Bill Gates suggests these 5 books to read over the summer


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I’ve already read the vital question. Was I supposed to have waited?


Just why is it that we should listen to Bill Gates’ opinions about which books to read?


I don’t necessarily hold his book opinions any higher than others, but he has suggested some interesting ones in the past. Either way you slice it, I like it better than what he was doing at Microsoft.


He always used to give his reading list when he was at Microsoft too.

I thought they were mostly interesting and often contained books that you would think challenged/disagreed with his worldview.


Piketty, for one.


Just why is it you complain as if someone is forcing you?


Just why are you reading a question as a complaint? And an implication that I think I’m being forced to do something?

I’m seriously asking: what makes this man especially qualified to offer reading suggestions for the general public?

I will acknowledge, though, that I’m skeptical, especially because of his support for the evisceration of public schooling in favor of profit-seeking charter schools.


Bill Gates is, regardless of your views on his policymaking, a generally respected and absolutely influential public figure, with a history of distributing reading lists that offer interesting, challenging viewpoints on major topics.

Edit: To be clear, I think he’s totally wrong about the education stuff, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t right or extremely influential about other areas: the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has made huge steps forward for helping third world countries in ways that are evidence-based and driven, because there disease can be tackled that way.


I did not finish Seveneves, as it just didn’t work for me. The characters felt wooden, one dimensional, and the plotting was all too much “ooh, look at what I am setting up, Making sure you see Checkov’s Gun!” Neil Stephenson knows how to get the science right, but his characters are worse than a Clive Cussler novel.

If I were a teenager I might have loved it, but now? Too many good books Have made me picky.


It felt like “Oh, I’m just asking questions” in the “I have issues with this but will dance around them” way. If that was your intention I’m still symbolically annoyed at you, and if it wasn’t I apologise. :slight_smile:

As for the actual question, eh. Being rich and/or successful doesn’t in itself mean you’re good at picking books, true. I’m willing to give his picks a look based on the previous picks being interesting, and based on Bill himself. I’m an old enough linux/BSD guy to remember just how brutal MS was when he ran it, and probably for that reason I’ve vaguely kept an eye on what he’s been up to. In contrast with his almost villainous CEOship, he seems nice enough otherwise, and he’s gone a bit deeper into the charity work than most retired billionaires … I’m not sure what to think of the guy, and that’s enough of an opinion to take a look at what books he recommends.

Besides, it’s a list of five books. It’s not like I’m endorsing him for a political office.


I hated Seveneves.


That statement gives me a perfect understanding of the novel’s flaws.:grinning:


I enjoyed it, but acknowledge its severe flaws.


I think he just pays someone to read books for him, then he reports on them.


I liked his earlier, funny stuff better.


I like all of his other novels, even the long ones. This was a slog though and needed a real editor.


I reread Cryptonomicon a few times and got different things each time, and enjoyed it each time. Snow Crash was fun the first time, but not as worth a second go, though still fun. I really enjoyed The Baroque Cycle even if it was tedious in a few parts. Still haven’t finished Anathem, just didn’t get hooked, but really intend to finish eventually. Seveneves, I started and quit with no plan to try again.




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