Bill Gates: the best books I read in 2014


In which Bill Gates recommends almost exclusively white male authors.

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Hmmm… This entire exercise makes me very, very uncomfortable.

And here is a great exploration of why: Bill Gates: the best books I read in 2014

I think it’s great to see what influential people are reading. It’s good to know their intellectual inputs. I’d like to read more like this.


This is just as much/more to do with who gets published as it is who reads the published.

I’m about to start The Rosie Project & the sequel that Gates recommends, haven’t read so can’t recommend.

However I’m reading them on my partners recommendation as she read them for insight on high-functioning ASD individuals & found them quite enlightening & heartening in our quest to be sure our own offspring gets necessary/best tools to be as high functioning as possible.

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So now it’s racist/sexist if we don’t look up the races/genders of the authors we read? Or is the implication that Bill does that very thing?


I enjoy believing that he did the stop-motion animation himself, and I’m going to read the business book he recommends.

Bathosfear, no, however by not seeking out non-white non-male non-hetero perspectives one is failing to get past systemic racism in publishing, in media promotion, and in our society in general with respect to who’s views/knowledge is given value.

The implication is the Bill Gates does not seek out non-white non-male authors to the exclusion of white male voices, and that I am not surprised that a rich white man values the opinions of rich white men.

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Interesting observation and good point. Thanks for pointing it out, it reminds me I need to be more aware of these things when I choose reading material.

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So we ARE supposed to race/gender check our authors? Just a few years ago that would have been racist/sexist/etc. I can’t keep up.

I’ve published a couple of books and I’ve never even met my editors or publishers. I’ve seen a photo of one, but none of the others, and they’ve never seen one of me. I talked on the phone to one, so the two of us are aware of each other’s genders. Is there like an Equifax of race/gender they’d use to make sure I’m pre-approved?


It really is not that complicated. I don’t quite understand your confusion and apparent affront at the idea you might become more aware of the race and gender of the authors you read.

What exactly is the problem you have with being more aware of race or gender of the authors you read?

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“It’s been fascinating to see our members discussing the male author/female author ratio of their own reading. For the most part, people are saying that they don’t set out to read a male author or a female author. It’s all about the book. But when they look at their reading lists, some of them are realising that maybe they might want to deliberately explore some different authors,” she said.

Most of what I read is by white guys (William Gibson most recently, Iain Banks currently), but I do plan to check out some Octavia Butler in the near future following some conversations here.

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I also call bullshit on your assertion that a few years ago it would have been considered racist or sexist to be aware of the race/gender of authors or ask what their race/gender are.

I have heard all sorts of people encouraging a diversity of sources for many things for many years, this is not new to anyone who cares to make sure they do get some diversity in their sources.


Because I honestly don’t care about such things, and it sounds like a lot of work, and more than a little off-putting. I only became aware that JK Rowling self-identified as female around book 3 or so. I still don’t know if she was born that way, or what the gender of her life-mate is. Am I supposed to take it upon myself to dig that information out? Caring over whether Malcolm Gladwell is white or black just seems so 1950s.


Octavia Butler is excellent, some of my favorite stories from any genera. The Xenogenisis series in particular.

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Bathosfear you sound like a racist giving b/s excuses about why the only read white authors.

That’s a really bad way to argue. Stick to your points, if you have them, and then agree to disagree. Suggesting that someone is a racist, not because they’ve said anything racist, but simply because they disagree with the way you deal with race, is very poor form.


Of course I do, as would anyone that doesn’t hold up to your judgement.

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Not caring about addressing systemic racism in such a simple way as trying to read a diversity of authors shows that bathosfear does not value the perspectives of people of color and women enough to seek them out and would rather maintain the current system that benefits white people over people of color, so, bathosfear is a racist.

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Except he features Authors from all walks of society on his website, but I guess if it makes you feel better about not doing anything productive with your life, then yes, he is a racist who has helped destroy Malaria in parts of Africa and has the gall to fund Polio vaccine campaign in Pakistan after reading these white male authors. oh wait….

That bastard. He should write pithy comments on the internet to remind everyone how right his opinions are.

(And before you ask for my privilege card; Not white, but like most readers of BB, cisgender(ed?) heterosexual male.)

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