Bill Gates devotes a lot of time to reading. On his blog, he often shares lists of books he recommends reading, and now he's come up with a list of a bunch of new books that fascinated him and that he recommends reading this summer.
Bill Gates has recently been fond of books about the complicated relationship between nature and humanity, maybe because of the coronavirus that changed our lives or because he is in general concerned about climate disasters. Therefore, it was to this topic that he decided to devote his summer selection of books.
1. Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric, by Thomas Gryta and Ted Mann
Bill Gates has been wondering how could a company as large and successful as General Electric fail for a long time, and this book gave him plenty of answers he's been looking for.
The authors of the book analyze the mistakes and oversights made by the General Electric management. If you are in any leadership role in a company, non-profit organization, or anywhere else, there is a lot you can learn from this book.
2. Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future, by Elizabeth Kolbert
This book is the most honest study on humanity versus nature. The author describes it as "a book about people trying to solve problems caused by people trying to solve problems."
She writes about the myriad ways of human intervention in nature, including geoengineering and genetic engineering, which interest Gates in particular. Kolbert's book is as enjoyable to read as her other books.
3. A Promised Land, by Barack Obama
Obama's memoirs cover his early term up to the 2011 operation in which Osama bin Laden was killed.
He talks pretty honestly about his experience in the White House, including how isolated a person who makes important decisions is. It's a fascinating look at what it's like to run a country during difficult times.
4. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
The novel follows the lives of nine people and explores their connection with trees. Some characters pull together as the story unfolds, others are left alone. Even though the book considers the issue of the need to protect forests radically, Gates was still touched by the passion of each hero for their work.
5. An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System: A Tale in Four Lives, by Matt Richtel
Even though Richtel wrote this book even before the outbreak of the pandemic, his research on the human immune system is very valuable and will even help to understand what is needed to defeat COVID-19.
He explains the topic in an accessible way, focusing on four patients. Each of them is forced to adapt to manage their immune system. Their stories provide a fascinating perspective on the science of immunity.