Be Like Bill: Read to Learn This Summer


When you head to the beach or pool this summer, you’ll want to arm your body with suntan lotion. Then to protect and strengthen your mind, pack a book or two.

But what books? Well, maybe follow the lead of Bill Gates, who is said to read a book a week. He even publishes a list of recommendations,, that includes books tied to business themes and personal enrichment and enlightenment.

Gates liked “The Myth of the Strong Leader” by Archie Brown, an Oxford scholar who studied political leadership. Among Brown’s findings, per Gates, is that good leaders are not those who are perceived to be strong, but rather those who “collaborate, delegate and negotiate.”

Gates thinks we’ll also like “Homo Deus,” by Yuval Noah Harari. It questions what may lie ahead once we automate ourselves out of the need for work.

Other options beyond Gates include:

  • “The Spider Network,” by David Enrich. A good, hard look at the London bankers who schemed to rig the LIBOR interest-rate benchmark that is tied to hundreds of trillions of dollars of investments globally.
  • “Black Edge,” by Sheelah Kolhatkar. Another whodunit, on the federal government’s not-so-successful prosecution of hedge fund operator Stephen Cohen.
  • “Insight,” by Tasha Eurich. This organizational psychologist offers case studies of overcoming obstacles to success.

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