5 Books Bill Gates Thinks You Should Read
From the man himself
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Most widely known as a founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates is an entrepreneur of many talents. An Ivy League college dropout, Gates was confident in his idea for the software business that turned him into one of the richest men in the world. The businessman is also an investor, author, philanthropist and humanitarian. In February 2014, Gates announced that he wanted to focus on charitable work at his foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and would be stepping down as Microsoft’s chairman.
Gates has written more than ten books himself on topics including business, tech and personal growth. He also runs a blog where he gives his followers life updates, tips, book recommendations and news about improvements in tech and education. While Gates has recommended dozens of books on his blog and Twitter, we’ve gathered a few to get you started.
'Educated' by Tara Westover
Gates recommended this book as one of his favorite reads of 2018. The story follows the life of the author, Tara Westover, and her experience growing up in a Mormon household and later obtaining a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. Her story dives into childhood trauma and the path leading to self-discovery, as well as the blatant differences between red and blue states, rural and urban areas, and college-educated citizens and those without higher degrees, in America. “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,” Gates says.
‘21 Lessons for the 21st Century’ by Yuval Noah Harari
You might recognize the name Yuval Noah Harari. He’s the author of the best-selling books Sapiens and Homo Deus. In this book, Harari explores the present and its most controversial issues. From fake news and artificial intelligence to the relevance of religion, 21 Lessons is a 21-chapter guide on how to navigate the modern world and all its constant changes. “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,” says Gates.
‘Bad Blood’ by John Carreyrou
Another book recommended by Gates as one of his favorite 2018 reads, Bad Blood explores the rise and fall of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech company founded by Elizabeth Holmes. The story surrounding the scandal became so popular that it is now an HBO documentary. “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,” says Gates.
'The Vital Question' by Nick Lane
In 2016, Gates tweeted a video of himself talking about five books that kept him awake at night. The Vital Question was one of them. Nick Lane, a biochemist, explores the complexities of biology and the link between energy and genes. Gates is a huge fan of Lane, so there’s no surprise he would recommend this book. “He seems to be the first guy who has looked into certain weird things about the mitochondria and has all sorts of ideas about diseases that really bear looking into,” says Gates.
'The Headspace Guide to Meditation & Mindfulness' by Andy Puddicombe
Did you like this article?