November 2023

Bill Gates 2022 Summer Reading List

— Five great books for summer recommended by Bill Gates.
Bill Gates 2022 Summer Reading List
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It's that time of the year again when Bill Gates puts out a new reading list! This summer's list is full of interesting reads. Feel free to send us an email with any comments or ideas for new blogs. Thanks for checking us out!

Our favourite quote from The Power

One of them says, 'Why did they do it?' And the other answers, 'Because they could.' That is the only answer there ever is.

The world in The Power is recognisable: there's a rich Nigerian kid who lounges around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents conceal their true nature; a local American politician; and a tough London girl from a troubled family. But something critical has changed, forcing their lives to collide with disastrous results. Teenage females now have enormous physical strength, capable of inflicting excruciating pain and even death. And the world alters completely as a result of this minor natural occurrence.

This extraordinary novel by Naomi Alderman, a Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and Granta Best of British writer, is not only a gripping story of how the world would change if power was in the hands of women but also exposes, with breath-taking daring, our contemporary world.

Our favourite quote from Why We're Polarized

The fact that voters ultimately treated Trump as if he were just another Republican speaks to the enormous weight party polarization now exerts on our politics—a weight so heavy that it can take an election as bizarre as 2016 and jam the result into the same grooves as Romney’s contest with Obama or Bush’s race against Kerry. We are so locked into our political identities that there is virtually no candidate, no information, no condition, that can force us to change our minds. We will justify almost anything or anyone so long as it helps our side, and the result is a politics devoid of guardrails, standards, persuasion, or accountability.

Discover how American politics became a toxic system, why we participate in it, and what it means for our future--from journalist, political commentator, and cofounder of Vox, Ezra Klein.

After Election Day 2016, both supporters and opponents of the soon-to-be president hailed his victory as a historically unprecedented event. Most Americans could agree that no candidate like Donald Trump had ever been elected President before. But political journalist Ezra Klein makes the case that the 2016 election wasn't surprising at all. In fact, Trump's electoral victory followed the exact same template as previous elections, by capturing a nearly identical percentage of voter demographics as previous Republican candidates.

Over the past 50 years in America, our partisan identities have merged with our racial, religious, geographic, ideological, and cultural identities. Those merged identities have attained a weight that is breaking much in our politics and tearing at the bonds that hold this country together.

In this groundbreaking book, Klein shows how and why American politics polarized around identity in the 20th century, and what that polarization did to the way we see the world and each other. And he traces the feedback loops between our polarized political identities and our polarized political institutions that are driving our political system towards crisis.

Neither a polemic nor a lament, Klein offers a clear framework for understanding everything from Trump's rise to the Democratic Party's leftward shift to the politicization of everyday culture. A revelatory book that will change how you look at politics, and perhaps at yourself.

Our favourite quote from The Lincoln Highway

For kindness begins where necessity ends.

The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America

Emmett Watson, eighteen, is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the work farm where he has just served a year for involuntary manslaughter. Emmett's intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother and head west, where they can start their lives anew, with his mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank. When the warden drives away, Emmett learns that two work farm pals have stowed themselves in the warden's trunk. They have devised a completely new strategy for Emmett's future.

Towles' third novel, which spans only ten days and is told from multiple points of view, will satisfy fans of his multi-layered literary style while also introducing new and richly imagined settings, characters, and themes.

Our favourite quote from The Ministry for the Future

So, is there energy enough for all? Yes. Is there food enough for all? Yes. Is there housing enough for all? There could be, there is no real problem there. Same for clothing. Is there health care enough for all? Not yet, but there could be; it’s a matter of training people and making small technological objects, there is no planetary constraint on that one. Same with education. So all the necessities for a good life are abundant enough that everyone alive could have them. Food, water, shelter, clothing, health care, education

The new organisation, founded in 2025, had a simple mission: to advocate for the world's future generations and to protect all living creatures, present and future. It was quickly dubbed the Ministry for the Future, and here is its narrative.

Kim Stanley Robinson, the great science fiction novelist, has created a vision of climate change unlike any other.

The Ministry For The Future is an imaginative masterpiece that tells the story of how climate change will affect us all in the coming decades entirely through fictional eyewitness accounts.

Its backdrop is not a dismal, post-apocalyptic world, but a near-future future in which humanity may just overcome the great obstacles we confront.

It is a novel that is both immediate and impactful, desperate and hopeful, and one of the most powerful and original books on climate change ever written.

Our favourite quote from How the World Really Works

In two centuries, the human labor to produce a kilogram of American wheat was reduced from 10 minutes to less than two seconds.

We've never had so much knowledge at our fingertips, but most of us still don't understand how the world works. This book reveals seven key facts that determine our survival and success. From energy and food production, through our material world and its globalisation, to risks, our environment and its future, How the World Really Works offers a much-needed reality check—because before we can tackle problems effectively, we must understand the facts.

In this ambitious and thought-provoking book we see, for example, that globalisation isn’t inevitable—the foolishness of allowing 70 per cent of the world’s rubber gloves to be made in just one factory became glaringly obvious in 2020—and that our societies have been steadily increasing their dependence on fossil fuels, such that any promises of decarbonization by 2050 are a fairy tale. For example, each greenhouse-grown supermarket-bought tomato contains the equivalent of five tablespoons of diesel, and there is no way to produce steel, cement, or plastics at required scales without massive carbon emissions.

Finally, Smil answers the most important issue of our time: are we doomed or is there hope for a better future? This fascinating, data-rich, and revisionist multidisciplinary handbook identifies flaws in both extremes. Looking at the world via this quantitative lens exposes hidden realities that alter our perceptions of the past, present, and unknown future.

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