Bill Gates is the first to admit that his 2014 reading list has a prominent theme: business and economics. If you are interested in the adventures on Wall Street, intrigued by the incredible development of Asia or want to know more about the controversial topic of inequality then you need to add these books to your 2015 Reading List!
1. Business Adventures by John Brooks
Where better to start than with a book that Gates himself describes as ‘a neglected classic’ and his ‘favorite business book ever’. Loaned to him by business magnate Warren Buffet, Business Adventures is a collection of John Brooks’ 1960 New Yorker articles that together form engaging theories and strategies anyone can use to understand the intimidating world of business.
Read If: You need some insight into the world of business. Although the articles may be half a century old, they have aged wonderfully and still apply!
2. Capital In The Twenty-First Century, By Thomas Piketty
There is a chance you’ve heard of Thomas Piketty’s book Capital In The Twenty-First Century as it sparked a global controversy and discussion about inequality. Whilst most people – including Gates himself – don’t agree with everything that Piketty writes, the ultimate conclusion that governments need to work towards eradicating inequality is largely supported. Many people who have read this book agree that Capital sets the agenda for the next generation of politicians and the public around the world, with Gates himself saying that he ‘hopes it draws in more smart people to study the causes of, and cures for, inequality’.
Read If: You want to be fully informed on the inequality debate!
3. How Asia Works, By Joe Studwell
When it comes to sustained economic growth, there is no place on Earth more successful than Asia. But how have countries like China, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea all managed to keep expanding, and why hasn’t the rest of the world caught on? After spending two decades as a reporter in Asia, Joe Studwell has applied his extensive knowledge and experience and explains just how Asia has managed to keep growing. According to Gates, Studwell manages to narrow down Asia’s triumph to one three-step plan: ‘(1) create conditions for small farmers to thrive, (2) use the proceeds from agricultural surpluses to build a manufacturing base focused on exports, and (3) nurture both these sectors with financial institutions closely controlled by the government’.
Read If: You are interested in the development of Asia and how their strategies could be applied throughout the world.
4. The Rosie Effect, By Graeme Simsion
The only fictional book on Gates’ list, The Rosie Effect, continues to explore the world and marital adventures of Don Tillman after marrying his wife Rosie in the prequel The Rosie Project. Gates says ‘it’s a funny novel that also made me think about relationships: what makes them work and how we have to keep investing time and energy to make them better. A sweet, entertaining, and thought-provoking book’.
Read If: You enjoy a great love story or comedy, stuffed with thrills and adventure.
5. Make The Modern World: Materials And Dematerialization, By Vaclav Smil
Smil’s books grace Bill Gates’ list of must-read books almost every year and nothing’s changed! This year, Smil’s book focuses on the world of materials and just how much of our resources go into creating this world made of cement, plastic, metal and wood. Should we continue to consume materials at this worrying rate? Will the demand ever decline? These and other questions are explored and answered in Make The Modern World: Materials And Dematerialization.
Read If: You are interested in the future of our humble Earth and demanding society.
Featured photo credit: Best Books 2014 | Bill Gates via gatesnotes.com