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10 Books Recommended by Bill Gates I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

A perfect melting pot of book genre

10 Books Recommended by Bill Gates I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

Bill Gates needs no introduction.

He is the founder of Microsoft and was once the richest man on earth. Right now, he is at the number four.

We owe our Windows laptops and computers to him.

Well… today is the day to learn from this exceptional man. We have compiled 10 of his suggested books so you can take your pick.

Let’s go!

10 Books Recommended by Bill Gates I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

You are the master of your mind.

Through her story, Edith gives us hope, encouragement, and motivation to survive through the worst times of our lives.

She wants us to look at her story and say, if she can do it, so can I.

“There is no hierarchy of suffering. There’s nothing that makes my pain worse or better than yours.”

The author was 16 years old when she and her family were sent to Auschwitz concentration camp. It was then that her mother gave her a piece of advice. No one can take from you what’s in your mind.

And this is how Edith made it through all the hardships.

Come to think of it, the advice of the author’s mother and what Victor E. Frankl tells us in his book, are pretty similar.

“When we seek revenge, even non-violent revenge, we are revolving, not evolving.”

Edith and her sister Magda endured excruciating marches. Whoever was too weak to move was killed. Girls held each other up.

Eventually, Edith was rescued by American soldiers.

Edith and Magda found their third sister and were nursed back to health. The rest of the book details Edith’s journey to America and her earning a doctorate in psychology.

She also shares her patients’ stories.

10 Books Recommended by Bill Gates I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

What are economic theories missing?

The authors are economics professors at MIT. And they are joint winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics.

This book explores the economic problems in the modern world. That included wealth inequality, poverty, slow economic growth, and globalization.

“Economics is too important to be left to economists.”

The book also touches on immigration and its effects. The book denies that immigrants lower the pay and take away jobs from natives.

The authors discuss the concept of ‘stickiness’. Humans want to stick to the place they call home. And economic theories need to consider the human aspects in order to be more practical.

“Only a social policy founded on respect for the dignity of the individual can help make the average citizen more open to ideas of toleration.”

This book provides a well-thought-out overview of modern economic problems and various approaches to handle them.

10 Books Recommended by Bill Gates I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

Story of the pandemic that came before Covid-19.

Did you hear the repeat-after-every-100-years theory of pandemics during Covid-19?

Regardless of the fact this is true or a hoax, 100 years before coronavirus wreaked havoc on our lives, there was indeed another pandemic. The Spanish flu.

“…biology is chaos.”

From 1918 to 1920, it traveled the length and breadth of the US and then the whole world. The first wave of flu was mild, but the second one killed 300,000 Americans. The third and fourth waves of the virus were less deadly, thanks to mutation.

The author also discusses the efforts of scientists in combating it.

“They [viruses] are less than a fully living organism but more than an inert collection of chemicals.”

According to the book, the Spanish flu is the ‘deadliest plague in history’.

As someone who has experienced Covid-19, it is fascinating to see a similar pandemic that unfolded a century ago.

10 Books Recommended by Bill Gates I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

Journey to the top, and the lessons that were learned.

If you grew up watching Disney movies, just the name is enough to bring feelings of nostalgia and fondness.

And now, the CEO of the Walt Disney Company is sprinkling his wisdom on us. I think we should take it.

“If you approach and engage people with respect and empathy, the seemingly impossible can become real.”

Iger starts with how he got his job at ABC through a chance encounter.

In 1996, ABC merged with Disney. Thus began Iger’s journey of climbing the ladder to Disney’s top. When he became CEO, Disney was struggling.

“Genuine decency — an instinct for fairness and openness and mutual respect — is a rarer commodity in business than it should be, and you should look for it in the people you hire and nurture it in the people who work for you.”

Iger took the controversial decision to purchase Pixar. The risk paid off well.

While sharing his career growth, Iger brings us many of his experiences to learn and take inspiration from.

This book is a must-read for those who want to reach the top.

10 Books Recommended by Bill Gates I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

Growing forever is not an option.

Smil discusses growth in all forms. Microorganisms, animals, humans, crops, and man-made systems.

The author tells us about different modes of growth like linear and exponential.

He also talks about complex systems and the ever-expanding cities.

“Our ability to provide a reliable, adequate food supply thanks to yields an order of magnitude higher than in early agricultures has been made possible by large energy subsidies and it has been accompanied by excessive waste.”

The main argument that this book puts forward is that in terms of technology, civilization, and the economy, growth cannot keep happening steadily. There are going to be ups and downs.

We create too much. We consume too much. And we have only one planet with limited resources.

In such a case the idea of growth is nothing but uncertain.

This book is going to make you ponder on the future of everything.

10 Books Recommended by Bill Gates I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

Is America staying true to its founding principles?

The Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” This is where the title of the book comes from.

The author says that the American experiment is founded on the following:

  • political equality

  • natural rights

  • sovereignty of the people

“…the United States is founded on a set of ideas, but Americans have become so divided that they no longer agree, if they ever did, about what those ideas are, or were.”

Lepore explores how media and political movements have shaped and molded the American truth.

The book also discusses slavery and racism, which stand at odds with the founding truths.

“Can a political society really be governed by reflection and election, by reason and truth, rather than by accident and violence, by prejudice and deceit?”

A much-needed discussion that takes American people back to their roots.

10 Books Recommended by Bill Gates I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

A better substitute to traditional schooling.

Personally, I love learning about child education. More importantly, how to honor children’s natural curiosity and use it to help them explore and learn.

If you are like me, this book is the right pick.

“The textbook approach may be more standardized and straightforward, but it doesn’t ask kids to think deeply, make connections, or solve problems.”

The author is the founder of a very unique school system called Summit Public Schools. This book outlines her educational philosophy.

She explains that education at Summit Public Schools focuses on three things:

  • Self-directed learning

  • Project-based learning

  • Mentoring

This approach makes all the sense to me. Instead of telling children to do this, this, and this, we should let them take charge. This is so they can be autonomous in their learning journey.

“Simply put, mastery is when you become good at something, autonomy is when you have some measure of control, and purpose is when you’re doing something for a reason that is authentic to you.”

This book is a fascinating exploration of all that needs to change about our traditional education system.

10 Books Recommended by Bill Gates I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

The need for a deep sleep is no joke.

This book will tell you how much we owe our health to sleep.

The author discusses what sleep is and how it benefits us. Did you know that long-term memories are formed in our sleep?

“Sleep not only rights the wrong of prolonged wakefulness but, at a neurocognitive level, it moves you beyond where you were before you took a nap.”

Not only that, sleep helps us in problem-solving and keeping our immune system healthy.

Walker goes on to discuss various cycles of sleep and their role in our well-being. The shorter you sleep, the shorter your life, says the author.

“It is a common myth that we can learn to get by on little sleep with no ill consequences.”

The book is also very clear on the many destructive effects of sleep deprivation.

10 Books Recommended by Bill Gates I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

Climate change is real, but so is progress.

This book provides us with a very hopeful outlook on climate change.

Make no mistake, climate change is real and it is happening. But so are various efforts to save our planet. And that shows.

The author is against the extreme approach. Not having kids because the earth is going towards destruction, or telling kids that they’ll die from climate change.

The reality is different from what we might imagine. Carbon emissions per capita and deforestation have been reduced significantly.

Ritchie has words for the doomsayers:

“They have already given up.”

She says that those who offer only a bleak view of the future are not interested in solutions.

This book provides a realistic view instead of an attention-grabbing, selling-like-hotcakes view which we often encounter in mainstream media.

Ritchie will fill you with hope for the world’s future.

10 Books Recommended by Bill Gates I’m Kicking Myself for Not Reading Sooner

It’s time to say hi to the cells.

This book is another work of wonder from Siddhartha Mukherjee who is a doctor, an oncologist, and a seasoned science writer.

Mukherjee again wows us with a deep exploration of the basic building blocks of living things i.e. cells.

He tells us about the scientists whose contributions provided a foundation for all future work. Cells were observed in the lab, thanks to a microscope. Then the scientists discovered that cells come from cells.

“The life cycle for a multicellular organism, in short, could be reconceived as a rather simple back-and-forth game between meiosis and mitosis.”

Due to the discovery of microbes’ connection with infections, antibiotics were made.

The book also explores cell division in detail i.e. meiosis and mitosis.

Due to the advancements in science, human genome editing is possible which is a slippery slope. The author tells us to be cautious of the ethical dilemmas.

“It took almost a decade after the publication of “Early Stages of Fertilization” to convince the medical community that infertility was, in fact, a “disease.”

Mukherjee also talks about cells in the blood, and their different types and purposes. He also touches on the history of blood transfusion.

There is a lot more in this book that cannot be covered in this brief summary.

As always, Mukherjee’s work doesn’t only teach you science and biology. It also takes you down multiple paths in history.


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If you enjoyed these book recommendations, check out the rest of my book lists on my blog-

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