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The Best Books I Read in 2015 by Bill Gates

Article of the Week

In a December 2015 posting of Gatesnotes; The Blog of Bill Gates, he personally summarized the six books that he considered the best he read during the year. And there's even a video! 

One Minute Summary

The Road to Character by David Brooks. This New York Times columnist examines the contrasting values that motivate all of us; the traits that lead to external success and the traits that lead to internal peace of mind.

The Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words by Randall Monroe. Using only the 1,000 most common words in the English language, Mr. Monroe explains various subjects. This is a brilliant concept, because if you can’t explain something simply, you don’t really understand it.

Being Nixon: A Man Divided by Evan Thomas. Journalist Evan Thomas writes a more balanced account of Richard Nixon and gives you a sharp insight into the inner workings of a brilliant, flawed and conflicted man.

Sustainable Materials With Both Eyes Open by Julian M. Allwood, Jonathan M. Cullen, et al. These authors look closely at the materials that humans use most, with particular emphasis on steel and aluminum, and show how we could cut emissions by up to 50% without asking people to make big sacrifices.

Eradication: Ridding the World of Diseases Forever? by Nancy Leys Stepan. Stepan’s history of eradication efforts provide a clearer sense of how we can use the lessons of the past to guide future efforts to save lives.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck. Through clever research studies and engaging writing, Dweck illuminates how our beliefs about our capabilities exert tremendous influence on how we learn and which paths we take in life. 

Why We Care

Bill Gates is (A.) one of the richest and most successful men in the world and (B.) known to be a voracious reader. So when he takes his valuable time to summarize the books he says are the best he read all year, everyone with a brain should sit up and listen. These books touch on “how things work,” the physical world, and offer insight into the human condition. And these are all things we are interested in.