Here are five books Bill Gates recommends you should read this festive season.

Fun fact: Did you know that Bill Gates dedicates at least an hour a day to reading, and powers through a whopping 50 books a year? While that might seem like an over stated fact, truth is, the billionaire, entrepreneur, and now divorced, has an immense passion for books, and reading seems to be his childhood hobby that’s led him in his successful career. Here are a few books Bill Gates recommends you should consider this festive season.

#1. ‘A Thousand Brains: A New Theory Of Intelligence’ By Jeff Hawkins

Gates stated that he was obsessed with Sci-Fi novels of writers like Isaac Asimov, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Robert Heinlein. 

“When I was a kid, I was obsessed with science fiction,” he writes on his personal blog GatesNotes“Paul Allen and I would spend countless hours discussing Isaac Asimov’s original Foundation trilogy.”

Image: GatesNotes

He further stated that a few Sci-Fi writers think of artificial intelligence, and was very much trilled with this book by Jeff Hawkins.

“If you’re interested in learning more about what it might take to create a true AI, this book offers a fascinating theory,” he continues, “Hawkins may be best known as the co-inventor of the PalmPilot, but he’s spent decades thinking about the connections between neuroscience and machine learning, and there’s no better introduction to his thinking than this book.”

#2. ‘The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, And The Future Of The Human Race’ By Walter Isaacson

Ever heard of the ‘CRISPR’ gene editing system? This is one of the most consequential scientific breakthroughs of the last decade, according to Gates.

Image: GatesNotes

“I’m familiar with it because of my work at the foundation — we’re funding a number of projects that use the technology — but I still learned a lot from this comprehensive and accessible book about its discovery by Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues.”

He believes that Isaacson did an impressive job in this book that highlights “the most important ethical questions about gene editing.”

#3. ‘Klara And The Sun’ By Kazuo Ishiguro

“I love a good robot story,” he writes, “and Ishiguro’s novel about an “artificial friend” to a sick young girl is no exception.”

Image: GatesNotes

This story takes place in a dystopian future where robots aren’t a force to reckon with. Rather, they serve as companions. Gates stated that the book made him think about how humans and “super intelligent robots” would interact in the future. Will we treat them as some kind of pieces of technology or as something more than that? Gates seems to question.

#4. ‘Hamnet’ By Maggie O’Farrell

If you’re confusing the title of this book with Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet,’ you’re not alone. And as it turned out, his personal life might have influence the famous play. Truth is, O’Farrell actually had a son named “Hamnet” who died at the age of 11, and coincidentally, Shakespeare wrote the tragedy called (you guessed it) … a couple of years later. So it seems to make sense that her story was inspired.

Image: GatesNotes

“I especially enjoyed reading about his wife, Anne, who is imagined here as an almost supernatural figure.” Gates writes.

#5. ‘Project Hail Mary’ By Andy Weir

Image: GatesNotes

This novel is about how a high school science teacher who took an interstellar trip to another star system he knew not about how he got there. But interestingly, he managed to apply some science and clever engineering to survive. Would you believe that Gates said he finished this piece over a weekend? We do.

Which of these books have you read before?

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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Thu, Nov 25, 2021.

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