He’s one of the world’s richest and most successful men, and now that he’s no longer at the helm of Microsoft, Bill Gates spends a lot of time reading books.
With his blog Gates Notes, he has established himself as an influential book reviewer and for the fifth year in a row he’s revealed his top five literary picks of the year.
“Reading is my favourite way to indulge my curiosity,” he wrote on the site.
“Although I’m lucky that I get to meet with a lot of interesting people and visit fascinating places through my work, I still think books are the best way to explore new topics that interest you.”
The first book on Gates’ list is the autobiographical graphic novel The Best We Could Do, by Thi Bui.
This read explores the complicated relationship between parents and their children, as Bui learns through personal experience how challenging it is to raise a child.
Anyone who has experience navigating a complex relationship with their parents will be able to relate to this book.
The next book that Gates chose to include is Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond.
— Eddie Izzard (@eddieizzard) October 11, 2017
This eye-opening book shows its readers a side to America not often seen, where thousands of Americans are evicted from their homes and forced to live in poverty every year.
Eddie Izzard’s autobiography Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens also made the cut. The transvestite comedian demonstrates that it’s ok to be different and stand out from the crowd.
Anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider will be able to identify with Izzard’s frank recollection of his life.
I LOVED The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Pulitzer. Wry sense of humor. Shockingly funny. Biting in good ways. Fantastic ending.
— Kelly Coon (@KellyCoon106) November 29, 2017
Reading Izzard’s autobiography, Gates discovered that he had more in common with the comic than he would have ever thought possible.
History is so often one-sided, which is why Gates found himself fascinated by The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.
This story provides an insight into the Vietnam War from a Vietnamese point of view, with the aim of changing perceptions and promoting open-mindedness.
Lastly, Gates featured Energy and Civilization: A History by Vaclav Smil.
This piece of literature looks both into the past and into the future at the universal quest for renewable energy.
Reading each of these books will give you the opportunity to learn about new topics and gain a greater appreciation for the world around you, he says.
So when the weather’s miserable this winter, indulge in some escapism with some of Gates’ favourite books instead