Bill Gates recommends 5 books to read during the 2021 holiday season


Bill Gates, philanthropist and founder of Microsoft has recommended five books that that you might to add to your holiday reading list. In a blog post Gates explained his choices. He said that he chose two science fiction books as he was “obsessed” with the genre when he was a child. He also mentioned that although he focused more on non fiction as he added years to his life, he recently found that he had been “drawn back to the kinds of books I would have loved as a kid.”

He also mentioned the innumerable hours he spent discussing the “Foundation” trilogy by Issac Asimov with the late Paul Allen, who was not one of the co-founders of Microsoft—the hardware and software company they formed decades ago but was also a childhood friend.

The five books recommended by Microsoft founder Bill Gates are as follows:

Kiara and the Sun

By Kazuo Ishiguro

This is the story of a solar powered robot Kiara, who is the companion of a child who is gravely ill. It is set in a dystopian future. The robot is an artificial friend of the American child. Gates said that the book made him ponder about what life would be with “super intelligent robots.”

Project Hail Mary

By Andy Weir

The storyline follows a high school teacher who is placed in a difficult situation in outer space. Gates doesn’t say much about the book as he didn’t want to give away the twists in the plots. However, he calls it a “fun read.”

A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence

By Jeff Hawkins

Hawkins a machine learning expert explains how people think about intelligence and how the brain works. He also discusses what would be required to develop a true artificial intelligence. Gates lauds the “fascinating insights” about the brain in the book as well as the “clues” it offers “about the future of intelligent machines.”

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race

By Walter Issacson

This book is a biography of Jennifer Doudna, the 2020 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry for her work on CRISPR gene-editing system. Gates called CRISPR “one of the coolest…scientific breakthroughs of the last decade.”


By Maggie O’Farrell

The author writes a fictional account of the life of William Shakespeare’s son Hamnet, who died when he was 11 years old. O’Farrell explores how his son’s death might have influenced the Bard while he wrote one of his most popular tragedies—Hamlet. Gates called the book “beautiful” and “well-written” as it looks at “how grief tears a family apart.”


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