Here Are The 5 Best Books Bill Gates Read In 2014 -- That You Should Read Too

Got a bookworm on your holiday gift list?

Bill Gates just revealed the five best books he read this year, and since they range from an economic look at Asia’s rise to a laugh-out-loud novel about a New York City couple, there’s something to suit all different tastes.

Here’s what made the cut:

1. “Business Adventures” by John Brooks

This is Gates’ favourite business book of all-time. Although the collection of 12 “New Yorker” articles has been out-of-print since 1971, Gates says its lessons are as applicable now as ever.

“Even though Brooks wrote more than four decades ago,” Gates writes, “He offers sharp insights into timeless fundamentals of business, like the challenge of building a large organisation, hiring people with the right skills, and listening to customers’ feedback.”

You can download a free chapter here.

2. “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” by Thomas Piketty

In “Capital,” Piketty focuses on wealth and income inequality in Europe and the United States and the role governments should play in reducing it. Gates admits that a “700-page treatise on economics translated from French” isn’t exactly a light read, but calls the ideas in it very important.

“I admire [Piketty’s] work and hope it draws in more smart people to study the causes of, and cures for, inequality,” he writes.

You can read Gates’ full review here.

3. “How Asia Works” by Joe Studwell

In this work, Studwell tackles two big questions: How did countries like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and China achieve sustained, high growth? And why have so few other countries managed to do so?

“The agriculture section of the book was particularly insightful,” Gates says. “It provided ample food for thought for me as well as the whole Agriculture team at our foundation.”

You can read his full review here.

4. “The Rosie Effect” by Graeme Simsion

This hilarious fiction book doesn’t actually go on sale until Dec. 31, but Gates devoured the early copy he received from the author, calling it one of the best novels he’s read in ages.

He says it makes him think about relationships: “What makes them work and how we have to keep investing time and energy to make them better. A sweet, entertaining, and thought-provoking book.”

You can read his full review here.

5. “Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization” by Vaclav Smil

“One of Smil’s books makes my list of favourites pretty much every year,” Gates writes.

“Making the Modern World” looks at the how the world has become more dependent than ever on materials like wood, stone, metals, allows, plastics, and silicon

“With his usual scepticism and his love of data, Smil shows how our ability to make things with less material — say, soda cans that need less aluminium — makes them cheaper, which actually encourages more production,” Gates writes. “We’re using more stuff than ever.”

Read Gates’ full review here.

Here’s Gates’ video re-cap:

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