Summertime is upon us. For those of us lucky enough to have vacation time, that means spending hours on the beach or in the park relaxing with a good book. If you can’t think of what you’re going to crack open this summer, why not take the advice of philanthropist, entrepreneur, and programmer Bill Gates? Gates is a voracious reader known for reading over 50 books a year. Recently, he came out with a list of his suggested reading for the summer 2016 on this blog, Gates Notes.
Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson
This book is a speculative sci-fi novel that tells the story of how humans preserve their society in the wake of apocalyptic events. Gates loves the book for the author’s “technical details.”
How Not to be Wrong, by Jordan Ellenberg
This book explains how math plays a huge role in all of our lives in ways we may not realize. According to the author, the book’s larger point is “to do mathematics is to be, at once, touched by fire and bound by reason.”
The Vital Question, by Nick Lane
According to Gates, “Nick is one of those original thinkers who makes you say: ‘More people should know about this guy’s work.’ ” The Vital Question follows Lane’s attempts to right a scientific wrong by getting people to fully appreciate the role that energy plays in all things.
The Power to Compete, by Ryoichi Mikitani and Hiroshi Mikitani
How were Japanese companies that dominated in the ‘80s later eclipsed by their competition in South Korea and China? The answers are explained in a dialog between an economist and his son.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Noah Yuval Harari.
In this book, the author takes on the daunting task of telling the entire story of the human race in just 400 pages. Gates recommends it to “anyone who’s interested in the history and future of our species.”