Every year the founder of Microsoft and known philanthropist Bill Gates announces 5 books he believes are worth reading. It is a tradition book lovers everywhere look forward to each year, with some of Bill’s previous recommendations seen soaring into the bestseller list not long after, including The Rosie Project by Australia’s own Graeme Simsion.
“When I pulled together this list of five that you might enjoy this summer, I realised that several of my choices wrestle with big questions,” says Bill. “What makes a genius tick? Why do bad things happen to good people? Where does humanity come from, and where are we headed? Despite the heavy subject matter, all these books were fun to read and most of them are pretty short. Even the longest (Leonardo) goes quickly.”
So if you’re looking for something to read over the next few months, why not start with Bill Gates’ picks for 2018? Check out the collection here.
From Lincoln to Leonardo, I hope you enjoy my summer reading list. https://t.co/fRrg5HwzoG
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 21, 2018
Bill Gates top 5 books of 2018
Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy.
He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and technology. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history’s most creative genius. Read more.
Thirty-five year-old Kate Bowler, a professor at the school of divinity at Duke, had finally had a baby with her childhood sweetheart when she began to feel jabbing pains in her stomach. She lost thirty pounds, guzzled antacid, and visited doctors for three months before she was finally diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer.
As Kate navigates the aftermath of her diagnosis, she pulls the reader into her life and her history – affectionately filled with a colourful retinue of friends, mega-church preachers, parents, and doctors – and shares her irreverent, laser-sharp reflections on faith, friendship, love, and death. She wonders why suffering makes her feel like a loser and explores the burden of positivity. Trying to relish the time she still has with her son and husband, she realizes she must cure her habit of `skipping to the end’ and planning the next move. Read more.
The extraordinary first novel by the bestselling, Folio Prize-winning, National Book Award-shortlisted George Saunders, about Abraham Lincoln and the death of his eleven year old son, Willie, at the dawn of the Civil War
The American Civil War rages while President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son lies gravely ill. In a matter of days, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy’s body.
From this seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of realism, entering a thrilling, supernatural domain both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself trapped in a transitional realm – called, in Tibetan tradition, the bardo. Read more.
This is the epic story of the universe and our place in it, from 13.8 billion years ago to the remote future.
How did we get from the Big Bang to today’s staggering complexity, in which seven billion humans are connected into networks powerful enough to transform the planet? And why, in comparison, are our closest primate relatives reduced to near-extinction?
Big History creator David Christian gives the answers in a mind-expanding cosmological detective story told on the grandest possible scale. He traces how, during eight key thresholds, the right conditions have allowed new forms of complexity to arise, from stars to galaxies, Earth to homo sapiens, agriculture to fossil fuels. This last mega-innovation gave us an energy bonanza that brought huge benefits to mankind, yet also threatens to shake apart everything we have created. Read more.
When you ask people simple questions about global trends, they systematically get the answers wrong. How many young women go to school? What’s the average life expectancy across the world? What will the global population will be in 2050? Do the majority of people live in rich or poor countries? In Factfulness, Hans Rosling and his two lifelong collaborators, Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling-Ronnlund, show why this happens.
Based on a lifetime’s work promoting a fact-based worldview, they reveal the ten dramatic instincts, and the key preconceptions, that lead to us consistently misunderstanding how the world really works.
Inspiring and revelatory, Factfulness is a book of stories by a late legend, for anyone who wants to really understand the world. Read more.
About the Contributor
Bronwyn Eley is new to the book industry, having previously served in the Royal Australian Air Force & even spent some time as a barista until entering the exciting world of Booktopia. Books are her true passion. Bronwyn writes in her spare time, often has her face buried in a book and enjoys keeping fit (which she undoes by eating loads of chocolate) with Martial Arts and personal training. She can't answer what her favourite book is but she has a soft spot for The Host (Stephanie Meyer), Peter Pan (J.M Barrie) & Outlander (Diana Gabaldon). Fantasy, sci-fi and YA make up the majority of her bookshelves.