Great books, songs, and shows for the summer

For the past decade, I have recommended great books to read every summer. This year, I decided to mix it up and try something different. I only recommend two books – a novel and one non-fiction – plus a mix of other things I’ve enjoyed lately, including a TV series set in Denmark and a few dozen songs that are in regular rotation for me. Whatever your summer plans, I hope you’ll find something here to help you make the most of them.


Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow by Gabriel Zeven. This wonderful novel tells the story of two friends who grow up bonding Super Mario Bros. And then, in college, they start making their own games together. I connected a lot with the story – in fact, it reminded me a lot of my relationship with Paul Allen and our work together at Microsoft. tomorrow It was one of the biggest books of the past year, and it’s easy to see why. Zeven is an amazing writer who makes you care deeply about her characters.

Born in the darkby Howard French. I’m a student from Africa, but I still learned a lot from this well-researched book. French, journalist of African descent, who challenges standard Western accounts of the continent’s history. When the Europeans arrived, it was far from being stateless and primitive. Indeed, he explains, many African kingdoms created city-states that rivaled Europe in terms of political organization, military power, trade, art, and exploration. I mean it’s a compliment when I say that Born in the dark Leave me want to know more.

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Borgen (Available on Netflix in the US). I immersed myself in the four seasons of this Danish political drama. Named after the palace in Copenhagen where the Danish government is located, it follows the country’s first (fictional) female prime minister as she navigates a complex political landscape. I am fascinated by how political coalitions come together and stay together, and loved watching the Prime Minister, Birgit Nyborg, think of everything. She is a principled and talented leader who is also fallible and sometimes misguided. Borgen Above all, it’s fun, but I’ve learned a lot from watching it, too.

My summer playlist

Here’s a Spotify playlist with many of my favorite tracks – newer and older songs that have stuck with me over the years. You’ll find everything from Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, and the Beatles to Vampire Weekend, Adele, and U2.

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