Microsoft founder Bill Gates shares the five books that kept him awake. He hopes you find at least one book here that inspires you to go off the beaten path.
How not to be wrong – Jordan Ellenberg
On LinkedIn the Microsoft billionaire presented books that inspired him to think differently. The first is “How Not to Be Wrong” by mathematics professor Jordan Ellenberg. The author explains in his book how math affects our daily lives – even if we don’t recognize it. He illustrates this with examples like political elections or lotteries. The bestseller was praised among others in the New York Times and the Washington Post. Bill Gates thinks that Ellenberg also manages to keep the reader interested even at the complicated parts.
The power to compete – Hiroshi Mikitani and Ryoichi Mikitani
Since Bill Gates traveled for the first time to Japan three decades ago, he has had a weakness for the Japanese economy, he writes in his blog Gates Notes. The book “The Power to Compete” by Rakuten founder Hiroshi Mikitani and his father Ryoichi Mikitani deals with the questions why Japan’s corporations were suspended from the Chinese and South Korean competitors – and if they can have a comeback.
Seveneves – Neal Stephenson
According to Gates, this science fiction novel by Neal Stephenson is “a great novel to get lost in.” The book is comprised of 800 pages. In “Seveneves” the moon explodes and people start a mission into space to save the earth from meteor showers. Gates writes on Gates Notes that he hadn’t read sci-fi in ten years, but this book has reawakened his interest.
Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari
The author Yuval Noah Harari has written 400 pages about the history of mankind. Gates writes in his blog he and his wife Melinda have read the book and hotly debated it at the kitchen table. It is also about the latest developments such as artificial intelligence or genetic manipulation in agriculture – and what they mean for our future.
The Vital Question – Nick Lane
Gates writes after he had read “The Vital Question”, he immediately ordered the other three books of the author Nick Lane and had a meeting in New York City with him arranged. The biology in the books fascinated him. In “The Vital Question” argues Lane, one can only understand how life had ever begun if you understand how energy functioned. Gates believes : “Even if the details of Nick’s work turn out to be wrong, I suspect his focus on energy will be seen as an important contribution to our understanding of where we come from.”
This article was originally posted on Gründerszene.