Bill Gates makes book recommendations for this summer. Which he considers “required reading”

Bill Gates wants you to spend some time this summer reading and watching stories about people helping others.

Billionaire Bill Gates PHOTO: archive

The billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, a voracious reader who regularly shares his top book recommendations, released his newest summer reading list on Tuesday. This year's list includes one book in particular that Gates “can't recommend it…highly enough,” he wrote in a post on his personal blog, cnbc.com reports.

The book is called “How to Know a Person” (How to know a person) and is a bestseller written by New York Times columnist David Brooks. The book, which offers advice on becoming a better listener, forced Gates to reflect on his own communication skills and habits in ways that “they will stay with me for a long time“, he wrote.

Gates' recommendations also include a streaming TV series about British secret agents, a novel about a Vietnam War nurse and two non-fiction reads on topics ranging from generosity to the potential of artificial intelligence for the world education.

“I didn't intend to delve into the idea of ​​service, but it's certainly as relevant today as everGates wrote.

Here are the four books and one TV show that Gates recommends you read during your summer time off.

“The Women” by Kristin Hannah

Hannah's bestseller, released in February, is a work of historical fiction set during the Vietnam War. It follows protagonist Frances McGrath through a traumatic journey in the Army Nurse Corps as she faces the horrors of war and the anger and political division upon returning home.

Gates read it while on vacation in Vietnam at the recommendation of his brother-in-law, himself a Vietnam War veteran.

“Although I read and watched a lot about the Vietnam War, 'The Women' made me think about it in a new light.” Gates wrote. “I didn't know about the critical role so many women played, and learning more about the frontline nurses who saved countless lives it opened my eyes and inspired me”.

Hannah has written several popular novels, including the 2015 bestseller The Nightingale.

“I see why,” wrote Gates, who called Hannah's latest work “a beautifully written tribute to a group of veterans who deserve more appreciation for the incredible sacrifices they made.”

“Infectious Generosity” by Chris Anderson

As director of TED conferences, Chris Anderson is no stranger to talking about big, world-changing ideas. In his new book, Anderson argues “that we need to expand our definition of generosityand,” Gates wrote.

In the “Infectious generosity,” Anderson explores the definition of generosity, weighing how to inspire everyone from ordinary people to governments and corporations to commit more acts of generosity. Beyond giving money to charitable causes, this means finding new ways to give your time, skills and compassion, according to Anderson.

“If you want to help create a fairer world, but don't know where to start, 'Infectious Generosity' is for you.” Gates wrote.

“Slow Horses” on Apple TV+

The TV show, which airs on Apple TV+, is just to Gates' liking: “I suck at spy stories“, he wrote.

“Slow Horses” is based on the series of novels “Slough House”
by Mick Herron. It revolves around members of the British security agency MI5, who remain dedicated to serving their country – despite their respective careers languishing in an office on the outskirts.

Gates was particularly attracted to the character Jackson Lamb, played by Gary Oldman.

“Oldman plays the boss of Slough House, who is practically the opposite of James Bond”, Gates wrote. “He's a slacker and an alcoholic who treats his subordinates badly, but then surprises you with some amazing spy stuff.”

As a funny and entertaining thriller to spend this summer, Gates highly recommends it “Slow Horses”, which he puts “up there with the best spy movies I've seen.”

“Brave New Words” by Sal Khan

This book, written by the CEO and founder of the non-profit organization Khan Academy, makes the case for how and why artificial intelligence will transform education for the better. First, Khan writes, AI has the potential to help “close the education gap” by assisting overworked teachers and providing low-cost meditation tailored to individual students' needs.

Gates, who funded Khan Academy in part through a $1.5 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2010, seems to fully agree with this argument.

Sal argues that artificial intelligence will radically improve both student outcomes and teacher experiences, and help ensure access to a world-class education for all.” wrote the billionaire. “He's well aware that the innovation has only had a marginal impact in the classroom so far, but he makes a compelling case that AI will be different.”

“How to get to know a person”, by David Brooks

In the “How to get to know a person”, Brooks offers advice on being a listener “noisy,” which he describes as going beyond actively listening to other people—to the point where
“you're basically burning calories.”

“More than a guide to better conversations, it's a blueprint for a more connected and human way of lifeGates wrote. “It is a must-read for anyone looking to deepen their relationships and broaden their perspectives.”

It's easy to listen carefully when you're talking about one of your passions. The book helped Gates realize “how transformative it can be (for your relationships) to bring that same excitement when you listen to someone talk about a difficulty they're facing or an achievement they're proud of.” he wrote.

By focusing on the concept of improving how you connect with others, Brooks' book “has the power to make us better friends, colleagues, and citizens.” Gates added.