Summer reading recommendations from Bill Gates

Summer is just around the corner, and a great way to spend it is to catch up on your reading. Bill Gates, the billionaire frontman of Microsoft, has some recommendations for anyone looking for a compelling read. See more below!


The billionaire chose his favorite book recs – all worth a little time of your summer reading.

summer reading
See which books Bill Gates recommended for summer reading. Source: Adobe Stock.

Bill Gates’s summer reading recommendations are not particularly breezy this year. The bibliophile millionaire and Microsoft co-founder returned with his yearly list of book recommendations. Although they are specially for the upcoming summer season, Gates mentions in a post to his personal blog that this year’s choices are particularly heavy for reading during a vacation.

He said there are a mix of subjects amongst his picks, like political polarization, climate change and gender equality. One in particular, he notes, doesn’t sound like the kind of stuff people would read on a beach. That is because it exploits the hard truth that most of the time life doesn’t go the way people think it will.

He notes, however, that this year’s pickings for summer reading are not hard to follow. From novelist Amor Towles to NYT columnist Ezra Klein, Gates emphasizes that all the writers from his latest recommendations are able to take important subjects and make it captivating without sacrificing intricacy.

Bill Gates’ recommendations for summer reading

summer reading
See Gates’ book recommendations. Source: Adobe Stock.

See below the three top books the billionaire deemed worth reading this summer.

Why We’re Polarized, a book by Ezra Klein

Bill Gates says he tries to remain optimistic about what the future may bring. However, the current political polarization happening in the U.S. is the one thing that lowers his expectations. That is the main subject of his first recommendation. Why We’re Polarized is written by Ezra Klein, the co-founder of Vox and a political analyst.

Gates believes that if anyone wants to know what is going on with U.S. politics, this is the book to read. In it, Klein utilizes psychological perspectives in order to approach political divisions in America. The author argues that the groups people identify with usually play an important role on how they view the world and make their decisions.

The Lincoln Highway, a novel by Amor Towles

Amor Towles is an American novelist, and it’s quickly becoming one of Bill Gates’ recurrent picks for his summer reading recommendations. In 2019, he included Towle’s “A Gentleman in Moscow” on his summer list. In his blog post, he said he liked “The Lincoln Highway” just as much.

The novel, published in 2021, is Amor Towles’ latest work. It’s an adventure set in 1954 and tells the story of a teenager on a cross-country trip with his younger brother. Their journey is offhanded by a couple of acquaintances from the protagonist’s past. Gates wrote that Amor Towles succeeds in taking inspiration from the well known hero’s journeys. Moreover, he succeeds even more in telling a story about how our personal journeys are never as predictable as we might believe.

The Power, a book by Naomi Alderman

According to Gates’ post, The Power is a recommendation to him by his eldest daughter. The sci-fi work, published in 2016, is by British author Naomi Alderman. The fiction is about a world where women develop a strange ability to discharge electric shocks from their hands. These sudden powers result in the formation of a matriarchy, with women becoming the dominant sex.

The book gained critical acclaim upon its release from names like former president Barack Obama and The New York Times. Mostly because of the way it tackles gender roles and gender equality. Gates says that reading The Power made him gain a more visceral understanding of the injustice many women experience in the world.

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