A couple of weeks ago, Bill Gates posted on LinkedIn what books he thinks people should read over their summer holiday.  To read his full article, click here

In his review, he points out that the books on this year’s list, “pushed me outside of my own experiences, and I learned some things that shed new light on how our experiences shape us and where humanity might be headed.” If someone as successful as Bill Gates can learn from these books, should we not be reading them too?

Born A Crime, by Trevor Noah

The Story of The Daily Show host, if you have seen his sketches you will know how he uses his often, tragic experiences in his comedy. This book explains how he was born to a Swiss fathers and a black South African mother at a time when mixed race relationships were illegal, and his ongoing struggle to fit in since then.


The Heart, by Maylis de Kerangal

It is the beautiful use of language that shines through the eyes of this book according to Gates. He explains that, “While you will find this book in the fiction section of your bookstore, what de Kerangal has done here in this exploration of grief, is closer to poetry than anything else.” The story of a heart transplant, the book brings to life characters that you may only meet for a matter of minutes, but brings to life the decisions and life changing events for all involved.


Hillbilly Elegy, by J D Vance

An inspiring story about how your beginnings and your family need not define whom you later become. Vance was abandoned by his father, and when it became obvious that his mother’s interests lay elsewhere, was raised by his grandparents in a chaotic household. Despite his heartbreaking upbringing, against all odds, he secures a place at Yale to study Law. “While the book offers insights into some of the complex cultural and family issues behind poverty, the real magic lies in the story itself and Vance’s bravery in telling it,” explains Gates.


Homo Deus, by Yuval Noah Harari

“Homo Deus argues that the principals that have organized society will undergo a huge shift in the 21st Century, with major consequences for life as we know it,” says Gates of the book. The books places arguments about religion, medicine, hunger and war and is a smart look at what may be the next hurdles for humanity as we know it.


A Full Life, by Jimmy Carter

A biography on the former president, the books gives a unique insight into what it took for him to rise through to take the most powerful position in the world.

For more advice from him, including his fabulous article, Dear Class of 2017, follow him on LinkedIn.