Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers
Charles W Eliot
Books are never failing friends as they are not only packed with the wisdom of past, present and future, but redefine the true notions of a happy life, leading to a sense of satisfaction, contentment and achievement. Books impart major life lessons, with many that must be kept dear to survive in this volatile world.
A good book leaves its readers with many experiences, the ones that shape their ideas and values in life and provides them with the much-needed direction and inspiration to strive harder. One of the core values of a good book is to simplify things for its readers. The human mind needs simplification as our minds get checkmated with the complexities of life. These powerful tools shed light on human trepidations and probe relevant answers; allowing its readers to feel a sense of simplification and straightforwardness. We need someone to narrate their own stories with clarity and put our desires and feelings into words, something we can never achieve on our own.
Bill Gates is an avid reader who believes in the magical power of books. Here he lists downs five books that he thinks everyone should be reading this summer, as reported by the World Economic Forum Website.
Upheaval, by Jared Diamond.
The book explores how different societies react during the hour of crisis and reveals fascinating case studies to highlight how different nations managed to cope with existential challenges such as civil wars, foreign invasion etc. The book describes how six countries survived upheavals and upsurges including Japan, Finland, Chile, Indonesia, Germany and Austria. The book discusses how these nations coped up through different mechanisms such as learning from other countries, acknowledging their responsibility and honest self-appraisal during tough times.
Nine Pints, by Rose George
This book is an eye-opening exploration of a life-giving substance known as human blood and presents interesting facts that will leave you with a new appreciation for it. Rose George is well known for her bold work on taboo topics or the ones that are invisible but vitally pertinent. In the book, she takes us through the ancient bloodletting practises to the leap forward practice of liquid biopsy, which promises to diagnose cancer and other related diseases with a simple blood test. The book also includes the story of Janet Vaughan who established the world’s first system of mass blood donation and inquires the lucrative business of plasma transfusion. Nine Pint looks into the future, where the researchers will work relentlessly to bring synthetic blood to hospitals near you.
A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
A Gentleman in Moscow is an interesting story that revolves around Count Alexander Rostov, a shameless aristocrat who is sentenced to house arrest in a grand hotel across the Kremlin Street, Russia. Rostov who has never worked in his life , is left with no other option but to live in an attic room during some of the most turbulent decades in the Russian history . The book narrates how this encounter led to an emotional discovery for Rostov and counts upon a man’s deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.
Presidents of War, by Michael Beschloss
Presidents of War revolves around a group of American leaders who mobilized the support of the general public during times of conflict and turmoil for victory. The book discusses how any President makes the most difficult decision of his times, such as sending hundreds and even thousands of fellow countrymen to their deaths. The book explores the Vietnam War, along with eight of the most significant conflicts the US entered between the end of the 19th century and the 1970s. President of War explores the physical and emotional pressures faced by Presidents during times of war and narrates their struggle with the courts, Congress, their advisors and anti-war protesters.
The Future of Capitalism, by Paul Collier
The book presents a through-provoking perspective on capitalism and analyses the problems at hand in Britain, along with posing solutions to resolve the concurrent crisis. The book brilliantly discusses the social, economic and cultural aspects of the British society in a pragmatic manner rather than deriving inspiration from ideological revivalism. The books discuss the journey of the writer which encompasses three divides, including the moving out from Sheffield to hyper-competitive Oxford, along with working in different parts of Britain and Africa. Drawing inspiration from different social scientists of the world, Collier proposes ways to save capitalism from itself, along with liberating ourselves from the intellectual biases of the 20th century.