Bill Gates Favorite Books of 2016

Bill Gates with his favorite books of 2016

Bill Gates reads 50 books every year. He also makes sure that he lets people know which ones were his favorite through his blog GatesNotes. Add these to your reading list and slowly build up the knowledge base and mindset like that of Bill Gates.

The Books of 2016

  1. ‘String Theory’ by David Foster Wallace

Gathered for the first time in a deluxe collector’s edition, here are David Foster Wallace’s legendary writings on tennis, five tour-de-force pieces written with a competitor’s insight and a fan’s obsessive enthusiasm. Wallace brings his dazzling literary magic to the game he loved as he celebrates the other-worldly genius of Roger Federer; offers a wickedly witty dissection of Tracy Austin’s memoir; considers the artistry of Michael Joyce, a supremely disciplined athlete on the threshold of fame; resists the crush of commerce at the U.S. Open; and recalls his own career as a “near-great” junior player.

Bill Gates talks about how this book is nothing related to Physics but simply a collection of 5 essays on tennis written by Wallace. He says that

“Tennis is a sport I gave up in my Microsoft days and am once again pursuing with a passion. You don’t have to play or even watch tennis to love this book. The late author wielded a pen as skillfully as Roger Federer wields a tennis racket. Here, as in his other brilliant works, Wallace found mind-blowing ways of bending language like a metal spoon”

2. ‘Shoe Dog’ by Phil Knight

In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the boot of his Plymouth, Knight grossed $8000 in his first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of start-ups, Nike is the ne plus ultra of all start-ups and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognizable symbols in the world today. 
But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always remained a mystery. Now, for the first time, he tells his story. Candid, humble, wry and gutsy, he begins with his crossroads moment when at 24 he decided to start his own business. He details the many risks and daunting setbacks that stood between him and his dream along with his early triumphs. Above all, he recalls how his first band of partners and employees soon became a tight knit band of brothers. Together, harnessing the transcendent power of a shared mission and a deep belief in the spirit of sport, they built a brand that changed everything.

A memoir rich with insight, humour and hard-won wisdom, this book is also studded with lessons about building something from scratch, overcoming adversity and ultimately leaving your mark on the world.

Bill Gates says that this book shows how the path to business success really looks like — messy, precarious, and riddled with mistakes.

He quotes -

I’ve met Knight a few times over the years. He’s super nice, but he’s also quiet and difficult to get to know. Here Knight opens up in a way few CEOs are willing to do. I don’t think Knight sets out to teach the reader anything. Instead, he accomplishes something better. He tells his story as honestly as he can. It’s an amazing tale.

3. ‘The Gene’ by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Spanning the globe and several centuries, The Gene is the story of the quest to decipher the master-code that makes and defines humans, that governs our form and function.

The story of the gene begins in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856, where a monk stumbles on the idea of a ‘unit of heredity’. It intersects with Darwin’s theory of evolution, and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. The gene transforms post-war biology. It reorganizes our understanding of sexuality, temperament, choice and free will. Above all, this is a story driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds–from Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel to Francis Crick, James Watson and Rosalind Franklin, and the thousands of scientists still working to understand the code of codes.

This is an epic, moving history of a scientific idea being brought to life, by the author of The Emperor of All Maladies. But woven through The Gene, like a red line, is also an intimate history–the story of Mukherjee’s own family and its recurring pattern of mental illness, reminding us that genetics is vitally relevant to everyday lives. These concerns reverberate even more urgently today as we learn to ‘read’ and ‘write’ the human genome–unleashing the potential to change the fates and identities of our children. Majestic in its ambition, and unflinching in its honesty, The Gene gives us a definitive account of the fundamental unit of heredity–and a vision of both humanity’s past and future.

Bill Gates praises Siddhartha Mukherjee by saying

Doctors are deemed a “triple threat” when they take care of patients, teach medical students, and conduct research. Mukherjee, who does all of these things at Columbia University, is a “quadruple threat,” because he’s also a Pulitzer Prize– winning author. In his latest book, Mukherjee guides us through the past, present, and future of genome science, with a special focus on huge ethical questions that the latest and greatest genome technologies provoke. Mukherjee wrote this book for a lay audience, because he knows that the new genome technologies are at the cusp of affecting us all in profound ways.

4. The Myth of the Strong Leader’ by Archie Brown

Archie Brown challenges the widespread belief that ‘strong leaders’, dominate individual wielders of power, are the most successful and admirable.

Within authoritarian regimes, a collective leadership is a lesser evil compared with a personal dictatorship. Within democracies, although ‘strong leaders’ are seldom as strong or independent as they purport to be, the idea that just one person is entitled to take the big decisions is harmful and should be resisted.

Examining Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mikhail Gorbachev, Deng Xiaoping and Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair amongst many others, this landmark study pinpoints different types and qualities of leadership. Overturning the popular notion of the strong leader, it makes us rethink preconceptions about what it means to lead.

Bill Gates quotes -

This year’s fierce election battle prompted me to pick up this 2014 book, by an Oxford University scholar who has studied political leadership — good, bad, and ugly — for more than 50 years. Brown shows that the leaders who make the biggest contributions to history and humanity generally are not the ones we perceive to be “strong leaders.” Instead, they tend to be the ones who collaborate, delegate, and negotiate — and recognize that no one person can or should have all the answers. Brown could not have predicted how resonant his book would become in 2016.

5. ‘The Grid’ by Gretchen Bakke

America’s electrical grid, an engineering triumph of the twentieth century, is turning out to be a poor fit for the present. It’s not just that the grid has grown old and is now in dire need of basic repair. Today, as we invest great hope in new energy sources — solar, wind, and other alternatives — the grid is what stands most firmly in the way of a brighter energy future. If we hope to realize this future, we need to re-imagine the grid according to twenty-first-century values. It’s a project which forces visionaries to work with bureaucrats, legislators with storm-flattened communities, moneymen with hippies, and the left with the right. And though it might not yet be obvious, this revolution is already well under way.

Cultural anthropologist Gretchen Bakke unveils the many facets of America’s energy infrastructure, its most dynamic moments and its most stable ones, and its essential role in personal and national life. The grid, she argues, is an essentially American artifact, one which developed with us: a product of bold expansion, the occasional foolhardy vision, some genius technologies, and constant improvisation. Most of all, her focus is on how Americans are changing the grid right now, sometimes with gumption and big dreams and sometimes with legislation or the brandishing of guns.

The Grid tells — entertainingly, perceptively — the story of what has been called “the largest machine in the world”: its fascinating history, its problematic present, and its potential role in a brighter, cleaner future.

Bill Gates says that this book is one of his favorite genres — “Books about mundane stuff which is actually fascinating. He says that this book would convince you that the electrical grid is one of the greatest engineering wonders of the modern world.

I think you would also come to see why modernizing the grid is so complex and so critical for building our clean-energy future.

Also Read

1. 14 books that billionaire Charlie Munger thinks everyone should read

2. 14 books that Warren Buffet thinks everyone should read

3. What would Gandhi say about Digital Money?

4. The mental cost of splitting a bill

5. 7 books recommended by the world’s most successful

Do not forget to ❤ the article 😊