Favorite Books of Famous People?

Click on the person’s name to see a list of books they’ve read.


David Bowie

Bowie’s top 100 favorite books, listed in reverse chronological order.

Bill Gates

He has reviews for several of the books he’s read. It’s like listening to a friend tell you why he likes a book. There’s a lot of non-fiction books in the list: autobiographies, books about science (especially physics), books about business and finance,  books about diseases and public health, and books with ideas about how to be a good steward of our planet.

I’m not going to list all of them, but I will list a few that this has made me want to read.

  • The Rosie Effect - Graeme Simsion
  • The Fever: How Malaria has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years - Sonia Shah
  • The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism – Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua Foer
  • 50 Physics Ideas You Really Need to Know - Joanne Baker
  • Epidemics and Pandemics: Their Impacts on Human History –  Jo N. Hays
  • Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest Lifesaver – Arthur Allen

all the things

Update 5/23/2015: Here’s Bill Gates’ 2015 summer reading list.  It includes Hyperbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh, XKCD and What If?, both by Randall Munroe, On Immunity by Eula Biss, The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins, How to Lie With Statistics by Darrell Huff and Should We Eat Meat? by Vaclav Smil.

Carlos Santana

His books appear to be spiritual self-help books.

  • The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self Mastery -Don Miguel Ruiz
  • A Course in Miracles – Foundation For Miracles

Eric Idle

He has a blog of archived reviews of books he read between January 2010 and December 2014. I’m not going to even try to give a sample. There’s lots of fiction and he’ll tell you which he liked and which he didn’t.

Alan Turing

This is a list of books he checked out of the school library when he was a child. There’s lots of math and science. Looking at that list, you can see that the man who was a computer science pioneer and code-breaker must have been a brilliant, inquisitive child. Although, if what you read as a child forms who you become as an adult, I should by all rights be a superhero.

Tupac Shakur

This rapper/songwriter has a lot of classics and black history in his list.

Charlaine Harris

The True Blood author recommends a short list of books each week on her blog.

Art Garfunkel

Singer, actor and reader. Wow. He lists the books he’s read from 1968 through 2014. There are no comments, just the title, author,  number of pages, when it was published, and when he read it.

Wil Wheaton

Actor, writer, producer, and one of the earliest celebrity bloggers.

 Ken Follet

The author lists books he’s been reading. He also shares what he’s reading on Twitter.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

List of 8 books every intelligent person should read. Includes links to read them for free online.

Karl Rove

The author and political genius lists 70 books he’s read between 2010 and 2013. He provides comments on each book. The list is full of histories and biographies with some action and adventure novels mixed in.

Sergey Brin

The Google co-founder has a huge list of books, alphabetical by the author’s first name. No comments on them.

Christopher Hitchens

Author and critic of religion and anti-theists. His list is alphabetical by author’s last name. The way it’s supposed to be (I’m looking at you Sergey!)

Stephen King

The list of books he recommended in his book On Writing.

Hayao Miyazaki

The Japanese director and producer known for films such as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke,  My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Ponyo, and other anime films has a list of recommended children’s books. The list is in English and Japanese.

Added (5/25/2015):
The Bookshelf of Osama Bin Laden.  His reading choices tended to lean towards politics and conspiracy theories. He would have seemed a lot less scary if we had known before that he read books like Bloodlines of the Illuminati.

Free Ways to Learn Programming?

Do you want to know how to make a website? Or a mobile phone app? There are several ways to learn Javascript, HTML, Python, PHP, SQL, CSS, and Ruby for free online.

Future Learn – Begin Programming: Build Your First Mobile Game
 Learn simple Java programming to make a game for Android phones or tablets.

edX - Introduction to Computer Science
A self-paced Harvard class you can audit for free.

Code Academy
Classes for HTML & CSS, Javascript, JQuery, Python, Ruby, and PHP.

Khan Academy
Offers instruction so “you can learn how to code computer programs, how to design algorithms that make computers more efficient, and discover what a career in computing could look like. “

Learn to Code the Hard Way
Books teaching Python, Ruby, SQLRegex and a Command Line crash course are free to read online.

HTML, CSS, Javascript, SQL, PHP, and JQuery. Includes an active discussion forum.

Tutorials on HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

Ruby Monk
Beginner, intermediate and advanced interactive tutorials to learn Ruby.

Java and Python interactive tutorials.

Try Python
Interactive Python tutorials.

Python – Python for Beginners
Python.org offers instruction, Python community, and documentation available in multiple languages.

Downloads, instructions, and Ruby community with user groups, weblogs, and newsgroups.

10 Best Video Cooking Channels?

Hilah Cooking – Nice basic recipes, easy to listen to and easy to follow along. If you don’t know how to cook, start here. The videos will make you feel like you’re hanging out with a friend while she teaches you some great recipes. She also a blog.

Food Wishes – Video instructions, plus blog, for making lots of tasty dishes. Do I really need to say anything other than “Loaded Baked Potato Dip”?

Wantanmien – Chinese cooking. The videos are narrated in Cantonese but have English subtitles.

Maangchi – Lots of traditional Korean food cooking videos. I wish I had known about this channel when I was watching the Korean drama Let’s Eat. I would have been checking after every episode to see if I could find the recipes for some of the dishes they had. Fortunately I found it in time for Let’s Eat 2! And something that I’ve seen in more dramas than I can count, seaweed soup, a traditional birthday fare.

Epic Meal Time – I nominate this channel to be “the one with the most recipes that will kill you, but you will die happy.” For example, the Couch Potato…or Potato Couch.

Ochikeron – A variety of Japanese recipes, including some very impressive bento box lunches, with instructions in English.

Sorted Food – Four tasty looking British guys share their recipes. Four British guys share their tasty looking recipes.

Cooking With Dog – Japanese dishes with step-by-step descriptions “provided by” a cute French poodle named Francis.

How To Cook That – Ann Reardon demonstrates how to make spectacular and unusual looking desserts. She also has a blog where she writes out the recipes she shows in the videos.

Manjula’s Kitchen – Indian Vegetarian dishes, including some that are gluten-free. You can find her blog here.


Top 6 My Little Ponies?

  1. AppleJack. A spunky, friendly and of course honest pony, she takes the place of number 6 on this list. Applejack is hard working and protective of her friends and family, and while inherently good these can lead to trouble when she becomes overly protective, causing thick tension between her and others, or wearing herself out and still promising to do more.
  1. Pinkie Pie. Always ready to party and make others laugh, Pinkie pie is at number 5 with her optimistic attitude and excited behaviour. It’s awesome having someone who’s almost always smiling, except when her somewhat over dramatic attitude ends with her saying something incredibly upsetting with the same upbeat tone as she does everything else.
  1. Rarity. A giving, gorgeous and sweet girl, Rarity’s posh attitude makes her come off as snobby- and she is! But in the end, she’s a loving and kind pony who is always ready to give to others, expecting nothing in return but maybe a smile. Rarity is a bit snobbish and over dramatic, but she still takes number 4 for her generous ways and amazing fashion sense.
  1. Rainbow Dash. She’s fast, witty and loyal, Rainbow takes number 3 as her awesome attitude and amazing athletic abilities make her an amazing friend and occasional hero. Rainbow’s awesome, and while it’s great to have a lot of self confidence, Rainbow can be very egotistical, leading to her doubting her abilities if she’s unable to complete something, or overestimating them and in the end harming or endangering others.
  1. Fluttershy. Adorable, amazingly adorable Fluttershy is at number 2. She loves animals, all animals, from small to scary she’s almost always ready to lend a hoof in aid of hurt, scared or hungry critters. Fluttershy is kind, completely and totally, except this kindness causes problems for her, she’s a bit of a pushover even to the animals she cares for so dearly, but she knows when to put a hoof down and say ‘enough is enough’.
  1. Sunset Shimmer. Smart, determined and beautiful Sunset reigns at number 1. She’s funny, she’s cute, and she’s learning all about friendship, similar to the viewers- though hopefully they never turned into a demonic monster and tried to take over the school, and Equestria.Sunset is very sweet and gentle, despite our first impression of her in Equestria Girls, where she wasn’t exactly the nicest, Sunset really is a kind girl who just wanted something deeply, and didn’t know there was any other way to get it. She’s become a close friend to the girls of Canterlot High, and with each new adventure they grow closer and she learns more about the truest and best magic of all: Friendship.


Best Live Albums of the 1970s?

Here are my 10 favorites, by release date.

Live at Leeds – The Who

Live album recorded and released in 1970, it set a standard for the decade’s albums to try to match.



4 Way Street – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

The groups first live album, released in 1971. It’s a little bit folk, a little bit rock, and a lot of 1960’s hippy protest music.



At Fillmore East - The Allman Brothers Band

1971 live album by the Allman Brothers. Duane Allman would die later that year after a motorcycle accident.

live at fillmore east


Jazz Blues Fusion – John Mayall

Album by British blues guitarist John Mayall, recorded in 1971, released in 1972.



Hot August Night – Neil Diamond

1972 double album, a recording of a concert in Los Angeles, CA.



One More From the Road – Lynyrd Skynyrd

1976 album, the only live album they recorded before the airplane deaths of Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and Cassie Gaines.



The Song Remains the Same – Led Zeppelin

Recorded in 1973, released in 1976 along with their concert film of the same name.



Wings Over America – Wings

A three record set released in December 1976. Paul McCartney’s band performed some of their best songs plus some Beatles classics.



Live and Dangerous – Thin Lizzy

Double LP released in 1978. I love it for the music, I love it for Phil Lynott’s sexy Irish accent.



Live Killers – Queen

The last of the albums in this list to be released and also one of the best.

Queen - Live Killers

Not on the list but deserving an honorable mention. (On a different day, any of these might have made my list.):

Mad Dogs and Englishmen – Joe Cocker, 1970
Coast to Coast: Overture and Beginners – Rod Stewart and The Faces, 1974
Frampton Comes Alive! – Peter Frampton, 1976
The Last Waltz – The Band, 1978
Two for the Show – Kansas, 1978
Waiting for Columbus – Little Feat, 1978

3 Branches of US Government?

The Executive Branch – This is the President (Commander in Chief), Vice President and the President’s Cabinet. The Cabinet is made up of the heads of 15 executive departments and they advise the President:

Secretary of Agriculture
Secretary of Commerce
Secretary of Defense
Secretary of Education
Secretary of Energy
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Secretary of Homeland Security
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary of the Interior
Secretary of Labor
Secretary of State
Secretary of Transportation
Secretary of Treasury
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Attorney General

The Legislative Branch – the Senate and the House of Representatives. They make the laws. There are 100 Senators, two from each state, and 435 Representatives. The number of Representatives a state has depends on that state’s population. California has the most (53) and Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming each have only one.

The Judicial Branch - The Supreme Court, which has 9 justices, and the other Federal Courts.