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  4. Bill Gates included a British spy thriller in his 2024 summer book and TV round-up. Here's the full list.

Bill Gates included a British spy thriller in his 2024 summer book and TV round-up. Here's the full list.

Lauren Edmonds   

Bill Gates included a British spy thriller in his 2024 summer book and TV round-up. Here's the full list.
Bill Gates in May 2024.Sean Gallup/Getty Images
  • Bill Gates unveiled his annual summer read and watch list.
  • Gates said the four books and one TV show all "touch on the idea of service to others."

Bill Gates unveiled his annual summer reading and TV list, saying this year is all about altruism.

Gates shared his recommendations in a blog post. The Microsoft cofounder says he reads about 50 books a year.

"The books and TV series on my summer list all touch on the idea of service to others — why we do it, the things that can make it difficult, and why we should do it anyway," Gates wrote.

The Microsoft cofounder wrote that he didn't intend to center the list around service, but it's "certainly as relevant today as ever."

"At a time when wars dominate the headlines and our politics is becoming more and more polarized, it's inspiring to appreciate those who help others and think about how we can be more generous in our own lives," he wrote.

Here are the four books and one TV series that Gates said will enrich your summer.

"The Women" by Kristin Hannah.

"The Women" by Kristin Hannah.
Nurses attend to wounded US soldiers in 1967.      Bettmann/Getty Images

The historical fiction novel centers on a young US Army nurse who served two tours in the Vietnam War before returning home to political tension and the anti-war movement.

Gates wrote in a separate blog post that "The Women" changed his perspective on the Vietnam War, adding that the story highlights female Vietnam veterans.

"Enough time has passed that most people acknowledge the individual heroism that took place in Vietnam, even though history doesn't look kindly on the war itself," he wrote. "People over there did things that we can — and should — be proud of. That's one reason why I'm glad to see a book like 'The Women' doing so well. It's a beautifully written tribute to a group of veterans who deserve more appreciation for the incredible sacrifices they made."

"Infectious Generosity" by Chris Anderson.

"Infectious Generosity" by Chris Anderson.
Chris Anderson.      Eóin Noonan/Getty Images

Chris Anderson's "Infectious Generosity" is a non-fiction novel that explores how people can use the internet to maximize generosity. Anderson is the curator for TED Talks.

"Chris's central argument is that communications technology creates both an opportunity and a responsibility to give more," Gates wrote in a blog post. "When we can witness the hardships of others firsthand, even from the other side of the planet, our instinct to help is activated. And the internet makes it easy to act on that instinct."

"Slow Horses" on Apple TV+.

"Slow Horses" on Apple TV+.
The cast of the Apple TV+ series "Slow Horses."      Gilbert Flores/Getty Images

"Slow Horses" is a British spy thriller with three seasons on Apple TV+ that debuted in 2022.

The show is about a group of undercover agents at Slough House working to protect England from nefarious forces. Slough House is where "people get sent to when they mess up badly, but not quite badly enough to get fired," Gates wrote in a blog post.

Gates, who said he binge-watched the series, added that it's "up there with the best spy stuff I've seen."

"Brave New Words" by Sal Khan.

"Brave New Words" by Sal Khan.
Sal Khan.      MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

"Brave New Words: How AI Will Revolutionize Education (and Why That's a Good Thing)" is a deep dive into artificial intelligence and how that technology could influence classrooms worldwide.

"Sal argues that AI will radically improve both outcomes for students and the experiences of teachers, and help make sure everyone has access to a world-class education," Gates wrote. "He's well aware that innovation has had only a marginal impact in the classroom so far but makes a compelling case that AI will be different."

Gates added: "No technology is a silver bullet for education. But I believe AI can be a game changer and great equalizer in the classroom, the workforce, and beyond."

"How to Know a Person," by David Brooks.

"How to Know a Person," by David Brooks.
David Brooks.      Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

The last book on Gates' list is "How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen," which is a guide to helping readers foster deep connections.

Gates wrote that Brooks' advice can be applied to all facets of life and help people build their social skills.

"As someone who has always been more comfortable making software than small talk, I found this idea both refreshing and informative," Gates wrote.

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