Book recommendations by Bill Gates, Charlie Munger, and Warren Buffett yesterday on CNBC (via Value Investing World)

Gates’ Book Recommendations: Reinventing American Health Care

Book Recommendations

Gates (he said it was a good book, though he disagreed with a few things in it): Reinventing American Health Care (or in Kindle format)

Reinventing American Health Care  is the definitive story of American health care today—its causes, consequences, and confusions

In March 2010, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. It was the most extensive reform of America’s health care system since at least the creation of Medicare in 1965, and maybe ever. The ACA was controversial and highly political, and the law faced legal challenges reaching all the way to the Supreme Court; it even precipitated a government shutdown. It was a signature piece of legislation for President Obama’s first term, and also a ball and chain for his second.

Munger’s Book Recommendations: Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field

Munger's Book Recommendations

Munger (I think he said he had a hard time putting this book down): Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field (or in Kindle format)

Michael Faraday (1791-1867) and James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879), veteran science writers with special expertise in physics and engineering, have created a lively narrative that interweaves rich biographical detail from each man’s life with clear explanations of their scientific accomplishments. Faraday was an autodidact, who overcame class prejudice and a lack of mathematical training to become renowned for his acute powers of experimental observation, technological skills, and prodigious scientific imagination. James Clerk Maxwell was highly regarded as one of the most brilliant mathematical physicists of the age. He made an enormous number of advances in his own right. But when he translated Faraday’s ideas into mathematical language, thus creating field theory, this unified framework of electricity, magnetism and light became the basis for much of later, 20th-century physics.

Buffett’s Book Recommendations: Stress Test Reflections on Financial Crises

Buffett's Book Recommendations

Buffett (Geithner’s book, to be released next week): Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises (or in Kindle format)

Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises is the story of Tim Geithner’s education in financial crises.

As president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and then as President Barack Obama’s secretary of the Treasury, Timothy F. Geithner helped the United States navigate the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, from boom to bust to rescue to recovery. In a candid, riveting, and historically illuminating memoir, he takes readers behind the scenes of the crisis, explaining the hard choices and politically unpalatable decisions he made to repair a broken financial system and prevent the collapse of the Main Street economy. This is the inside story of how a small group of policy makers—in a thick fog of uncertainty, with unimaginably high stakes—helped avoid a second depression but lost the American people doing it. Stress Test is also a valuable guide to how governments can better manage financial crises, because this one won’t be the last.

Some friends I spoke with during the trip to Omaha also recommended some books. I won’t mention the friends by name here in case they don’t want me to name them, but here are the books I remember (there are likely several I forgot as well):

Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes

Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes (or in Kindle format)

Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes: The New York Times bestselling guide to thinking like literature’s greatest detective

No fictional character is more renowned for his powers of thought and observation than Sherlock Holmes. But is his extraordinary intellect merely a gift of fiction, or can we learn to cultivate these abilities ourselves, to improve our lives at work and at home?

Thabo Mbeki The Dream Deferred

Thabo Mbeki The Dream Deferred (or in Kindle format)

What happens to a dream deferred? This question, from one of Thabo Mbeki’s favourite poems by Langston Hughes, provides the thread for this magisterial biography of the second president of a democratic South Africa. In the long shadow of Nelson Mandela, Mbeki attempted to forge an identity for himself as the symbol of modern Africa.

Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II

Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II (or in Kindle format)

Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II: Selected by the economist as one of the best books of the year.

Remarkable as it may seem today, there once was a time when the president of the United States could pick up the phone and ask the president of General Motors to resign his position and take the reins of a great national enterprise. And the CEO would oblige, no questions asked, because it was his patriotic duty.

Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work

Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work (or in Kindle format)

The follow-up to his bestseller The War of Art, Turning Pro navigates the passage from the amateur life to a professional practice. “You don’t need to take a course or buy a product. All you have to do is change your mind.” –Steven Pressfield. When we turn pro, we give up a life that we may have become extremely comfortable with. We give up a self that we have come to identify with and to call our own. Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work is free, but it demands sacrifice.

The Artist’s Way

The Artist’s Way (or in Kindle format)

The Artist’s Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. An international bestseller, millions of readers have found it to be an invaluable guide to living the artist’s life. Still as vital todayor perhaps even more sothan it was when it was first published one decade ago, it is a powerfully provocative and inspiring work. In a new introduction to the book, Julia Cameron reflects upon the impact of The Artist’s Way and describes the work she has done during the last decade and the new insights into the creative process that she has gained.

Shaw Industries: A History

Shaw Industries: A History

Shaw Industries, which is based in Dalton, Georgia, is the nation’s leading textile manufacturer and the world’s largest producer of carpets. Shaw Industries: A History focuses on the evolution of Shaw’s business strategy and its adaptations to changing economic conditions. Randall L. Patton chronicles Shaw’s rise to dominance by drawing on corporate records, industry data, and interviews with Shaw employees and management, including Robert E. Shaw, the only CEO the company has known in its more than thirty years.