5 books Bill Gates wants you to read this holiday season

  14 December 2019    Read: 1462
  5 books Bill Gates wants you to read this holiday season

The richest man on Earth read a bit more fiction than he usually does in 2019, but there is only one novel he recommends that you pick up this holiday season. 

Bill Gates just shared a list of five of the best books he read in 2019, that he thinks everyone else should read before the year draws to a close. Gates' picks span multiple genres from fiction to history to parenting. The list also includes the newest dispatch from one of Gates' favorite authors, two books from Oprah's book club, and a recommendation from his daughter Jenn.

Keep reading to learn more about Gates' winter reading list.

1. An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones

An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones and published by Algonquin. Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Gates read An American Marriage on the recommendation of his oldest daughter Jennifer, he wrote.

"Jones is such a good writer that she manages to make you empathize with both of her main characters, even after one makes a difficult decision," Gates wrote on his blog. "The subject matter is heavy but thought-provoking, and I got sucked into Roy and Celestial's tragic love story."

The novel, which tells the story of an African American man and his wife after he is convicted and imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, was also chosen by Oprah for her book club in October 2018 and received praise from Barack Obama, according to its Amazon page.

2. These Truths: A History of the United States, by Jill Lepore



W. W. Norton

These Truths will teach even the most studious of historians something new about American history, according to Gates. The centi-billionaire praised Lepore for her use of "diverse perspectives" in her 800-page overview of the country's chronicle of the United States' rise.

These Truths is "the most honest and unflinching account of the American story I've ever read," Gates wrote.

3. Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities, by Vaclav Smil

MIT Press

Gates called Smil one of his favorite authors and compared his excitement for the University of Manitoba professor's new releases to that some people feel for new Star Wars films. In his newest book, Smil explores society's obsession with growth through the lens of everything from microorganisms to cities.

"As always, I don't agree with everything Smil says, but he remains one of the best thinkers out there at documenting the past and seeing the big picture," the billionaire wrote on Gates Notes.

4. Prepared, by Diane Tavenner



Currency

In Prepared, the founder of charter school network Summit Public Schools Diane Tavenner uses her vast experience as an educator to explain how to raise children who can succeed in life after high school.

Gates called the book "a helpful guidebook about how to make that process as smooth and fruitful as possible."

5. Why We Sleep, by Matthew Walker



Scribner

Gates called Why We Sleep "one of the most interesting and profound" books on human behavior he read in 2019. Walker, the director of UC Berkeley's Center for Human Sleep Science, explores both the physical purpose of sleep and how to improve your own shut-eye in the book, according to its synopsis on Amazon.

The book even persuaded Gates to change his nighttime routine, the billionaire wrote on Gates Notes.

 

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