When Bill Gates recommends a book to read, I pay attention. Gates, who’s been reading about one book a week since childhood, posted the following on his reading website.
“If you’re looking for a book to enjoy over the holidays, here are some of my favorites from this year. They cover an eclectic mix of topics—from tennis to tennis shoes, genomics to great leadership. They’re all very well written, and they all dropped me down a rabbit hole of unexpected insights and pleasures.”
Here are his recommended books:
#1. String Theory by David Foster Wallace. Five beautifully written essays on tennis. If you haven’t played tennis in years, this book will make you want to pick up your racket again and head to the tennis courts. 158 pages.
#2. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. The co-founder of Nike, Knight traces the growth of Nike from its beginnings in 1964 to the multi-billion dollar enterprise Nike is today. A very candid, vulnerable, and endearing book. 400 pages.
#3. The Myth of the Strong Leader by Archie Brown. Brown argues the leaders who make the biggest impact usually aren’t the ones we perceive to be “strong leaders,” but are the ones who collaborate, delegate, and negotiate - and recognize that no one person can or should have all the answers. 480 pages.
#4. The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee. A wonderfully told series of stories within the world of genetics by a Pulitzer Prize winning author. 608 pages.
#5. The Grid by Gretchen Bakke (honorable mention). All about the electric grid in the United States. 384 pages.