Bill Gates Books Recommendations

Article bySayantan Mukhopadhyay
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM
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Top 14 Bill Gates Books Recommendations

Bill Gates, one of the world’s richest men, doesn’t shy away from reading. Rather he reads more than 50 books each year. But very few books reach the top list of Bill Gates books recommendations at the end of the year. Below is the list of books recommended by Bill Gates in 2023:

  1. The Choice ( Get this book )
  2. Cloud Atlas ( Get this book )
  3. The Ride of a Lifetime ( Get this book )
  4. The Great Influenza ( Get this book )
  5. Good Economics for Hard Times ( Get this book )
  6. I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life ( Get this book )
  7. Seveneves No products found.
  8. When Breath Becomes Air
  9. Sustainable Materials with Both Eyes Open ( Get this book )
  10. Interventions: A Life in War and Peace ( Get this book )
  11. Epic Measures: One Doctor, Seven Billion Patients ( Get this book )
  12. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind ( Get this book )
  13. Should we eat meat? ( Get this book )
  14. The Vital Question ( Get this book )

Let us discuss each Bill Gates book in detail, along with its key takeaways and reviews.

Bill Gates Books-Recommendations

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#1 – The Choice

by Dr. Edith Eva Eger

The Choice: Embrace the Possible

About the book

This book tells the remarkable journey of a Nazi holocaust survivor (Dr. Eger) whose immense strength and courage helped her overcome the horrifying experience of the concentration camps to become an eminent psychologist eventually.

Book review

This book is a personal memoir of a holocaust survivor who poured her heart into it to portray the true picture of the Jews’ brutalities during the war. The author tells how the struggle and suffering she faced in the Nazi concentration camp haunted her for years. However, she showed remarkable emotional recovery to cope with the memories of her horrifying past to move on in life. In this way, she exemplified that our life story is not defined by what happened to us. Rather, it should be about how well we dealt with its challenges. In other words, we might not be able to change what happens to us, but we can choose how it affects us.

Key Takeaways

  • It is an account of Dr. Eger’s resilience shown in the face of adversity during her entire life.
  • It is an inspirational story that states that we should be happy with what we have in our life and shouldn’t be sad about something that we don’t have.
<< Get this book >>

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#2 – Cloud Atlas

by David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas

About the book

This book is a sextet comprising six novellas that are distinctly different yet miraculously forged together by the author. It is an amazing blend of different writing styles.

Book review

The author used different narrative styles for each of the six stories, making the book worth reading. The first story is a journal, the second is a one-way letter, the third is a kind of thriller/ crime novel, the fourth is a memoir, the fifth is in the Q&A format, and the sixth is a fictional story. He has used an unconventional storytelling structure to present a complex yet compelling narrative that travels through different lifetimes. Each novella, except the sixth story, has been broken down into two parts wherein the follow-up part of the stories completes in descending order, i.e., sixth, fifth, fourth, third, second, and first. Overall, it will be a strange and exciting experience for you as a reader.

Key Takeaways

  • The narration style can be confusing initially, but it sinks in well as you read through this masterpiece.
  • It demonstrates the author’s versatility and mastery over different genres.
<< Get this book >>

#3 – The Ride of a Lifetime

by Robert Iger

The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

About the book

The book narrates the story of Robert Iger from when he started as the CEO of Walt Disney in 2005. It describes how he overcame the challenges to reinvent and establish Walt Disney as one of the most beloved companies in the world today.

Book review

It is an autobiographical account of Robert Iger’s stint as the CEO of Walt Disney. It narrates his remarkable professional career, life, and positive outlook. He has framed the book content in the form of some very exciting leadership lessons, focusing on his tenure at Disney. Another fascinating aspect of the book is the narration of how Iger managed to secure some of the biggest acquisitions made by Disney – Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. In short, this book will take you on a journey with Iger, and eventually, you will understand what he believes in and why he does that. It is one of the finest memoirs you will come across.

Key Takeaways

  • It is partly a personal journey, and a business lesson wherein the author asserts how he helped build the company into what it is today.
  • It is an excellent book on leadership and problem-solving attitudes.
<< Get this book >>

#4 – The Great Influenza

by John M. Barry

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History

About the book

The book provides an intense narrative of one of the most lethal influenza viruses that erupted in the US during World War I (WWI) and then exploded, resulting in the death of nearly 100 million people.

Book review

This book reflects upon the lethal Spanish flu that lasted from February 1918 to April 1920, infecting around 500 million people and accounting for the death of close to 1/5th of the infected people, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in history. It provides a fascinating insight into the pandemic. It narrates how the virus spread and how physicians and researchers came together to fight against the global health crisis. In a way, this book is a tale of victory amid tragedy, which reaffirms that we as a society can confront and also survive a pandemic provided we take the right approach in a disciplined manner.

Key Takeaways

  • It offers an in-depth scientific analysis of the pandemic, from the genesis of the virus to the development of human immunity.
  • As a reader, you will better understand how you should act during such a critical time.
<< Get this book >>

#5 – Good Economics for Hard Times

by Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo

Good Economics for Hard Times

About the book

In this book, the Novel laureate duo of husband and wife explores contemporary economics with the help of data and facts to understand what measures one should implement during hard times.

Book review

The book starts with a confident claim by the authors stating that they trust their prejudices and opinions. The authors have referred to the latest economic research for every single topic before arriving at an intellectually honest interpretation, which makes this book the perfect textbook for economics that can be studied and taught. In this book, you will learn why and how populist ideas work and why these ideas are so misguided. It also tells how the government sometimes has to opt for economic growth at the expense of the common good. In short, this book provides insights into the current economic challenges and helps us build the capacity to solve actual social and economic problems.

Key Takeaways

  • The book is extremely well-written and deeply researched. It has a lot of information about economics.
  • The authors have used simple language resulting in an easy-to-read book that even a layperson without any economic background can understand.
<< Get this book >>

#6 – I Contain Multitudes

The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Young

I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

Book Review

This book is number one on Bill Gates’ recommended book list. Bill Gates mentioned that he beautifully wrote this book and that it will mesmerize the readers with the real “grander view of life” and not “with simplistic explanations.”

Key Takeaways

There are two key points that everyone would take away from this book:

  • It will help you understand the ecosystem quite well.
  • Knowledge of human microbes will help you magnify your health.
<< Get this book >>

#7 – When Breathe Becomes Air

by Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air

Book Review

This book is in the second position on the recommendation list. During the last days, Paul wrote this mind-blowing book on the meaning of life, the brief life we live, and why it is important to have a purpose. Bill Gates remarked that the writer’s tenacity spellbound him in writing this book while the latter was dying.

Key Takeaways

Something we all can learn from this book is the significance of a well-lived life. We need to realize that life is short and shorter than we think. Therefore, we should live meaningful lives and never take life for granted.

<< Get this book >>

#8 – Seveneves

by Neal Stephenson

No products found.

Book Review

Few books take you to a new dimension of thinking and change your perspective altogether. Well, your search ends here. This book will teach you how to change your paradigm about life and why it’s important to think about everything from perspective. For example, imagine if the world ends two years from now. Would you prioritize the same set of tasks that you did before knowing about the collapse of the world?

Key Takeaways

If you think short term, you will only experience instant panic and frustration. However, if you allow yourself to think through long-term perspectives, you may change your mind.

No products found.

#9 – Sustainable Materials with Both Eyes Open

by Julian M. Allwood and Jonathan M. Cullen

Sustainable Materials - with Both Eyes Open: Future Buildings, Vehicles, Products and Equipment - Made Efficiently and Made with Less New Material by Julian Allwood (24-Nov-2011) Paperback

Book Review

Suppose you have ever wondered about recycling and reusing and couldn’t figure out which is better and why this book will throw light that will illuminate your mind. When we throw away the car or the refrigerator, how much can we still reuse and give a total reshape?

Key Takeaways

This book will teach you why reusing is better than recycling, why recycling takes more energy than reusing, and that one can reuse buildings, cars, and steel unless affected by any natural calamity.

<< Get this book >>

#10 – Interventions: A Life in War and Peace

by Kofi Annan

Interventions: A Life in War and Peace

Book Review

This book is completely different from the other books. It is about diplomacy. In addition, it is about Kofi Annan’s work at the UN for 10 long years. This book could impress Bill Gates because it portrays a holistic picture of how Annan worked and how he arbitrated among member states and convinced them of world peace.

Key Takeaways

You will learn the nitty-gritty of arbitration at the UN and how a man could survive ten long years in a diplomacy position. The writing style is a big plus, which will glue you to the book until you finish it.

<< Get this book >>

#11 – Epic Measures: One Doctor, Seven Billion Patients

by Jeremy Smith

Epic Measures: One Doctor. Seven Billion Patients.

Book Review

If you are ever interested in Chris Murray and his work, Bill Gates recommends this book; you should pick it up. It is a revolutionary book about how everyone’s health threatens and how we collectively change that. As per the book’s author, Murray’s effort is incredible and can be called a highly independent work.

Key Takeaways

This book will teach you a lot about health and how empirical studies and new methods can reduce diseases and disabilities. This book, recommended by Bill Gates, is great for doctors, political members, and even private citizens.

<< Get this book >>

#12 – Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

by Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Book Review

As human beings, we didn’t just drop out of the ocean on one sunny day. We evolved. We matured. And if someone would sit with you and tell you how you have become this “homo-sapiens,” would you not lend your ears in inquiry? This book, recommended by Bill Gates, is exactly that. The author weaves our history so beautifully that you can’t put it down.

Key Takeaways

This book doesn’t have any best take-away. Why? Because this book is one of the best books you would ever read (yes, in its entirety). And Bill Gates promised you that you would read this cover to cover.

<< Get this book >>

#13 – Should we eat meat?

By Vaclav Smil

Should We Eat Meat?: Evolution and Consequences of Modern Carnivory

Book Review

This book is for everybody – from vegans to carnivores. If you eat or don’t eat meat, you need to know if you should eat meat! As per Gates, this is the most comprehensive book since the author covers the subject from all angles. You may not agree with everything, but being aware of what you’re putting into your body is an essential thing to look at.

Key Takeaways

The best part of this book is its comprehensive discussion of whether you should eat meat or not. Of course, after reading this book, you may continue eating meat or remain vegan, but this book will certainly make you think.

<< Get this book >>

#14 – The Vital Question

by Nick Lane

Vital Question

Book Review

This book will help you look at the origins of cellular life. And this book talks about more than just basic theory. With each theory, the author presents data points that support the theory. You will also know about the evolution of Eukaryotes and how energy use in cells has evolved.

Key Takeaways

The best takeaway from this book is the author himself because he has written the book. According to Bill Gates, if the author is transparent about what he knows and doesn’t know, you wouldn’t be confused about what to believe in.

<< Get this book >>

Here, we provide the list of the top 14 Bill Gates book recommendations of 2021. Here, we discuss what the books propose, their key takeaways, and their reviews.

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