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World

Web Desk
December 5, 2018

These are Bill Gates' favorite books of 2018

World

Web Desk
Wed, Dec, 18

On Monday, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates released his annual list of five favorite books of 2018 with a post and video on his blog.

Among his other well-known pastimes, Bill Gates loves to read. While all nonfiction, his 2018 selections reflect a variety of topics.

Here's Gates' list of books, with highlights from his recommendations.

1. Educated by Tara Westover

Recently named by The New York Times as one of the 10 best books of the year, Westover’s memoir describes growing up in a survivalist family and not attending a school until college. Gates writes that he was fascinated by Westover’s ability to learn on her own — she taught herself algebra, trigonometry and other subjects in order to qualify for pre-college tests — and by how her unusual childhood gave her a toughness that helped her persevere. "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 while reading about her extreme childhood."

2. Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War by Paul Scharre

"Autonomous weapons aren’t exactly top of mind for most around the holidays, but this thought-provoking look at A.I. in warfare is hard to put down." Gates wrote. Scharre, a Pentagon defense expert and former U.S. Army Ranger, “writes clearly about a huge range of topics: computer science, military strategy, history, philosophy, psychology, and ethics. He gives you the right grounding to start participating in the debate over where our country should draw the line on these powerful technologies.”

3. Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

In this book, Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou examines the rise and fall of the health technology company Theranos."A bunch of my friends recommended this one to me." “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.” Ultimately describing it as a thriller with a tragic ending, Gates called it “the perfect book to read by the fire this winter.”

4. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

Professor Harari, currently a member of the history department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is the author of the international best-seller “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.” Gates, calling himself “a big fan of everything Harari has written,” notes that while Harari’s previous books dwell on the past, “21 Lessons” is all about the present. "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."

5. The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness by Andy Puddicombe

“I’m sure 25-year-old me would scoff at this one,” Gates admitted. "Melinda and I have gotten really into meditation lately." The book, written by the British co-founder of the mental-health digital platform Headspace, follows Puddicombe’s personal journey from university student to Buddhist monk and offers a primer on meditating. “If you’re thinking about trying mindfulness,” Gates wrote, “this is the perfect introduction.”