Almost every year Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates lists out the books he has read and recommends them on his blog. This year Gates has listed what he calls “holiday reads” on his blog. Gates said that he has read a lot of books this year but the five that stood out were the following:
The first book that Gates recommends is A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence, by Jeff Hawkins. “Few subjects have captured the imaginations of science fiction writers like artificial intelligence. If you’re interested in learning more about what it might take to create a true AI, this book offers a fascinating theory.” Interestingly, Hawkins was the co-inventor of the PalmPilot device back in the 90s.
The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race, by Walter Isaacson is the second book that Gates recommends. “The CRISPR gene editing system is one of the coolest and perhaps most consequential scientific breakthroughs of the last decade,” Gates says. He said that the author Isaacson — who has written Steve Jobs’ definitive biography — does a good job highlighting “the most important ethical questions around gene editing.”
The Microsoft co-founder noted on his blog that he loves a good robot story and Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro made the cut. “This book made me think about what life with super intelligent robots might look like—and whether we’ll treat these kinds of machines as pieces of technology or as something more.”
Hamnet, by Maggie O’Farrell is another book that Gates recommends. “If you’re a Shakespeare fan, you’ll love this moving novel about how his personal life might’ve influenced the writing of one of his most famous plays,” he noted on his blog.
The fifth book that Gates recommends is Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir, which “is a wild tale about a high school science teacher who wakes up in a different star system with no memory of how he got there.” Gates said that he found it a fun read and finished it in one weekend.