By Steven Levy
It is an odd day that produces reading lists from Bill Gates and Osama Bin Laden. But that’s what happened yesterday. On his blog, the Microsoft co-founder and foundation head shared the books he was going to take to the beach this summer. (Note to Bill: wear sunscreen.) And a reluctant Office of the Director of National Intelligence finally coughed up the titles of the books found in the Al Qaeda leader’s Pakistan retreat when he was apprehended and killed.
If the trove of books is any indication, ruthless terrorist Bin Laden shared something in common with technologist and mega-philanthropist Bill Gates: a voracious appetite for reading. What’s more, even though it might be hard to imagine two more different men, it seems that some of these tomes might be equally interesting to both figures, who in a different life might have been members of an extraordinarily weird book club.
But before you follow the links to the respective lists, have some fun with a quiz: the Gates/Bin Laden Library Smackdown. Here are eight books that appeared on one of reading lists of these men. Pull out your pencils and mark down your best guess as whose night table each tome occupied.