For the fifth year in a row, Microsoft co-founder and big-time philanthropist Bill Gates has released his top picks for the best books of 2017. Gates unveiled his list and reviews on his website GatesNotes along with a YouTube video featuring his picks. As one might expect, this list is heavy with a lot of nonfiction titles. If you’re looking for a book to enjoy over the holidays or give to someone else as a Christmas present, here are some of Bill Gates favorite books of 2017.
Bill Gates: Best Books of 2017
The Best We Could Do, by Thi Bui.
This graphic memoir novel explores what ordeal a refugee has to go through in search of a better future. The author’s family fled from Vietnam in 1978, finally ending up in America. It’s a harrowingly beautiful tale about motherhood, immigration, family legacy, and perseverance is the new voice in the world of Vietnamese-American non-fiction.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond.
Matthew Desmond has written a Pulitzer Prize-winning book about poverty and eviction, segregation and racism. The book examines the lives of a number of people who deal with eviction and the property owners. This book will give you a better sense of what it is like to be poor in a country like America.
Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens, by Eddie Izzard.
Raise your hand if you knew Eddie Izzard’s book would end up on Bill Gates top picks for best books for 2017. Unlike other autobiographies or memoirs, this book covers the most profound events of Eddie Izzard’s life. It is fulfilling to see how much time and hard work it takes for an artist to become an overnight success.
The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen.
“Nguyen’s award-winning novel offers much-needed insight into what it was like to be Vietnamese and caught between both sides,” writes Bill Gates. “Despite how dark it is, The Sympathizer is a gripping story about a double agent and the trouble he gets himself into.”
Energy and Civilization: A History, by Vaclav Smil.
Energy consumption remains to be one of the most debated topics of this century. In his masterpiece, Smil lays out how our need for energy has shaped human history. It’s not an easy read but you’ll feel better informed about issues of the day after reading this book.
Want even more recommended books by Bill Gates? See here.