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Sunday, March 27, 2011

 

9 books Bill Gates thinks you should read

9 books Bill Gates thinks you should read

 

1. Collapse, by Jared Diamond

In "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed" Pulitzer Prize-winner Jared Diamond explains why some societies – from the Anasazi of the American Southwest to the Viking colonies of Greenland to present-day Rwanda – have collapsed

2. Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard P. Feynman

Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard P. Feynman offers up chunks of personal wisdom in this unorthodoxly structured autobiography. Like Gates himself, Feynman is an original and out-of-the-box thinker.

3. Smallpox, by D.A. Henderson

"Smallpox: The Death of a Disease" by D.A. Henderson tells the story of the eradication of a disease that, Henderson says, between 1879-1979, killed more people than "all the wars on the planet during that time."

4. Physics for Dummies, by Steve Holzner

This addition to the popular "for dummies" franchise covers everything from vectors to relativity to atomic structures in language that laymen can follow.

5. Sustainable Energy, by David J.C. MacKay

In "Sustainable Energy: Opportunities and Limitations," Cambridge University academic and British government adviser David J.C. MacKay examines energy alternatives and the challenges involved in making significant global changes.

6. Work Hard. Be Nice. by Jay Mathews

Washington Post reporter Jay Mathews provides an inspiring profile of Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin, the young Teach for America teachers who went on to found the the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) schools, dedicated to proving that children in low-income neighborhoods can excel when offered the right school environment.

7. Physics for Future Presidents, by Richard A. Muller

In "Physics for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines," physicist Richard A. Muller lays out the basics of science that the chief executive officer of the United States would most need to know, dealing with everything from the risks of nuclear power to the viability of alternative fuels.

8. Polio, by David M. Oshinsky

In "Polio: An American Story" historian David M. Oshinsky tells the story of the race for a vaccine against polio, including the consuming rivalry between Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin.

9. Energy: Myths and Realities by Vaclav Smil

In "Energy: Myths and Realities: Bringing Science to the Energy Policy Debate," Canadian academic Vaclav Smil works to cut through the leading misconceptions that he believes are preventing governments and the public from charting clear solutions to the global energy crisis.


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