Bill Gates has become a powerful influence on publishing. An endorsement from the philanthropist and Microsoft cofounder can cause tangible sales spikes, reminiscent of the golden ticket that once came with being picked for Oprah’s book club.
So just what does Gates read? Quartz manually compiled all 186 of the books mentioned on his blog, which dates back to January 2010, and organized them by topic. We’ve included all titles, even those of which Gates was mostly critical, like Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist. But this is relatively rare; Gates usually only blogs about books he recommends.
Gates reads little fiction, as he readily admits, but will dabble in YA, comedic memoir, and graphic novels on occasion. As the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he is wont to recommend books on development, poverty, disease, and education on his blog.
Gates, of course, reads books on scientific topics like biology and physics, but he’s also a big fan of books that offer a scientific or mathematical framework for seeing the world, like What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, by xkcd’s Randall Munroe. Many of the books Gates endorses, especially those that focus on the long arc of human civilization, both its past and future, argue for an optimistic outlook. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong about the World—and Why Things Are Better than You Think, a book by the late Hans Rosling, his son, and his daughter-in-law, does both: It argues for an optimism about the world through principles of sound scientific thinking, and it got a strong endorsement from Gates this year.
Vaclav Smil is the author Gates has mentioned the most on his blog. Smil is a highly prolific academic emeritus from the University of Manitoba in Canada, who writes about energy and public policy, among other things. Over the years Gates has recommended so many books by Smil that they warrant their own category.
In the scheme of things, Gates surprisingly does not frequently recommend books about business success or digital technology.
(Via Quartz » Technology)
Quartz classified the books, so check out the article (or save it for later asI am doing).