What Bill Gates is reading this summer

What Bill Gates is reading this summer

By Ritchie King @RitchieSKing July 20, 2013

If you’re in the market for a light, sunshine-friendly novel—something with an up tempo narrative and relatable characters—then Bill Gates’s summer reading list is not for you. But if you’re a non-fiction buff with a wide range of interests, then it might be the perfect place to look for a new book. The list, which the Microsoft chairman posted on his blog Gates Notes, is his own personal reading agenda for the season—not a collection of books that he’s already read and feels inspired to promote (with the exception of one of them). It includes eight titles in all, and seven are non-fiction. “I don’t generally read a lot of fiction,” Gates writes next to the entry for Robert Cook’s Patriot & Assassin, the sole novel in the list. Taken together, the lineup reveals Gates to be a total intellectual omnivore. Notably, there isn’t a single book about computing or technology. The non-fiction titles range from a psychologist’s exploration of stereotypes to a history of the shipping container and its impact on globalization. He’s already finished reading the first book on the list—Jared Diamond’s The World Until Yesterday—and hasposted his own review of it. Here’s the list in full:The Bill Gates summer reading list

The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? by Jared Diamond, 2012

The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger by Marc Levinson, 2008

However Long the Night: Molly Melching’s Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls by Aimee Molloy, 2013

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough, 2013

Japan’s Dietary Transition and Its Impacts by Vaclav Smil and Kazuhiko Kobayashi, 2012

Made in the USA: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing by Vaclav Smil, 2013

Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do by Claude Steele, 2011

Patriot & Assassin by Robert Cook, 2013

Gates is known to be a voracious reader. He traditionally would twice a year spend a week at a cottage in the Pacific Northwest (paywall), poring over proposals and technical papers from Microsoft employees, pausing to solve bridge challenges and swig Diet Orange Crush.

On the blog where he posted his summer reads, Gates also lists a catalogue of nearly 150 books, each of which contains a link to either a summary or a review by Gates himself, like the one he wrote of The World Until Yesterday. He categorizes them into five separate groups: education, energy, development, health, and personal. That last category includes books about history, science, and economics as well as some memoirs and two works of fiction—The Hunger Games and The Catcher in the Rye. By “personal” Gates must mean things that he’s interested in, but for which he doesn’t see an immediate practical application—few of us would think to classify a book like Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise that way.


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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