What Are You Reading? Let Bill Gates Help Out!

By Michael Barker

Bill Gates, yes, that same guy, is a great sharer of information.

On LinkedIn, Bill has kindly shared a list of the books he’s just finished reading and others he recommends for holiday reading. Here are some of them.

* Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell – ‘amazingly clever but a bit hard to follow’.

* A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

* The Rosie Result by Australian author Graeme Simsion, and

* ’I even picked up a short story collection in David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews with Hideous Men…

For the holidays, Bill recommendations include:

* ‘An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones. ‘My daughter Jenn recommended that I read this novel, which tells the story of a black couple in the South whose marriage gets torn apart by a horrible incident of injustice. Jones is such a good writer that she manages to make you empathize with both of her main characters, even after one makes a difficult decision. The subject matter is heavy but thought-provoking, and I got sucked into Roy and Celestial’s tragic love story.’

* These Truths, by Jill Lenore, covering the entire history of the United States in just 800 pages – ‘the most honest and unflinching account of the American story I’ve ever read. Even if you’ve read a lot about U.S. history, I’m confident you will learn something new from These Truths.’

* Growth, by Vaclav Smil. ‘When I first heard that one of my favorite authors was working on a new book about growth, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. (Two years ago, I wrote that I wait for new Smil books the way some people wait for the next Star Wars movie. I stand by that statement.) His latest doesn’t disappoint. As always, I don’t agree with everything Smil says, but he remains one of the best thinkers out there at documenting the past and seeing the big picture.’

* Why We Sleep by Mathew Walker. Which covers what exactly counts as a good night’s sleep? And how do you make it happen?  ‘Walker has persuaded me to change my bedtime habits to up my chances. If your New Year’s resolution is to be healthier in 2020, his advice is a good place to start.’