It’s no secret that Bill Gates is a huge bookworm.
He has always touted that reading is the key to his success, which is why he reads up to 50 books a year and releases his list of top picks in hopes of inspiring others to pick up a book.
On Monday, Gates revealed his top five year-end picks on his personal blog Gatesnotes.com.
While his recommendations this year are “pretty eclectic,” he says, there is something for everyone.
Here are the five books Gates says he loved in 2018 and why.
Author: Tara Westover
Gates’ review: “Tara never went to school or visited a doctor until she left home at 17. 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. Melinda and I loved this memoir of a young woman whose thirst for learning was so strong that she ended up getting a Ph.D. from Cambridge University.”
2. Army of None
Author: Paul Scharre
Gates’ review: “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. It’s an immensely complicated topic, but Scharre offers clear explanations and presents both the pros and cons of machine-driven warfare. His fluency with the subject should come as no surprise: he’s a veteran who helped draft the U.S. government’s policy on autonomous weapons.”
3. Bad Blood
Author: John Carreyrou
Gates’ review: “A bunch of my friends recommended this one to me. Carreyrou gives you the definitive insider’s look at the rise and fall of Theranos. The story is even crazier than I expected, and I found myself unable to put it down once I started. 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.”
4. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
Author: Yuval Noah Harari (note that Bill published this review originally in the New York Times)
Gates’ review: “I’m a big fan of everything Harari has written, and his latest is no exception. While Sapiens and Homo Deus covered the past and future respectively, this one 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
Author: Andy Puddicombe (Published in 2011 but Gates read it this summer)
Gates’ review: “I’m sure 25-year-old me would scoff at this one, but Melinda and I have gotten really into meditation lately. The book starts with Puddicombe’s personal journey from a university student to a Buddhist monk and then becomes an entertaining explainer on how to meditate. If you’re thinking about trying mindfulness, this is the perfect introduction.”