Browse the Recommenders


Bill Gates

Books recommended by
Bill Gates

Founder of Microsoft

Recommended 105 books


21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

Politics, Social Science

If 2018 has left you overwhelmed by the state of the world, 21 Lessons offers a helpful framework for processing the news and thinking about the challenges we face.

Gates Notes

A Full Life by Jimmy Carter

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A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

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A Nation of Wusses by Ed Rendell

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Academically Adrift by Richard Arum, Josipa Roksa

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Army of None by Paul Scharre

Artificial Intelligence, Engineering, Technology

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...his fluency with the subject should come as no surprise: he’s a veteran who helped draft the U.S. government’s policy on autonomous weapons.

Gates Notes

Awakening Joy by James Baraz, Shoshana Alexander

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Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

Business, Crime

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This book has everything: elaborate scams, corporate intrigue, magazine cover stories, ruined family relationships, and the demise of a company once valued at nearly $10 billion.

Gates Notes

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo


Being Nixon by Evan Thomas

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Believe Me by Eddie Izzard

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Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman, Chris Yeh

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Born A Crime by Trevor Noah

Biography

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Buffett by Roger Lowenstein

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Business Adventures by John Brooks

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Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty


Collapse by Jared Diamond

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Direct from Dell by Michael Dell, Catherine Fredman

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Educated by Tara Westover

Biography

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I never thought I’d relate to a story about growing up in a Mormon survivalist household, but she’s such a good writer that she got me to reflect on my own life while reading about her extreme childhood.

Gates Notes

Energy and Civilization by Vaclav Smil

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Energy Myths and Realities by Vaclav Smil

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Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker

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Epic Measures by Jeremy N. Smith

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Eradication by Nancy Leys Stepan

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Everything Happens for a Reason by Kate Bowler

biography

Everything Happens 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 Mortal.

GatesNotes

Evicted by Matthew Desmond

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Factfulness by Hans Rosling

Legendary statistician Hans Rosling explains why the world isn't as bad as you think.

This was our 9 Apr to 22 Apr 2019 assignment.

Economics

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This was a breakthrough to me. The framework Hans enunciates is one that took me decades of working in global development to create for myself, and I could have never expressed it in such a clear way.

gatesnotes

Fever by SONIA SHAH

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From the Ground Up by Howard Schultz

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Getting Better by Charles Kenny

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Harvesting the Biosphere by Vaclav Smil

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Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance

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Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella, Greg Shaw, Jill Tracie Nichols

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Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari

Join the Forum discussion πŸŽ‰

This was our 20 May to 2 Jun 2020 assignment.

Technology,Science

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It is a deeply engaging book with lots of stimulating ideas and not a lot of jargon.

Gates Notes

House on Fire by William H. Foege

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How Asia Works by Joe Studwell

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How Not to Be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg

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How To by Randall Munroe

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How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff, Irving Geis


Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

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I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong

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Infections and Inequalities by Paul Farmer

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Interventions by Nader Mousavizadeh

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Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

History, Biography

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Although today he’s best known as a painter, Leonardo had an absurdly wide range of interests, from human anatomy to the theater. Isaacson does the best job I’ve seen of pulling together the different strands of Leonardo’s life and explaining what made him so exceptional

GatesNotes

Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark

Artificial Intelligence

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Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

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Making the Modern World - Materials and Dematerialization by Vaclav Smil

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Measure What Matters by John Doerr

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Mindset by Carol S. Dweck

This was our 7 Oct to 20 Oct 2020 assignment.

Business,Psychology

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Moonwalking With Einstein by Joshua Foer


Nine Pints by Rose George

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On Immunity by Eula Biss

Medicine, Sociology, Social Science

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What makes this book so good and unusual is how effortlessly Biss moves around different topics. Her father is an oncologist and her mother a poet, which probably helps to explain how Biss so easily navigates the worlds of science and literature.

Gates Notes

Origin Story by David Christian

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Poor Numbers by Morten Jerven

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Presidents of War by Michael R. Beschloss

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Principles by Ray Dalio

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Reinventing American Health Care by Ezekiel J. Emanuel


Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

A brief history of humankind

This was our 12 Mar to 25 Mar 2019 assignment.

Science

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I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a fun, engaging look at early human history. Like Big History, it left me with an overarching historical structure which I can build on as I learn more. At the same time, Harari tells our history in such an approachable way that you’ll have a hard time putting it down.

Gates Notes

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

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Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Join the Forum discussion πŸŽ‰

This was our 29 Jan to 11 Feb 2020 assignment.

Biography,Businesss

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Should We Eat Meat? by Vaclav Smil

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Stress Test by Timothy F. Geithner

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Stuff Matters by Mark Miodownik

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Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom

Artificial Intelligence

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Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard Feynman

The semi-autobiographical memoirs of Nobel Prize winning physicist and bongo player Richard Feynman.

This was our 15 Jan to 28 Jan 2019 assignment.

Science, Biography, Physics

Sustainable Materials Without the Hot Air by Julian M. Allwood, Jonathan M. Cullen

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Tap Dancing to Work by Carol J. Loomis

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Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin

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The Art of Being Unreasonable by Eli Broad


The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

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The Bet by Paul Sabin

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The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker

Social Science, Psychology, Science


The Box by Marc Levinson

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The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin

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The Future of Capitalism by Paul Collier

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The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee

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The Grid by Gretchen Bakke

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The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness by Andy Puddicombe

Wellness

If you’re thinking about trying mindfulness, this is the perfect introduction.

Gates Notes

The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins

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The Man Who Fed the World by Hesser Hesser

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The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

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The Most Powerful Idea in the World by William Rosen


The Myth of the Strong Leader by Archie Brown


The Power to Compete by Hiroshi Mikitani

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The Price of Inequality by Joseph E. Stiglitz

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The Quest by Daniel Yergin

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The Road to Character by David Brooks

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The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

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The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver

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The Singularity Is Near by Ray Kurzweil

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The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

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The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

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The Ten Commandments for Business Failure by Donald R. Keough


The Vital Question by Nick Lane

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The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond


Thing Explainer by Randall Munroe

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Tools and Weapons by Brad Smith

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Upheaval by Jared Diamond

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What If? by Randall Munroe

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When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, Abraham Verghese

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Why Does College Cost So Much? by Robert B. Archibald, David H. Feldman

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Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoğlu & James A. Robinson

Economics, Politics, Social Science

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Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas

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Winning by Suzy Welch, Jack Welch

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