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Every year, Bill Gates dedicates two posts on his blog (in summer and in winter) to his personal reading recommendations. He has focused on a certain number of books each time, providing a brief overview of why each one has stood out for him. Starting in 2014, he even began recording short videos to go with his seasonal list (check them out, starting with the first one here—they are really fun). So far, between Summer 2012 and Summer 2020, there are over a hundred Bill Gates book recommendations.
What are Bill Gates's book recommendations?
It is an impressive list, consisting largely of nonfiction. Science and technology, medicine, business, economics, education, international development, sociology, history, biography, memoir—name it, and chances are there is at least one book in the genre. If you like nonfiction (ahem, like me), this list is plain dangerous for your TBR pile.
This shouldn't come as a surprise—it is Bill Gates's book recommendations, after all. He is one of the founders of Microsoft (read: a dedicated nerd and a savvy businessman), one of the wealthiest people on the planet, and, together with his wife, a known philanthropist. This reading list perfectly reflects his life's work and interests. It consists of thought-provoking books, and chances are that at least one title from it will grab your attention.
Of course, it is not perfect. The list is a stark reflection of the lack of diversity in many of the fields showcased here, especially in STEM, but also (although to a lesser degree) in the arts and humanities. Also, if you are not into nonfiction, there are notably fewer choices in this list for you.
Despite the above-mentioned problems, I recommend looking through this list of Bill Gates's book recommendations. Chances are that there might be at least one read that will grab your attention. And remember: if you do not find a title of interest, or would like even more diverse, custom recommendations, our biblioligists at TBR, a tailored book recommendation service, would love to help you find your next perfect literary match. We may not be Bill Gates, but we send new books and recommendations specifically matched for you! Happy reading!
Note: On a few occasions, Gates had certain titles repeat from one list into the next. For the sake of avoiding repetition, I have removed any repeating titles and marked the section where I have done so with a (*).