Bill Gates, Book Critic, Names His Top 5 Books of 2018

Before we get too far into 2019, let’s quick­ly recap the five books that made it to the top of Bill Gates’ read­ing list in 2018. Over on his blog, Gates Notes, the Microsoft co-founder offers up these picks. He writes:

Edu­cat­ed, by Tara West­over. 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. [More here.]

Army of None, 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. 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. [More here.]

Bad Blood, by John Car­rey­rou. 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. [More here.]

21 Lessons for the 21st Cen­tu­ry, by Yuval Noah Harari. 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. [More here.]

The Head­space Guide to Med­i­ta­tion and Mind­ful­ness, by Andy Pud­di­combe. 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. [More here.]

Find oth­er Gates picks from pre­vi­ous sea­sons in the Relat­eds below.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Bill Gates Names 5 Books You Should Read This Sum­mer

Bill Gates Rec­om­mends Five Books for Sum­mer 2017

5 Books Bill Gates Wants You to Read This Sum­mer (2016)

Bill Gates, Book Crit­ic, Names His Top 5 Books of 2015

Sum­mer 2014

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