As the holiday season approaches, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates once again shares his curated list of favorite books and holiday treats. Renowned for his voracious reading habits, Gates has selected three outstanding non-fiction books, a series of online economics lectures, and even a festive Spotify playlist to spread the joy this season.
The Song of the Cell by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Leading off the list is “The Song of the Cell” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Columbia University oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee. Published last year, this groundbreaking book delves into the intricacies of cellular biology, exploring the evolution of life from single-celled organisms to the complexities of the human body.
Gates praises Mukherjee for unraveling the medical history of cells, from their discovery in the 1600s to present-day understanding. The book not only serves as a historical exploration but also peers into the future of medical breakthroughs through cellular manipulation. According to Gates, Mukherjee’s narrative is accessible and insightful, providing readers with a profound understanding of their own bodies and the implications of cellular malfunctions.
Not the End of the World by Hannah Ritchie
For those seeking a dose of climate optimism during the holiday season, Gates recommends “Not the End of the World” by University of Oxford data scientist Hannah Ritchie. Set to be published in January, this upcoming release challenges conventional doomsday narratives on climate change.
Ritchie, once a believer in humanity’s most tragic period, utilizes data-driven insights to present a counterintuitive story. Gates emphasizes that the book doesn’t shy away from acknowledging challenges but provides evidence of human progress in the battle against climate change. As Ritchie focuses on data rather than pessimism, Gates suggests that it is a must-read for anyone engaged in informed conversations about climate issues.
Invention and Innovation by Vaclav Smil
Vaclav Smil, a professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Manitoba and one of Gates’ favorite authors, contributes “Invention and Innovation” to the list. Released in February, this book explores human innovation throughout history, offering a comprehensive analysis of both successful and disastrous inventions.
Gates, who has devoured all 44 of Smil’s books, recommends “Invention and Innovation” for its exploration of past innovations and its insights into the promises yet to be fulfilled. The book touches on topics like nuclear fusion energy and identifies signs of technical stagnation in the current era of innovation. Despite Smil’s less optimistic view, Gates suggests the book for readers keen on understanding the journey of human ingenuity leading up to the present moment.
Online Economics Lectures by Timothy Taylor
Venturing beyond the realm of books, Gates also recommends online economics lectures by Timothy Taylor, a Stanford-educated economist and managing editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives. These lectures, available on the subscription service Wondrium, cover a broad range of economic topics and come in three series.
Gates hails Taylor as one of his all-time favorite professors, praising the depth and breadth of the lectures. “The New Global Economy” delves into the economic history of different regions and market mechanisms. “Economics” caters to those seeking a deep understanding of economic principles, while “Unexpected Economics” applies these principles to everyday scenarios, making it accessible to a wide audience. Gates notes that Taylor’s expertise shines through in these 96 videos of roughly 30 minutes each.
Bill Gates’ Holiday Spotify Playlist
Adding a musical touch to the holiday season, Gates shares his 54-song Spotify playlist, featuring a mix of traditional classics and modern interpretations. From timeless tunes like “Joy to the World” to contemporary hits like Sia’s “12 Nights,” the playlist aims to spread joy and capture the festive spirit.
Bill encourages listeners to enjoy the playlist in various settings, whether in an ugly sweater, while wrapping presents, or around the table with family and friends. The eclectic selection promises to bring joy to the holidays, reflecting Gates’ diverse taste in music.
Bill 2023 holiday recommendations encompass a wide range of intellectual and festive pursuits, from insightful books on cellular biology, climate change optimism, and innovation to engaging economics lectures and a spirited Spotify playlist. As Gates continues to inspire with his multifaceted interests, readers and music enthusiasts alike have ample reasons to explore and enjoy his curated holiday offerings.