Bill Gates Recommends 5 Books for the Holidays of 2022

the billionaire bill Gates is back with its latest list of recommended reading, this time with five new titles for the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere.

And, as Microsoft co-founder (MSTF34) admits in a post on his Gates Notes blog, this year’s list looks “pretty heavy for holiday reading.”

“There are books here about gender equality, political polarization, climate change, and the hard truth that life is never what young people think it will be,” writes Gates, 66. “Doesn’t exactly sound like beach reading material.”

But that doesn’t mean they’re hard to read, he notes.

From New York Times columnist Ezra Klein to science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson, Gates writes that the authors of his latest picks are all “capable of take a meaty subject and make it attractive without sacrificing any complexity.”

Here’s his list of five “great books for the holidays of 2022”:

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Gates writes that “The Power,” a 2016 science fiction work by British novelist Naomi Alderman, was originally recommended to him by his eldest daughter Jennifer.

The book presents a near future where women develop the strange power to emit deadly electric shocks from their hands. The result is women becoming the dominant sex and forming a matriarchy.

The work addresses themes of gender equality and gender roles, garnered critical acclaim when it was released, including from The New York Times and former President Barack Obama.

“By reading ‘The Power,’ I gained a stronger and more visceral sense of the abuse and injustice that many women experience today,” writes Gates. “And I have increased my appreciation for the people working on these issues in the US and around the world.”

Gates tries to remain “generally optimistic” about the future, he writes, but political polarization in the US is “the only thing that weakens my outlook.”

This same topic is the subject of “Why We’re Polarized”, written by Klein, political analyst and co-founder of Vox, still without a Portuguese version.

Klein’s book looks at America’s political divisions from a psychological perspective, arguing that the groups people identify with, including political parties, play an outsized role in how they make decisions and see the world.

“If you want to understand what is happening with politics in the United States right now, this is the book to go for,” writes Gates.

American novelist Amor Towles is quickly becoming a staple on Gates’ reading lists.

The billionaire previously included Towles’ bestseller “A Gentleman in Moscow” in his summer 2019 list and now writes that he enjoyed “The Lincoln Highway” almost as much.

Published last year and still without a Portuguese version, Towles’ last work is an adventure novel set in 1954.

The book tells the story of a teenager’s journey across the country with his younger brother, who is sidetracked by a pair of escorts from the protagonist’s story in a farm work for juvenile offenders.

“Towles takes inspiration from the journeys of famous heroes and seems to be saying that our personal journeys are never as linear or predictable as we hope,” Gates writes.

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“The Ministry for the Future” is a science fiction novel published in 2020, still without a Portuguese version.

It is set in the near future and follows a fictional global organization leading various efforts to combat Climate Change.

Gates himself is an outspoken climate change activist and wrote his own book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Innovations Needed” last year.

Notably, he writes that Robinson’s novel offers “many intriguing insights” while effectively explaining the science behind climate change and working towards “a surprisingly hopeful ending.”

Gates does not fail to praise “How the World Really Works”, calling it “another masterpiece of one of my favorite authors.”

The book is the latest work by Vaclav Smil, Czech-Canadian professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Manitoba.

In 2017, Gates wrote that had read all 37 of Smil’s published books, on topics ranging from clean energy to manufacturing and agriculture.

Gates intended “to wait for new Smil books the way some people wait for the next Star Wars movie,” he wrote.

Today, Gates writes that most of Smil’s books are read like textbooks, but “this one is written for a general audience and offers an overview of key areas of his expertise.”

It covers how energy has shaped the history of civilization, from agricultural societies to our modern, industrial age.

Smil “chewed up all the numbers” to provide “a brief but thorough education in number thinking about many of the fundamental forces that shape human life,” Gates writes.

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