, but Robinson presents a stimulating and engaging story, spanning decades and continents, packed with fascinating ideas and people,” Gates wrote.
Bill Gates has labelled this book as a “masterpiece” and Vaclav Smil as “one of his favourite authors.” He claims that this book is easy for the general audience to read, unlike some other Smil’s works. It is brief yet covers several fundamental topics that create and sustain human life.
How the World Really Works is a book which goes into depth on several fundamental forces of our modern world to summarise the principles on which the world exists. This book mentions a little of everything, including matters like energy production, globalisation, social issues, etc.
“If you want a brief but thorough education in numeric thinking about many of the fundamental forces that shape human life, this is the book to read,” Gates said of this book.
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