Bill Gates

Bill Gates said that he loved these books and they, in his own words – “made me think in new ways, and kept me up reading long past when I should have gone to sleep.”

Microsoft co-founder and world’s richest man Bill Gates still gobbles up with his schedule of reading about a book a week and wants you to read books that made him think in new ways. An avid reader himself, Gates shares the list on his personal blog where he shares about the people he meets, the books he is reading, and what he is learning. Here’s the list of best books by Bill Gates to read for life.

1. What If? by Randall Munroe

What If? is a collection of cartoon-illustrated answers to hypothetical scientific questions. Example: “What if I took a swim in a typical spent nuclear fuel pool?”, “What if everyone actually had only one soul mate, a random person somewhere in the world?” Bill Gates want you to read this as each question was posed by a different reader, and Munroe, a former roboticist for NASA, through research and interviews answers it to the deepest depth.

The book comes in handy for those who wished there were someone to indulge and investigate their secret scientific fantasies with.

Bill Gates says that Munroe’s approach is great as he writes in a way that everyone understands and then makes you imagine those ideas to the limits. For example, we all know well what gravity is. But what if Earth’s gravity were twice as strong as it is? What if it were a hundred times as strong? Looking at the question in such a way creates a different thought about gravity.

Also Read: Decoding Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad Poor Dad”- Lessons on Financial Intelligence

2. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Surprisingly Gates recommended a book of comic drawings. Hyperbole and a Half is based on the blog by It is profound and deeply moving much more than it is silly. The stories in the book are based on Brosh’s life and her imagined misadventures in drawings.

This book is of rare type that can simultaneously make you laugh, cry, and think existential thoughts.

Bill Gates says “It’s funny and smart as hell, Brosh’s stories feel incredibly — and sometimes brutally — real.” Bill Gates wants you to read this because he was especially moved by the parts of the book that touch on Brosh’s struggles with severe depression, including her attempts to leave an appropriate suicide note.

3. The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has DeclinedSteven Pinker

In Better Angels, Harvard cognitive scientist Steven Pinker focuses onto the history of the most contentious of subjects: violence.

Bill Gates wants you to read this because this is not just ivory-tower theory, this book has affected his humanitarian work.

He says this book is one of the most important books he has ever read. He also says that the author, Steven Pinker shows a great amount of proof that humans have gradually become much less violent and much more humane. Bill Gates being optimistic, the book got him to new thinking about some of his foundation’s strategies.

Also Read: Lessons from Napoleon Hill’s Best seller – Think and Grow Rich

4. Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks

Bill Gates wants you to read this because back in 1991, Gates asked Buffett what his favorite book was. Buffett replied “Business Adventures” and sent Bill Gates his personal copy of Business Adventures, a collection of New Yorker stories by John Brooks. The anecdotes are still Gates favorite even though they are more than 50 years old.

Bill Gates says that the book serves as a reminder for him that the principles for building a winning business stays constant. There’s an essential human factor in every business endeavor: You need the right people to lead and implement the plans when you have a perfect product, production plan and marketing pitch.

5. Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Seveneves is a speculative fiction novel published in 2015. The story describes apocalyptic events on Earth, following the unexplained disintegration of the Moon and explains the efforts put to preserve the human society.

Bill Gates wants you to read this book as the technical stuffs done by Stephenson are in great depth. He comments “Seveneves inspired me to rekindle my sci-fi habit.”

Bill Gates says that he read this science fiction after a decade when a friend recommended him. Gates states that he is happy he did. The first plot, when the moon blows up. People figure out that in two years a cataclysmic meteor shower will wipe out all life on Earth, so the world unites and makes a plan to keep humanity get going. On to the orbit numerous numbers of spacecrafts were launched. Gates lost his patience with all the information about space flight—Stephenson, who lives in Seattle, has clearly done his research.

6. Life is What You Make It by Peter Buffett

Bill Gates wants you to read this book as this tells the story of a wealthy, hard-working child, and what his father instilled in him to choose profession in music and become a philanthropist.

You don’t have to be the child of a wealthy man to get this wisdom and enjoy your path.

Bill Gates says about this book that whatever people may think, Peter won’t inherit the great wealth from his father. Instead, he was encouraged by his parents to find his own path. The book is a chronicle of that journey–and the wisdom and perceptions that he has developed along the way.

Lastly, we hope you gained a lot of interest in Books that Bill Gates wants you to read. Happy Reading!

Team THS

Team THS

Team THS at The Hacker Street
The Hacker Street is an online media publishing platform working with the early stage Indian startups and visionary entrepreneurs. With a mission to help and nurture the startup ecosystem in India.
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