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We know Bill Gates is an immense reader. He reads about 50 books per year which means he averages about one per week. And not only is he reading about them, but then he is writing recommendations for them on his blog, GatesNotes, and encouraging the world to adopt his vociferous appetite for books.
Now he has come up with his best of the best list for the year 2018 so you too can be as successful as Bill Gates (well probably not but at least now you’ll have something to talk about if you ever meet him.)
Here are his five recommendations.
Educated by Tara Westover
The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller is a beautiful coming of age story that dares us to ask the question ‘How much of ourselves should we give to those we love?’
Army of None by Paul Scharre
Not a light read as it focuses on a defense experts exploration of giving machines all the authority. Science magazine wrote of it, “[E]ngagingly detailed…Scharre offers an authoritative and sobering perspective on the automated battlefields that will very soon come to characterize military conflict.”
Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
Not to be confused with the popular Taylor Swift song (though it does center on a celebrated blond) investigative journalist Carreyrou gets down to the nitty gritty truth about Theranos and its many shady operations. The number one problem? The product never worked but founder Elizabeth Holmes couldn’t let it go and kept taking money from investors. “You will not want to put this riveting, masterfully reported book down. No matter how bad you think the Theranos story was, you’ll learn that the reality was actually far worse,” Bethany McLean, bestselling coauthor of The Smartest Guys in the Room and All the Devils Are Here, wrote.
21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
Such a profound and modern philosopher, Harari now takes on what dictates our future with an in-depth look at nationalism, religion, immigration, artificial intelligence and many other important topics. “The trick for putting an end to our anxieties, he suggests, is not to stop worrying. It’s to know which things to worry about, and how much to worry about them. . . . Harari is such a stimulating writer that even when I disagreed, I wanted to keep reading and thinking. . . . [Harari] has teed up a crucial global conversation about how to take on the problems of the twenty-first century,” Gates wrote of the book.
The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness by Andy Puddicombe
In today’s busy world, who couldn’t use a little meditation and mindfulness including Gates? “If you’re thinking about trying mindfulness, this is the perfect introduction. It’s also helped me step back and get some ease with whatever thoughts or emotions are present,” he wrote.
If you are looking for more reads here are all 185 books Gates has recommended over the years, according to Quartz. In an interview with The New York Times Gates said reading is one of his main tools for learning. “These days, I also get to visit interesting places, meet with scientists, and watch a lot of lectures online,” he explained. “But reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding.”