5 Books Bill Gates Wants You To Read This Summer


One man’s assignment is another man’s beach read.

So if you’re looking for a lighthearted book to fill your summer recess, don’t ask Bill Gates for recommendations.

Gates proffered five intellectually and emotionally demanding texts on his summer reading list released late May. The heavy syllabus, primed for socioemotional learning, is packed with tales of triumph and tragedy, and theses on society’s shaking philosophical foundations.

You know, the stuff generally conducive to R&R.

Here are Gates’ five suggestions for an emotionally productive (if not fun) summer 2017.

“Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood”

Trevor Noah’s memoir details the struggles of a biracial South African child riding out the apartheid, and his against-the-odds journey to “The Daily Show.” 4.8 stars on Amazon.

“The Heart: A Novel”

The fictional work of Maylis de Kerangal explores a community’s thoughts on the transfer of life from a youthful crash victim to a woman in need of a transplant. 4.1 stars on Amazon.

“Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis”

J.D. Vance’s personal account highlights the working-class experience in Rust Belt America and the cross-generational growing pains of rising from poverty to the middle class to Yale Law School. 4.4 stars on Amazon.

“A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety”

The autobiography explores the rags-to-riches journey, kinships, thoughts and impulsivities that ultimately made former President Jimmy Carter. 4.5 stars on Amazon.

“Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow”


Yuval Noah Harari’s follow-up to “Sapiens,” which made Gates’ 2016 list, considers humanity’s direction assuming an impending shift in social principles.4.4 stars on Amazon.

If you’re prone to FOMO (what the Millennials call Fear Of Missing Out), you probably shouldn’t opt out of Gates’ reading club. The U.S. literate community is known to pounce on the trend-setter’s endorsements, with his last guidance triggering a 2,000-percent boost in paperback sales for Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.” The text ultimately peaked at No. 2 on Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN’s bestseller list.

And if you’re really looking for community-supported reading, Oprah’s club boasts an impressive reach and often rockets obscure or seemingly cliche reads to instant chart toppers.

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Posted In: EducationMovers & ShakersPsychologyGeneralBill GatesJ.D. VanceJimmy CarterMaylis de KerangalThe Daily ShowTrevor NoahYuval Noah Harari
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