比爾・蓋茲 2020 年末書單:糟糕一年裡的 5 本好書
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比爾・蓋茲 2020 年末書單:糟糕一年裡的 5 本好書

2020 年 12 月 15 日


In tough times—and there’s no doubt that 2020 qualifies as tough times—those of us who love to read turn to all kinds of different books. This year, sometimes I chose to go deeper on a difficult subject, like the injustices that underlie this year’s Black Lives Matter protests. Other times I needed a change of pace, something lighter at the end of the day. As a result, I read a wide range of books, and a lot of excellent ones. Here are five books on a variety of subjects that I’d recommend as we wrap up 2020. I hope you find something that helps you—or the book lover in your life—finish the year on a good note.

在困難時期—— 2020 年毫無疑問可以稱得上是困難時期——我們中那些喜愛閱讀的人嘗試了所有種類的不同書籍。今年,有些時候我選擇在一個棘手問題上深入探索,例如作為今年 “ 黑人的命也是命 ” 運動基礎的不公正問題。其他時候,我需要換一個節奏,在一天結束時想點輕鬆些的事。這造成我讀了各種各樣的書,其中不乏優秀作品。在 2020 年將結束時,我想推薦以下五本涉及各類主題的書。希望你能從中有所收穫,從而幫助你——或你認識的喜愛閱讀的朋友——給這一年畫上美好的句號。

01

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

《新吉姆.克羅法:色盲時代下的大規模監禁》(暫譯)

By Michelle Alexander | 蜜雪兒.亞歷山大 著

Like many white people, I’ve tried to deepen my understanding of systemic racism in recent months. Alexander’s book offers an eye-opening look into how the criminal justice system unfairly targets communities of color, and especially Black communities. It’s especially good at explaining the history and the numbers behind mass incarceration. I was familiar with some of the data, but Alexander really helps put it in context. I finished the book more convinced than ever that we need a more just approach to sentencing and more investment in communities of color.

與許多白人一樣,近幾個月來,我一直在嘗試加深自己對系統性種族主義的理解。亞歷山大的這本書提供了一個令人眼界大開的視角,用來看待我們的刑事司法體系如何不公地對待有色人種群體——尤其是黑人群體。這本書尤其擅長解釋大規模監禁背後的歷史和數字。我了解其中的一些數據,但亞歷山大很好地為數據提供了背景。讀完這本書,我更加確信我們需要一個更加公正的宣判方式,以及更多對於有色人種群體的投入。

02

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

《跨能致勝:顛覆一萬小時打造天才的迷思,最適用於AI世代的成功法》

By David Epstein | 大衛.艾波斯坦 著

I started following Epstein’s work after watching his fantastic 2014 TED talk on sports performance. In this fascinating book, he argues that although the world seems to demand more and more specialization—in your career, for example—what we actually need is more people “ who start broad and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives while they progress. ” His examples run from Roger Federer to Charles Darwin to Cold War-era experts on Soviet affairs. I think his ideas even help explain some of Microsoft’s success, because we hired people who had real breadth within their field and across domains. If you’re a generalist who has ever felt overshadowed by your specialist colleagues, this book is for you.

在看了艾波斯坦 2014 年關於運動成績的精彩 TED 演講後,我開始關注他的工作。在這本引人入勝的著作裡,他指出雖然世界似乎需要越來越多的專業化(例如在你的職場上),但我們真正需要的,其實是更多 “ 起步時涉獵廣泛,並在進步中擁抱不同經驗和觀點 ” 的人。他舉的例子從羅傑.費德勒到查爾斯.達爾文,再到冷戰時期的蘇聯問題專家。我認為他的想法甚至可以解釋一部分微軟的成功,因為我們僱傭了兼具領域內和跨領域知識的人才。如果你是一名通才,感覺被周圍專才型同事掩蓋了光芒,這本書就是為你寫的。

03

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

《輝煌與邪惡:倫敦大轟炸期間,關於邱吉爾、家庭和反叛的冒險故事》(暫譯)

By Erik Larson | 艾瑞克.拉森 著

Sometimes history books end up feeling more relevant than their authors could have imagined. That’s the case with this brilliant account of the years 1940 and 1941, when English citizens spent almost every night huddled in basements and Tube stations as Germany tried to bomb them into submission . The fear and anxiety they felt—while much more severe than what we’re experiencing with COVID- 19 —sounded familiar. Larson gives you a vivid sense of what life was like for average citizens during this awful period, and he does a great job profiling some of the British leaders who saw them through the crisis, including Winston Churchill and his close advisers. Its scope is too narrow to be the only book you ever read on World War II, but it’s a great addition to the literature focused on that tragic period.

有時,歷史書使人產生的代入感要比作者想像的更加強烈。這本書對 1940 和 1941 年的精彩記敘就是這樣的例子,當時德國試圖用轟炸讓英國人屈服,這使得後者幾乎每一夜都要擠在地下室和地鐵站裡。他們感受到的恐懼和焦慮似曾相識——但比我們在新冠疫情中經歷的要嚴重得多。拉森令你生動地感受到,在這個可怕時期,普通人的生活是怎樣的。他還出色地描寫了一些帶領人民度過危機的英國領導人,包括溫斯頓.邱吉爾和他親密的顧問們。這本書的記敘範圍十分狹窄,以至於不足以成為你閱讀的關於二戰的唯一書籍,卻是對關於那段悲慘歲月的文學作品的極大補充。

04

The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War

《間諜與叛徒:冷戰時期最偉大的間諜故事》(暫譯)

By Ben Macintyre | 本.麥金泰爾 著

This nonfiction account focuses on Oleg Gordievsky, a KGB officer who became a double agent for the British, and Aldrich Ames, the American turncoat who likely betrayed him. Macintyre’s retelling of their stories comes not only from Western sources (including Gordievsky himself) but also from the Russian perspective. It’s every bit as exciting as my favorite spy novels.

這個非虛構故事主要描寫了兩個人:成為英國雙重間諜的 KGB 特工奧列格.戈爾迪耶夫斯基,以及可能出賣了他的美國叛變者奧爾德里奇.阿姆斯。麥金泰爾重新講述了他們的故事,不僅引述了西方的內容來源(包括戈爾迪耶夫斯基自己),而且也站在了俄羅斯的角度。它的精彩程度與我最喜歡的諜戰小說不相上下。

05

Breath from Salt: A Deadly Genetic Disease, a New Era in Science, and the Patients and Families Who Changed Medicine

《鹽呼吸:一種致命的遺傳疾病,科學的新紀元以及永遠改變醫學的患者和家庭》(暫譯)

By Bijal P. Trivedi | 碧週.翠瓦狄 著

This book is truly uplifting. It documents a story of remarkable scientific innovation and how it has improved the lives of almost all cystic fibrosis patients and their families. This story is especially meaningful to me because I know families who’ve benefited from the new medicines described in this book. I suspect we’ll see many more books like this in the coming years, as biomedical miracles emerge from labs at an ever-greater pace.

這本書實在令人振奮。它記錄了一項傑出科學創新的故事,講述這項創新如何改善了幾乎所有囊腫性纖維化病人及其家屬的生活。這個故事對我尤其具有意義,因為我認識一些家庭,他們已經從書裡描寫的新藥獲益。隨著生物醫學奇蹟從實驗室以更快的速度誕生,我想我們將在未來幾年見到更多這樣的書問世。

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