Few figures can make as much of a splash in endorsing books publicly as Bill Gates. Not only is he a respected businessman, technologist and philanthropist, but he's also got pretty reliable taste and a consistent eye for quality. So it's worth checking in on what Gates has been championing recently. (We also checked in on his reading back in 2014.)
His New Favorite Book of All Time
As has been reported in the press, Gates long considered Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature one of his all-time favorite books, but on his blog recently he named Pinker's latest book Enlightenment Now "my new favorite book of all time," praising the way Pinker shows that "we are living in the most peaceful time in human history." (Note: You can find a similar thesis, differently executed, in one of our favorites of recent years, Yuval Noah Harari's brilliant Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Gates has also praised Harari in the past.)
In the same post, Gates also praised the forthcoming Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About The World--And Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, which he promised to write more about later.
His Favorite Books Read in 2017
In December, Gates blogged about the reading he did in 2017, including his five favorite books of the year. He praised Evicted by Matthew Desmond, which we named to our list of the 10 best books of 2016 (and which recently inspired the mayor of Milwaukee to propose a visionary 10-year housing plan), as well as one of our favorite works of fiction of 2015, The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.
He also included an acclaimed graphic memoir, The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui; a "masterpiece" about energy, Energy and Civilization by Vaclav Smil and, surprisingly, Eddie Izzard's memoir, Believe Me. He recommends more titles in his post about his five favorite books of the year. He also posted earlier in 2017 about his favorite summer reading choices.