Keeping with the annual tradition, former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates has released his Holiday Reading 2017 best books list. A collection of titles he’s read over the past year, Gates especially recommends these books for those looking to “curl up by the fireplace with a great read this holiday season.” Have a look at the top five books Gates is recommending below.
- The Best We Could Do, by Thi Bui. This gorgeous graphic novel is a deeply personal memoir that explores what it means to be a parent and a refugee.
- Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond. If you want a good understanding of how the issues that cause poverty are intertwined, you should read this book about the eviction crisis in Milwaukee
- Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens, by Eddie Izzard. Izzard’s personal story is fascinating: he survived a difficult childhood and worked relentlessly to overcome his lack of natural talent and become an international star.
- The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Most of the books I’ve read and movies I’ve seen about the Vietnam War focused on the American perspective. Nguyen’s award-winning novel offers much-needed insight into what it was like to be Vietnamese and caught between both sides.
- Energy and Civilization: A History, by Vaclav Smil. Smil is one of my favorite authors, and this is his masterpiece. He lays out how our need for energy has shaped human history—from the era of donkey-powered mills to today’s quest for renewable energy.
Interestingly, Gates also extends the list a bit, mentioning Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS by Joby Warrick, Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, and The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein. He details these titles before getting into the details of the top five books, saying “I still think books are the best way to explore new topics that interest you.”