Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is well-known for his book recommendations, and as North America prepares for its summer this year, the avid reader has once again published a list of his top reads.
Gates is recommending five books that gave him new insights to the world and its future by pushing him out of his “own experiences” and into the worlds of people who have lived “outside the mainstream”.
“I learned some things that shed new light on how our experiences shape us and where humanity might be headed,” Gates says in a post on his personal blog, GatesNotes.
One of the books Gates recommends is television host Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime, which is a memoir of his life being born to mixed-race parents in apartheid South Africa.
“Much of Noah’s story of growing up in South Africa is tragic,” says Gates.
“Yet, as anyone who watches his nightly monologues knows, his moving stories will often leave you laughing.”
The other books listed are:
• The Heart by Maylis de Kerangal;
• Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance;
• Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari; and
• A Full Life by Jimmy Carter.
According to Gates, these titles explore everything from “tragic” life struggles like growing up in poverty and the organ donation of a loved one, through to “how we measure ourselves” through systems like religion.
“Some of these books helped me better understand what it’s like to grow up outside the mainstream … I hope you’ll find that others make you think deeper about what it means to truly connect with other people and to have purpose in your life,’ says Gates.