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The 5 Books Bill Gates Urges Everyone to Read This Summer 

Catch up on his holiday reading list

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, a voracious reader, has made it a tradition to share his favourite titles on his blog. This year’s selections for summer reads range from philosophical to autobiographical.

“The books on this year’s summer reading list pushed me out of my own experiences, and I learned some things that shed new light on how our experiences shape us and where humanity might be headed,” Gates wrote, while recommending his reading list.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

The 5 books Bill Gates urges everyone to read this summer
The book, his show and the man are all intriguing. (Image: Amazon)

Gates is a fan of The Daily Show, which is how he first got interested in Trevor Noah. “I loved reading this memoir about how its host honed his outsider approach to comedy over a lifetime of never quite fitting in, ” he wrote. “Born to a black South African mother and a white Swiss father in apartheid South Africa, he entered the world as a biracial child in a country where mixed race relationships were forbidden. Much of Noah’s story of growing up in South Africa is tragic. Yet… his moving stories will often leave you laughing.”

2. “The Heart,” by Maylis de Kerangal

This novel, Gates read after his wife Melinda recommended it, follows the story of a young man who, after getting into a car accident, is declared brain dead. His parents struggle with the decision on whether or not to donate his heart, which is still beating.

The Microsoft-co founder, who usually reads nonfiction books, says it is “closer to poetry than anything else” and recommended it to his friends.

3. “Hillbilly Elegy,” by J.D. Vance

This best-selling memoir, which is set to become a major motion picture, explores what American poverty looks like today. Vance, a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, shares his experience growing up in a working-class Rust Belt town.

“While the book offers insights into some of the complex cultural and family issues behind poverty, the real magic lies in the story itself and Vance’s bravery in telling it,” writes Gates.

4. “Homo Deus,” by Yuval Noah Harari

Gates recommended one of Harari’s books, “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” last summer. In this follow up, Harari explores the future of mankind, and specifically what would happen if humans eradicated war, sickness and poverty.

“‘Homo Deus’ argues that the principles that have organized society will undergo a huge shift in the 21st century,” Gates writes, “with major consequences for life as we know it.

“I don’t agree with everything Harari has to say, but he has written a smart look at what may be ahead for humanity.”

5. “A Full Life,” by Jimmy Carter

Former President Carter examines his life as a businessman, politician and humanitarian. He shares his regrets, which include leaving the U.S. Navy and losing his bid for re-election, as well as his the lessons on success he learned as President, a successful businessman and a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

“The book will help you understand how growing up in rural Georgia in a house without running water, electricity, or insulation shaped — for better and for worse — his time in the White House,” Gates writes.

According to Gates, the book “feels timely in an era when the public’s confidence in national political figures and institutions is low.”

“All of [these books] will transport you somewhere else—whether you’re sitting on a beach towel or on your own couch.