Bill Gates reads books that explore “the complicated relationship between humanity and nature”. Here is his summer list

Among the many rituals that Bill Gates (can) follow is the biannual sharing of his reading list. The billionaire philanthropist, who recently made the news for reasons other than his work – read: his divorce from Melina Gates after 27 years, allegations of a 2019 investigation against him for an alleged previous relationship with an employee, his dubious association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, among others, is back with his summer book suggestions.

And the books that have kept the Microsoft co-founder hanging this season have a somewhat common theme. Gates, in a blog post, wrote that he had recently found himself “searching for books on the complicated relationship between mankind and nature.”

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The 65-year-old said that normally there isn’t “always a rhyme or reason” for the books he chooses. Sometimes he is inspired to find out more about the subject of his current book, while other times he is “eager to follow a recommendation from someone I respect”.

But this summer’s picks, although they are in different genres, have common ground, as they “all touch on what happens when people come into conflict with the world around them.” According to him, it could be “because everyone’s life has been turned upside down by a virus. Or maybe it’s because I’ve spent so much time this year talking about what we need to do to avoid it. a climate catastrophe “.

Summing up his list, Gates said there is a book that examines “how researchers are trying to undo the damage done to the planet by humans, a deep dive into how your body protects you from microscopic invaders, the memories of ‘a president who discusses the fallout of an oil spill and a novel about a group of ordinary people who fight to save trees,’ in addition to what he describes as a fascinating look at the fall of one of the most large American companies.

The latter answers a question Gates has been asking himself for many years, namely “How could a company as large and successful as GE fail?” And the tech titan found the answers he was looking for in “Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric” by Thomas Gryta and Ted Mann.

Gates recommends this book to anyone in “any type of managerial position, whether in a business, nonprofit, or elsewhere.”

“The authors give you a seamless overview of the mistakes and missteps of GE management,” writes Gates, adding that there is a lot to learn here.


Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System: A Story in Four Lives, by Matt Richtel, and “Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric”, by Thomas Gryta and Ted Mann, are among Bill Gates’ summer picks.

Another highly recommended book by the billionaire is “Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future” by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Kolbert.

Gates says that Kolbert’s latest book is “the simplest examination of mankind against nature” on his list.

Kolbert’s coverage of gene drive and geoengineering – two topics that Gates says particularly interests him draw him to the book as well.

Gates says Kolbert's latest book is

Gates says that Kolbert’s latest book is “the simplest examination of mankind against nature” on his list.

Barack Obama’s memoir “A Promised Land” is also on his list, and Gates – who says he’s almost always interested in books about US presidents – calls it “a fascinating look at what it is like. to lead a country through difficult times ”.

On the subject of hard times, “An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System: A Tale in Four Lives” by Matt Richtel is a book Gates recommends as “valuable reading that will help you figure out what it takes. to stop COVID-19. ”

The book, written before the coronavirus pandemic, is an exploration of the human immune system and focuses on four patients, each forced to manage their immune system in some way.

Richard Powers '' The Overstory 'and Barack Obama's memoir' A Promised Land 'are also on Gates' summer playlist.Agencies

Richard Powers ‘“The Overstory” and Barack Obama’s memoir “A Promised Land” are also on Gates’ summer playlist.

A final member of the list is “The Overstory” by Richard Powers, which according to Gates “is one of the most unusual novels I have read in years”.

Read the blog post here.

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