BILL GATES PICKS HIS TOP BOOKS OF THE YEAR
In between running one of the world’s largest charitable agencies and acting as Microsoft’s technology advisor, Bill Gates manages to find a significant chunk of time to read books, both long and short. Now Gates — who has been labeled a voracious reader — has released a list of his favorite books of the year. Not all of them were released in 2014; some were published in past years, and one is still unreleased. Here are Bill’s top five picks for 2014:
1. “Business Adventures,” by John Brooks
Brooks’ collection was published in 1969 and remains one of Gates’ favorites. He re-read it again this year, labeling it the “best business book I’ve ever read.” He shared, “Shortly after we met, Warren Buffett loaned me this collection of New Yorker business articles from the 1950s and 1960s. I loved them as much as he did. Brooks’s insights about business have aged beautifully, and they are as true today as ever.”
2. “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” by Thomas Piketty
Piketty’s novel sparked much discussion concerning income inequality throughout this year. Gates got to sit down with Piketty after reading the non-fiction work to discuss the topic. Gates believes inequality is a growing problem and governments should play a role in reducing it.
3. “How Asia Works,” by Joe Studwell
Studwell’s work addresses how countries such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and China have continued to achieve high growth, and why other countries have failed to do the same. The book left him thinking about whether parts of the Asian model can apply in Africa.
4. “The Rosie Effect,” by Graeme Simsion
The only fiction work to make Gates’ list is a follow-up to Simsion’s “The Rosie Project.” The novel will be released on Dec. 31 this year, but Gates snagged an advanced copy from the author. Gates called it a funny novel that made him think about relationships: what makes them work and how we have to keep investing time and energy to make them better.
5. “Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization,” by Vaclav Smil
Smil’s books are a constant favorite of Gates. This title explores the global use of materials, from silicon to wood, and plastic. Smil shows how our ability to make things with less material — e.g., soda cans that need less aluminum — makes them cheaper, which actually encourages more production.
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