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Not sure what books to buy for Christmas? Let Bill Gates help

When it comes to wealth and prestige, few names are more iconic than Bill Gates. As the founder of Microsoft and one of the world’s richest men, Gates has made numerous contributions to the world of tech. He has also spearheaded several projects with the goal of reducing poverty and hunger in developing countries.

But even billionaires need to unwind now and then, and when Bill Gates does, he chooses to spend his time reading. He reportedly reads around 50 books a year, and his tastes span genres from historical fiction to educational and scientific texts. Tap or click to see his 2018 summer reading list.

And now, just in time for Christmas, Bill Gates has released a new list of his favorite books from 2019. Books always make great gifts, and with the help of this reading list, you’re sure to find the perfect present for the special people in your life.

‘These Truths: A History of the United States’ by Jill Lepore

How much do you really know about U.S. history? As it turns out, our high school classes tend to gloss over some of the more fascinating details from the story of America. This paints an incomplete picture of the rich history of our nation.

“These Truths: A History of the United States” covers some of the untold chapters in American history, and offers a fascinating look at some of the steps we took to become the nation we are today.

‘Why We Sleep’ by Matthew Walker, PhD

Do you get enough sleep every night? Most people will simply sip their coffee and say “yes,” but our caffeine-addled brains are disguising an important fact: Sleep is essential for our health and well-being.

What are the long term effects of sleep deprivation? Is it a preventable cause of death and poor health? This book discusses all these controversies and more, and illustrates the importance of taking enough time every night to catch some Z’s.

‘Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities’ by Vaclav Smil

Vaclav Smil is one of Gates’ favorite authors, and the man claims to anticipate his books the way fanboys do for “Star Wars” movies. In “Growth,” Smil talks about the limits of unrestrained development in economics and society, as well as the consequences such a thing can lead to.

Smil covers a broad variety of subjects in relation to accelerating growth — including culture, technology and the environment. It’s a window into a future that may end up being all too real.

‘Prepared: What Kids Need for a Fulfilled Life’ by Diane Tavenner

Education is a tricky subject matter, and it’s one Bill Gates cares deeply about. He’s invested millions of his personal fortune into improving education in the United States and abroad, and much of his thinking is based on the developments made by charter school innovater Diane Tavenner.

Her book, “Prepared,” goes over her experience running the Summit Charter School, as well as its process of “self-directed” learning that moves away from the test-based modes of education most Americans are familiar with.

‘An American Marriage’ by Tayari Jones

In “An American Marriage,” a married couple is torn apart by a false criminal allegation that lands the husband in jail for 12 years. Their lives and struggles in the years that follow are rendered in a profound and thought-provoking narrative that lends a new perspective to a side of the country that some never see.

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