Books

Bill Gates' best books of 2018 will save your Christmas shopping list

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Tom Victor
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If Bill Gates tells you something will make a good Christmas present, you should probably listen

When Bill Gates says jump, we’ve learned from experience that a significant portion of the world will jump.

The Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist has been named the most admired man in the world, so people are going to follow his advice on a lot of things.

This is particularly handy during Christmas shopping season, when Gates’ recommendations will make for an easy route to filling those gaps in your friends and family list, and would you know it – he’s just come out with his top five books of 2018.

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This isn’t the first time Gates has come up with an end-of-year list of this ilk, but on this occasion he has even gone as far as suggesting they would make solid Christmas presents.

“I usually don’t consider whether something would make a good present when I’m putting together my end of year book list—but this year’s selections are highly giftable,” the 63-year-old writes.

Gates has previously given recommendations for books on leadership, and it’s easy to understand why people would be keen to listen to him on that particular topic, but the more general list comes with tailored recommendations from the one-time richest man in the world.

2018

The first book on his list is Educated, a memoir from Tara Westover. Westover was born into a Mormon survivalist family and never received a formal education, but taught herself and ultimately ended up with a PhD from Cambridge University.

The book was also on Barack Obama’s summer reading list, and has spent almost the entire year on the New York Times bestseller list.

“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,” Gates explains.

He also includes Army of None, defence expert Paul Scharre’s book on the future of autonomous weapons, and Yuval Noah Harari’s essay collection 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

The list is rounded off by John Carreyrou’s Bad Blood, a look into the rise and fall of tech startup Theranos, and The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness by Andy Puddicombe.

“[Bad Blood] has everything: elaborate scams, corporate intrigue, magazine cover stories, ruined family relationships, and the demise of a company once valued at nearly $10 billion,” Gates writes.

So what are you waiting for? Get ordering, then put your feet up for Christmas.

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