If you have ever sat at home wondering what Microsoft founder Bill Gates likes to read in 2018, you can put your mind at rest. Gates has published a video that shows his top five books of the year so far. So, you may not be able to live like a billionaire like Gates, but you can now read and gift like one.
Indeed, Bill Gates he never usually recommends gifts, but these books are an exception: “I usually don't consider whether something would make a good present when I'm putting together my end-of-year book list,” Gates points out, “but this year's selections are highly giftable.”
The former Microsoft CEO posted the video on his Gates Notes blog. Each year, he names his list of five best books.
In his list of best books of 2018, Bill Gates explains why he chose the books and even mentions some things he does not like about the reads. Check out the list below and on the Gates Notes blog:
“Educated, by Tara Westover. Tara never went to school or visited a doctor until she left home at 17. I never thought I'd relate to a story about growing up in a Mormon survivalist household, but she's such a good writer that she got me to reflect on my own life while reading about her extreme childhood. Melinda and I loved this memoir of a young woman whose thirst for learning was so strong that she ended up getting a Ph.D. from Cambridge University.
Army of None, by Paul Scharre. Autonomous weapons aren't exactly top of mind for most around the holidays, but this thought-provoking look at A.I. in warfare is hard to put down. It's an immensely complicated topic, but Scharre offers clear explanations and presents both the pros and cons of machine-driven warfare. His fluency with the subject should come as no surprise: he's a veteran who helped draft the U.S. government's policy on autonomous weapons.
Bad Blood, by John Carreyrou. A bunch of my friends recommended this one to me. Carreyrou gives you the definitive insider's look at the rise and fall of Theranos. The story is even crazier than I expected, and I found myself unable to put it down once I started. This book has everything: elaborate scams, corporate intrigue, magazine cover stories, ruined family relationships, and the demise of a company once valued at nearly $10 billion.
21 Lessons for the 21st Century, by Yuval Noah Harari. I'm a big fan of everything Harari has written, and his latest is no exception. While Sapiens and Homo Deus covered the past and future respectively, this one is all about the present. If 2018 has left you overwhelmed by the state of the world, 21 Lessons offers a helpful framework for processing the news and thinking about the challenges we face.
The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness, by Andy Puddicombe. I'm sure 25-year-old me would scoff at this one, but Melinda and I have gotten really into meditation lately. The book starts with Puddicombe's personal journey from a university student to a Buddhist monk and then becomes an entertaining explainer on how to meditate. If you're thinking about trying mindfulness, this is the perfect introduction.”
Sometimes Gates likes a book enough that he wants to give it away. That's what happened earlier this year when the executive-turned philanthropist provided a free copy of Factfulness by Swedish statistician Hans Rosling to all US-based graduates.