It’s time for another roundup of what Bill Gates has been reading.
Every so often, the Microsoft co-founder gifts the masses with his reading list which Gates typically releases near the end-of-the-year right before the holidays. But last month, Gates offered a few books he’d suggest reading next.
In an interview with Lloyd Minor, dean of medicine at Stanford University, Gates named four books that include titles that touch upon the current coronavirus pandemic and racial injustice.
Although Gates recently told Fast Company that he had been reading less than he had in decades due to the pandemic, his list should provide recommended reading for everyone.
Here’s what Gates recommended:
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (Amazon)
Praised by many, Michelle Alexander’s book remains ever as important as it was a decade ago when it released. The Chronicle of Higher Education called it one of the “most influential books of the last 20 years as it recounts mass incarceration and racism in the American criminal justice system.
It’s one that Gates said he had wished to read earlier.
“There’s a lot of books about racial injustice that I probably should have read more of in the past,“ Gates said.
Here’s what The New York Times said:
“Two years after Obama’s election, Alexander put the entire criminal justice system on trial, exposing racial discrimination from lawmaking to policing to the denial of voting rights to ex-prisoners. This bestseller struck the spark that would eventually light the fire of Black Lives Matter.”
Breath from Salt: A Deadly Genetic Disease, a New Era in Science, and the Patients and Families Who Changed Medicine Forever by Bijal P. Trivedi (Amazon)
Gates called this one a “very inspiring” read. It’s a tale about cystic fibrosis and how it could be the missing piece in helping heal many other genetic diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The story is about Joe O’Donnell, a Boston businessman who raised millions for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation after losing his son to the disease. Gates said it was a great example of researchers and donors coming together to achieve something that seemed impossible.
The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz By Erik Larson (Amazon)
The author of “The Devil in the White City” and “Dead Wake,” Erik Larson’s latest book chronicles Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz during World War II.
Gates said it’s relevant because it shows “a leader who was under a lot of pressure and doubt with things.”
“Even though we can get obsessed about political stuff, stepping back and reading thoughtful books is very helpful,” he said.
Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria (Amazon)
Is it too soon for pandemic reading? Probably not.
Fareed Zakaria, the host of CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” gives an account on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the lessons that are learned from it, from a government level to a personal level. Gates, who’s been vocal throughout the pandemic, called it a “very promising title.”