Christmas shopping with Bill Gates

Every year, Bill Gates presents his book recommendations. This year, is no exception.

string-theoryString Theory, by David Foster Wallace. This book has nothing to do with physics, but its title will make you look super smart if you’re reading it on a train or plane.








shoe-dogShoe Dog, by Phil Knight. This memoir, by the co-founder of Nike, is a refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like: messy, precarious, and riddled with mistakes.







the-geneThe Gene, by Siddhartha Mukherjee. 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.







the-myth-of-the-strong-leaderThe Myth of the Strong Leader, by Archie Brown. 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.”






the-gridHonorable mention: The Grid, by Gretchen Bakke. This book, about our aging electrical grid, fits in one of my favorite genres: “Books About Mundane Stuff That Are Actually Fascinating.”







Each of these books is available for sale on Amazon, etc. However, many, if not all of them are available at your local library too. We frugal folks don’t like to spend money on things that we can get for free. Not only are the physical (hardcover) versions of these books at the library, but you can probably borrow digital copies as well.

Of course, while it’s always smart to save money wherever you can, it’s also nice to support those authors that you like reading, especially when they come out with a new book 😉

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