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6 books to enjoy this winter

5 Books | by Bill Gates User verified icon

An American Marriage

An American Marriage

Books

A NEW YORK TIMES AND WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK A 2018 BEST OF THE YEAR SELECTION OF NPR  * TIME  * BUSTLE  * O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE  * THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS  * AMAZON.COM OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION LONGLISTED FOR THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION“A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.” —Barack Obama “Haunting . . . Beautifully written.” —The New York Times Book Review   “Brilliant and heartbreaking . . . Unforgettable.” —USA Today   “A tense and timely love story . . . Packed with brave questions about race and class.” —People   “Compelling.” —The Washington Post   “Epic . . . Transcendent . . . Triumphant.” —Elle Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.   This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future.

These Truths: A History of the United States

These Truths: A History of the United States

Books

“Nothing short of a masterpiece.” —NPR Books A New York Times Bestseller and a Washington Post Notable Book of the Year In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation. Widely hailed for its “sweeping, sobering account of the American past” (New York Times Book Review), Jill Lepore’s one-volume history of America places truth itself—a devotion to facts, proof, and evidence—at the center of the nation’s history. The American experiment rests on three ideas—“these truths,” Jefferson called them—political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. But has the nation, and democracy itself, delivered on that promise? These Truths tells this uniquely American story, beginning in 1492, asking whether the course of events over more than five centuries has proven the nation’s truths, or belied them. To answer that question, Lepore wrestles with the state of American politics, the legacy of slavery, the persistence of inequality, and the nature of technological change. “A nation born in contradiction… will fight, forever, over the meaning of its history,” Lepore writes, but engaging in that struggle by studying the past is part of the work of citizenship. With These Truths, Lepore has produced a book that will shape our view of American history for decades to come.

Prepared

Prepared

Books

A blueprint for how parents can stop worrying about their children's future and start helping them prepare for it, from the cofounder and CEO of one of America's most innovative public-school networks BILL GATES'S HOLIDAY READING LIST * "A treasure trove of deeply practical wisdom that accords with everything I know about how children thrive."--Angela Duckworth, New York Times bestselling author of Grit An educator and mother, Diane Tavenner cofounded the first Summit school in 2003. Summit Public Schools has won national recognition because 99 percent of Summit students get into a four-year college, and Summit students finish college at twice the national average. But in a radical departure from the environments created by the college admissions arms race, Summit students aren't focused on competing with their classmates for rankings or test scores. Instead, students spend their days solving real-world problems and developing the skills of self-direction, collaboration, and reflection, all of which prepare them to succeed in college, thrive in today's workplace, and lead a secure and fulfilled life. Today, thousands of educators, tens of thousands of students, and hundreds of schools across thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia have embraced the Summit model. Through personal stories and the hard-earned lessons of Summit's exceptional team of educators and diverse students, Diane Tavenner shares the underlying learning philosophies and unconventional wisdom that lead to all children being prepared for school and life. Praise for Prepared "In a world filled with lots of parenting advice, Prepared cuts through the noise, offering a no-nonsense guide for raising curious, confident kids. Diane shares the secret sauce behind Summit's success and how we can make sure that all kids can have the same opportunity."--Jon Deane, CEO of GreatSchools "Prepared is compelling and actionable. It tells the story of why we all must do this work. We must prepare every child, not allow luck or circumstance to dictate their future--and ours."--Dr. Priscilla Chan, CEO of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, pediatrician, and mother "Diane Tavenner is one of the leading thinkers in education today--her energy and insights are infectious. There is no one better to think big about what kids need, and who can roll up her sleeves to make it happen."--Sal Khan, founder and CEO of Khan Academy

Why We Sleep

Why We Sleep

Books

“Why We Sleep is an important and fascinating book…Walker taught me a lot about this basic activity that every person on Earth needs. I suspect his book will do the same for you.” —Bill Gates A New York Times bestseller and international sensation, this “stimulating and important book” (Financial Times) is a fascinating dive into the purpose and power of slumber.With two appearances on CBS This Morning and Fresh Air's most popular interview of 2017, Matthew Walker has made abundantly clear that sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life. Until very recently, science had no answer to the question of why we sleep, or what good it served, or why we suffer such devastating health consequences when it is absent. Compared to the other basic drives in life—eating, drinking, and reproducing—the purpose of sleep remains more elusive. Within the brain, sleep enriches a diversity of functions, including our ability to learn, memorize, and make logical decisions. It recalibrates our emotions, restocks our immune system, fine-tunes our metabolism, and regulates our appetite. Dreaming creates a virtual reality space in which the brain melds past and present knowledge, inspiring creativity. In this “compelling and utterly convincing” (The Sunday Times) book, preeminent neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker provides a revolutionary exploration of sleep, examining how it affects every aspect of our physical and mental well-being. Charting the most cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, and marshalling his decades of research and clinical practice, Walker explains how we can harness sleep to improve learning, mood and energy levels, regulate hormones, prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes, slow the effects of aging, and increase longevity. He also provides actionable steps towards getting a better night’s sleep every night. Clear-eyed, fascinating, and accessible, Why We Sleep is a crucial and illuminating book. Written with the precision of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Sherwin Nuland, it is “recommended for night-table reading in the most pragmatic sense” (The New York Times Book Review).

Growth

Growth

Books

A systematic investigation of growth in nature and society, from tiny organisms to the trajectories of empires and civilizations.Growth has been both an unspoken and an explicit aim of our individual and collective striving. It governs the lives of microorganisms and galaxies; it shapes the capabilities of our extraordinarily large brains and the fortunes of our economies. Growth is manifested in annual increments of continental crust, a rising gross domestic product, a child's growth chart, the spread of cancerous cells. In this magisterial book, Vaclav Smil offers systematic investigation of growth in nature and society, from tiny organisms to the trajectories of empires and civilizations. Smil takes readers from bacterial invasions through animal metabolisms to megacities and the global economy. He begins with organisms whose mature sizes range from microscopic to enormous, looking at disease-causing microbes, the cultivation of staple crops, and human growth from infancy to adulthood. He examines the growth of energy conversions and man-made objects that enable economic activities—developments that have been essential to civilization. Finally, he looks at growth in complex systems, beginning with the growth of human populations and proceeding to the growth of cities. He considers the challenges of tracing the growth of empires and civilizations, explaining that we can chart the growth of organisms across individual and evolutionary time, but that the progress of societies and economies, not so linear, encompasses both decline and renewal. The trajectory of modern civilization, driven by competing imperatives of material growth and biospheric limits, Smil tells us, remains uncertain.

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