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Extended Audio Sample Showing Up for Life: Thoughts on the Gifts of a Lifetime Audiobook, by Bill Gates Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.66 out of 53.66 out of 53.66 out of 53.66 out of 53.66 out of 5 3.66 (32 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bill Gates, Sr. Bill Gates, Mary Ann Mackin Narrator: Bill Gates, Patrick Egan Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2009 ISBN: 9780739370728
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A heartfelt, deeply personal book, Showing Up for Life shines a bright light on the values and principles that Bill Gates Sr. has learned over a lifetime of “showing up” — lessons that he learned growing up in the Great Depression, and which he instilled in his children and continues to practice on the world stage as the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Through the course of several dozen narratives arranged in roughly chronological fashion, Gates introduces the people and experiences that influenced his thinking and guided his moral compass. Among them: the scoutmaster who taught him about teamwork and self reliance; his famous son, Trey, whose curiosity and passion for computers and software led him to ultimately co-found Microsoft. Through revealing stories of his daughters, Kristi and Libby; his late wife Mary, and his current wife Mimi; and his work with Nelson Mandela and Jimmy Carter, among others, he discusses the importance of hard work, getting along, honoring a confidence, speaking out, and much more.

Showing Up for Life translates one man’s experiences over four score years of living into an inspiring road map for readers everywhere.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Bill Senior is as wise as his son is brilliant. I’ve learned a lot from both of them and believe everyone can benefit from the insights Bill Senior shares in this book. Warren Buffett
  • Bill Gates Sr. is a wonderful example of what it means to be a global citizen, teaching us how we can work together for a more just and fair society. President Jimmy Carter
  • Bill Gates Sr. does more than just show up in this charming and instructive guide to a good life. He shares lessons learned as a husband, a father, a lawyer, a philanthropist and a citizen.  Showing up for life is a gift of great value. Tom Brokaw

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Courtney Standerfer | 2/14/2014

    " Somewhere between 3 and 4 stars for me. Quick easy read. Could've gone without him injecting his political opinions 3/4 of the way in but it is his book, so oh well "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 2/11/2014

    " Bill Gates Sr. is an impressive person. Smart, reasonable, real. Liked this - motivating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brenda Senturia | 2/5/2014

    " This book is a very fast read. It is a series of anecdotes or mini-portraits of people who have been important in Gates Sr's life. There were lots of lessons about living and setting a moral compass for one's life. There was also some good commentary on raising children. Still, it was a bit bland for my style and mostly good sense anyway. The strongest writing came in his descriptions of people. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gail | 1/25/2014

    " Bill Gates Senior writes about his life and his parenting experiences bringing up Bill Gates Jr. among other things. It's a very wise and insightful book written by a man now in his 80's who fathered one of the most successful men in the world. Senior has such optimism and shares such hope during a time when we need leaders with wisdom, I'm grateful he shared those thoughts in this little book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 1/15/2014

    " Great life lessons in this book. I dindn't agree with all his social policy views, but definately a wise, hard-working and gracious man. I highly recommend it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 1/9/2014

    " This book was pretty good. I read it for a book club and thought it was going to a rich man bragging about his good life but it turned out to be much more. It really gave me some things to think on and some ideas to makes some changes for the better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave | 1/5/2014

    " Really an awesome book about living life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 1/5/2014

    " A great quick read with some fun stories and anecdotes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dayna | 12/8/2013

    " an ok read...best done on a day when you've read everything else available...chatty style..with some interesting insights into thought processess and results. Not a book I'd read a second time "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 12/2/2013

    " Such a pleasant little book. Makes you feel like you're getting solid advice from grandparents you may or may not have had. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lucy | 4/4/2013

    " I confess...I read about 30 pages and skipped thru the rest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scipolone | 10/1/2012

    " I enjoy this warm encouraging glimpse into a family that habitually serves their community and country, as well as parenting the phenomenally successful founder of Microsoft. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Luise | 9/23/2012

    " A very charming book by Bill Gates' father - no wonder Bill Gates Jr. turned out to be such a good guy! Gives interesting insights into their family values & philosophy of life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gary | 1/31/2012

    " A very easy read written by Bill Gates Sr. It's a short "how to" for life that doesn't introduce any earth-shattering concepts, but I found it enjoyable all the same. I found myself liking the Gates family; sentiments that may perhaps trickle down to my views on the evil Microsoft empire. (maybe) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barb | 12/31/2011

    " Listened to CD's in car. Bill Gates' father. Interesting, made a lot of good points. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 12/29/2011

    " simple read...lessons about "showing up" for life...thought provoking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Magnonia | 7/5/2011

    " One needs to listen to this book instead of read it. It changed my view of giving. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sabkymom | 5/4/2011

    " Like spending a sunny afternoon on the porch talking with Bill Gates, Sr. Short conversational essays on his life's observations and timeless tips. Starts out slowly but gets meatier further along. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 4/17/2011

    " An example of a life well-spent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 3/22/2011

    " A good sampling of "old fashioned values" wisdom and how it can apply to any era. Now I know where the 'I see you" lines in the movie Avatar came from. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sabkymom | 2/13/2011

    " Like spending a sunny afternoon on the porch talking with Bill Gates, Sr. Short conversational essays on his life's observations and timeless tips. Starts out slowly but gets meatier further along. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 12/10/2010

    " so so. I saw him interviewed by Charlie Rose and thought the book would be good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 12/4/2010

    " What a nice man. Plus it is comforting to hear the thoughts of the father or a quirky but successful adult--it helps keep things in prospective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 11/6/2010

    " Bill Gates Sr. is an impressive person. Smart, reasonable, real. Liked this - motivating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave | 10/27/2010

    " Really an awesome book about living life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 7/27/2010

    " simple read...lessons about "showing up" for life...thought provoking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 7/20/2010

    " This was an amazing book, made me think about a lot of things and it inspired me as well. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lbrandenburg | 6/23/2010

    " I confess...I read about 30 pages and skipped thru the rest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 6/11/2010

    " Such a pleasant little book. Makes you feel like you're getting solid advice from grandparents you may or may not have had. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth | 5/14/2010

    " I am about a third of this guy's age, and I cannot imagine what it would be like to have the mental energy to do all of the things that he and his family do! It's a great book if you'd like to learn how to be more involved in the community and the world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 4/18/2010

    " Great life lessons in this book. I dindn't agree with all his social policy views, but definately a wise, hard-working and gracious man. I highly recommend it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 2/7/2010

    " This book was pretty good. I read it for a book club and thought it was going to a rich man bragging about his good life but it turned out to be much more. It really gave me some things to think on and some ideas to makes some changes for the better. "

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About the Narrator

Patrick Egan is an audiobook narrator whose readings include Miguel Nicolelis’ Beyond Boundaries, Peter Guber’s Tell to Win, Harvey Sachs’ The Ninth, and numerous others.