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Favorite books of all time

5 Books | by Melinda Gates User verified icon

Books that shape the way I see the world.

Factfulness

Factfulness

Books

"When asked simple questions about global trends--what percentage of the world's population live in poverty; why the world's population is increasing; how many girls finish school -- we systematically get the answers wrong. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess teachers, journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers. Professor and TED presenter Hans Rosling, together with his two long-time collaborators, Anna and Ola, offers a radical explanation of why this happens. They reveal the ten instincts that distort our perspective, from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version of us and them) to the way we consume media (where fear rules) to how we perceive progress (believing that most things are getting worse). Our problem is that we don't know what we don't know, and even our guesses are informed by unconscious and predictable biases. It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think. That doesn't mean there aren't real concerns. But when we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most."--

Sapiens

Sapiens

Books

New York Times BestsellerA Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

However Long the Night

However Long the Night

Books

In However Long the Night, Aimee Molloy tells the unlikely and inspiring story of Molly Melching, an American woman whose experience as an exchange student in Senegal led her to found Tostan and dedicate almost four decades of her life to the girls and women of Africa.This moving biography details Melching's beginnings at the University of Dakar and follows her journey of 40 years in Africa, where she became a social entrepreneur and one of humanity's strongest voices for the rights of girls and women.Inspirational and beautifully written, However Long the Night: Molly Melching's Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph is a passionate entreaty for all global citizens. This book is published in partnership with the Skoll Foundation, dedicated to accelerating innovations from organizations like Tostan that address the world's most pressing problems.

Daring Greatly

Daring Greatly

Books

The #1 New York Times bestseller. More than 2 million copies sold! Look for Brené Brown's new podcast, Dare to Lead, as well as her ongoing podcast Unlocking Us! From thought leader Brené Brown, a transformative new vision for the way we lead, love, work, parent, and educate that teaches us the power of vulnerability. "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."--Theodore Roosevelt Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable or to dare greatly. Based on twelve years of pioneering research, Brené Brown PhD, LMSW, dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage. Brown explains how vulnerability is both the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief, and disappointment, and the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, empathy, innovation, and creativity. She writes: "When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives." Daring Greatly is not about winning or losing. It's about courage. In a world where "never enough" dominates and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It's even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there's a far greater risk of getting criticized or feeling hurt. But when we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena--whether it's a new relationship, an important meeting, the creative process, or a difficult family conversation. Daring Greatly is a practice and a powerful new vision for letting ourselves be seen.

The Book of Awakening

The Book of Awakening

Books

The Book of Awakening, a cult favorite since its original publication in 2000, catapaulted to fame in 2010 after it was chosen as one of Oprah Winfrey's favorite things. This gift edition with sewn binding and a ribbon marker reflects the book's odyssey as a well-beloved daily companion. Mark Nepo wrote the book more than a decade ago, in response to his journey through cancer a decade before that. That experience led him to create a day book not only for people going through life-threatening situations but for everyone.Nepo calls it, "a book to help people meet their days and inhabit their lives. I had a commitment to create a book that could serve up inner food, that could be turned to as a spiritual first aid kit." That this book continued to find its readers affirms its quality as a life affirming companion. Again, in Nepo's words, "I think it confirms the yearning of people everywhere for meaningful and humble work that invites readers on a journey together. The premise of the book is that people everywhere have a wisdom of their own and the book is there to guide them to their own wisdom."The Book of Awakening is a modern classic, speaking to the hearts of hundreds of thousands of readers. It's a daily guide for living in hard times and good times, all the time reminding us that the life we're living is the life we have. Lived authentically it can and does become the life we want.This hardcover edition features a ribbon marker and a subject index that allows the reader to search for quotes and inspiration pertinent to his or her life not only by day but my category.

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