This holiday season, billionaire Bill Gates is giving you a list of five books to read while we hope you enjoy some well-deserved time off.
gates, voracious reader World Health Organization He reads at least 50 books every yearlists are issued regularly The best books he’s ever read Every year – together seasonal recommendations For holiday books and summer beach readings.
This year, the 67-year-old seems to lean into nostalgia: 2022 holiday reading listposted Monday on his blog, includes a mix of new releases and some of his all-time favorite books.
That includes a 1960s sci-fi classic that helped launch Gates’ childhood friendship with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and a book about tennis that Gates first read in the 1970s — which he says eventually helped him learn not to obsess over mistakes at work. .
As a special bonus, he says a copy of each of his picks was put together at 100 Small free libraries around the world.
Here are the five books on Gates’ holiday reading list this year:
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
This 1961 sci-fi classic holds a special place in Gates’ memory.
“I met Paul [Allen] Around [that] Gates wrote about his late friend and co-founder of Microsoft at one time, and we got to know each other by talking about science fiction. “I thought I’d read a lot of it, but Paul’s method outdid me.”
He noted that “Stranger in a Strange Land” — Gates’ favorite science fiction book from his youth — is the story of a human being raised on Mars by the Martians. The young man travels to a futuristic Earth, where he struggles to understand human notions of religion and war.
“I love science fiction that makes you think about what’s possible in the future,” Gates wrote, noting that Heinlein’s book correctly predicted some aspects of the future at the time, including “hippie culture” and aquariums.
“It also does the science fiction classic by using a straightforward fantasy setting to ask deep questions about human nature,” Gates added.
“Surrender” by Bono
Gates called the biographers released this month By U2 frontman Bono “The best memoir of a rock star I really know.”
The 62-year-old billionaire and rocker, whose first name is Paul Hewson, have been friends for over a decade. They often work together on charitable effortsAnd the raising awareness and funds around common areas of interest such as climate change and global health.
Gates praised the writers’ behind-the-scenes look at how U2 created “some of their most iconic songs,” and what has kept Bono and his bandmates close for more than four decades.
“They share the same values,” Gates wrote. “All four of them are passionate about fighting poverty and injustice in the world, and they also agree to uphold their integrity as artists.”
“Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Gates wrote that he was “blown away” reading this 2005 non-fiction work by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Team of Rivals is a critically acclaimed biography of Abraham Lincoln and the men who served in his first administration, many of whom had opposed Lincoln in the 1860 presidential election.
The book highlights Lincoln’s ability to reconcile opposing viewpoints among his advisors, and “has a lot of insights about Lincoln that leaders can learn from today,” Gates writes.
“Lately I’ve been thinking about Goodwin’s book because it seems so relevant in 2022,” he added. “There are great parallels between the present moment and the 1860s, when the nation was dealing with violent insurrection, difficult questions about race, and ideological divisions between states and regions.”
The Inner Game of Tennis by Robert Galloway
Galloway’s 1974 work is intended as “a guide to the mental side of top performance,” and is more than just a book on how to improve your forehand.
Gates first read the book more than four decades ago, and has since read it many times, he wrote — adding that he still gives it to friends today because its “profound advice applies to so many other aspects of life.”
Galloway, a tennis coach, wrote how a player’s state of mind can affect his performance on the court as much as his athletic ability. Gates said these insights have helped him in his career, especially focusing on constructive criticism rather than getting hung up on mistakes.
Gates writes, “For most of us, it’s all too easy to slip into self-criticism, which in turn hinders our performance even more. We need to learn from our mistakes without obsessing over them.”
It’s a lesson Gates previously admitted he needed to be taught, noting that in Microsoft’s early days, his high standards for himself and employees often made him capacitor head.
In 2019, Gates expressed that We regret the approach: “Some of it helped us become a success, but I’m sure some of it was overdone.”
Mendeleev’s Dream by Paul Strathairn
If you visit Gates’ office in Seattle, you’ll see a Huge wall display Filled with samples from every entry on the periodic table of the elements.
The billionaire’s interest in the period table continues with “Mendeleev’s Dream,” a 2000 history of chemistry written by an academic named Paul Strathairn.
The name comes from the Russian chemist Dmitry Mendeleevwho formulated the first version of the periodic table in 1869. Gates wrote that it was “the best book I have ever read on the periodic table.”
“Apart from being a neat piece of art, the periodic table reminds me of how one discovery can lead to countless discoveries,” he continued. “All the complexities of the universe come from the properties on this diagram. Because we understand atoms, we can make chips, and so we can make software, and so we can make artificial intelligence. It all goes back to the periodic table.”
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