5 books you should read this holiday, according to Bill Gates

·2 min read
Bill Gates
Bill Gates releases book recommendations every summer and winter.Paul Richards/AFP via Getty Images
  • Bill Gates released his annual list of winter reading recommendations on Monday.

  • Gates said he's been drawn to the types of books he loved as a kid: science fiction novels.

  • Gates listed five books total, including two sci-fi books and two nonfiction reads about science.

Bill Gates has published his annual list of five book recommendations for winter.

The Microsoft cofounder on Monday revealed the titles and explained why they're some of his favorite books of 2021 in a blog post titled "5 books I loved reading this year."

Gates, a famously voracious reader who chews through around 50 books each year, said in the post that he's leaned toward nonfiction over time, but that's been changing. "Lately, though, I've found myself drawn back to the kinds of books I would've loved as a kid," he said.

For Gates, that means science fiction, something he enjoyed with Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen. "When I was a kid, I was obsessed with science fiction. Paul Allen and I would spend countless hours discussing Isaac Asimov's original 'Foundation' trilogy," he said. "There was something so thrilling about these stories that pushed the limits of what was possible."

"Project Hail Mary," by Andy Weir

The winter reading list includes two sci-fi novels that "made me think about how people can use technology to respond to challenges," Gates said. One is Andy Weir's "Project Hail Mary," in which a high school science teacher wakes up on a spaceship in a different solar system with no memory of how he got there.

"Klara and the Sun," by Kazuo Ishiguro

The other sci-fi book is Kazuo Ishiguro's "Klara and the Sun." "I love a good robot story," Gates said of the book.

"The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race," by Walter Isaacson

Gates also recommends two non-fiction books about cutting edge science. One is Walter Isaacson's "The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race," which focuses on the discovery of CRISPR gene-editing.

"A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence," by Jeff Hawkins

In "A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence," Jeff Hawkins, who co-invented the PalmPilot, explores artificial intelligence.

"Hamnet," by Maggie O'Farrell

The last title on Gates' list is "Hamnet," by Maggie O'Farrell, a fictional reimagination of William Shakespeare's life.

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