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20 Books Bill Gates Thinks You Should Read

Have you read any of these books? Add the books Bill Gates recommends to your list.

Bill GatesNati Harnik/AP/Shutterstock

Bill Gates loves reading

Every year, Bill Gates releases his summer and winter reading lists of the best books. Entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and book-lovers alike will enjoy his picks. His tastes range from heartbreaking memoirs to creative historical fiction and everything in between. Here are the 20 most recent books Gates recommended on his blog, GatesNotes, that you'll want to add to your reading list now.



Upheaval uses a variety of case studies to explore how societies react during moments of crisis. Although it sounds less than upbeat, Gates says it speaks more favorably to our ability to solve problems. Once you finish this one, check out the 15 best books to read in 2019. Speaking of upheaval, this is how much the world would change if Bill Gates had never existed. 

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Nine Pints 

This book is not for the squeamish. Nine Pints, written by a British journalist, goes in-depth on everything you didn't know about blood. The title, "nine pints," refers to the volume of blood in the average adult.

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A Gentleman in Moscow 

Gates says this book is a true crowd-pleaser. It makes sense since the novel about a count sentenced to house arrest in a hotel is soon to be a TV show. Join the 1.5 million people, including Gates, who enjoyed this story. To learn more about Bill Gates, check out this advice he would give his younger self. 

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Presidents of War

People interested in the history of American war will enjoy this summer 2019 pick from Gates. It focuses on presidential leadership during times of conflict and the difficult decisions they have to make under pressure.

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The Future of Capitalism 

Gates enjoys the analysis in this book about capitalism. It's one of the good books you really should have read by now.

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Author Tara Westover writes about growing up in and eventually leaving a Mormon household before getting a PhD from Cambridge University. Her story might not seem relatable from afar, but Gates was able to reflect on his own life after reading this book.

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Army of None

Gates says this book on artificial intelligence warfare is hard to put down. The book discusses the legal and ethical issues on using high-tech weapons systems. The author, Paul Scharre, is a veteran who helped draft the U.S. government policy on autonomous weapons.

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Bad Blood

This best-seller comes highly recommended by Gates and many others, with good reason. The book gives the inside scoop on the rise and fall of Theranos, the biotech startup founded by Elizabeth Holmes. The big-screen adaptation is coming soon with Jennifer Lawrence. Instead of arguing about whether the book is always better than the movie, watch one of these 18 hit movies that were books first.

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21 Lessons for the 21st Century 

Gates likes this book because it focuses on the urgent issues and challenges people face today. Before diving into this read, it might be best to start with the author's two previous books which focus on the past and the future, respectively.

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