You are what you read.
Bill Gates, the fifth richest person in the world and co-founder of Microsoft, usually publishes lists of favorite books seasonally and annually. But on Monday, to celebrate the holidays, he wrote to Gates has released a list of (some of) his five favorite books of all timeregardless of when he read them.
“All five are books I’ve recommended to my family and friends over the years,” he wrote on his blog.
“I hope you find something new to read this winter,” he added. Gates’ book list, he said, includes a book he loved in high school and a book he said he had just read (the Bono memoir).
Related: Bill Gates just released his 5 book summer reading list — here’s what’s on it
He gave the books a kind of categories, which are enclosed in quotation marks. Here’s the list:
1. “Best Introduction to Science Fiction for Adults”: Stranger in a strange landRobert Heinley.
Gates said he and his Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen “fell in love with Heinlein when we were just kids”.
The book is from 1961 science fiction classic which covers Valentine Michael Smith’s travels from Mars to Earth and his eventual establishment of a free love commune on a post-World War III Earth. The municipality has a number of “hippie” trends, including pro-peace.
The billionaire and philanthropist said he enjoyed the predictive nature of the book.
“I think the best sci-fi makes you think about what’s possible in the future, and Heinlein managed to predict the rise of hippie culture years before it came up,” Gates wrote.
2. “Best Memoirs of a Rock Star”: SurrenderBono.
Bono is the lead singer of U2, the Irish rock band, and published a memoir in November with Penguin Random House.
Even if you’re not a fan of the band, “it’s super fun to read how a boy from the Dublin suburbs grew up to be a world-famous rock star and philanthropist,” he wrote.
Although Gates says he is friends with Bono, he added that he had not heard some of the stories in the book.
3. “Best Guide to Leading a Country”: Team of rivalsDoris Kearns Goodwin.
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln is a book about Lincoln’s rise to the presidency, published in 2005. It won a Pulitzer Prize and inspired an Academy Award-winning film, Lincoln.
Kearns Goodwin is a famous presidential historian who given a master class about American presidential history and leadership.
The book “feels especially relevant as our country once again faces violent uprisings, tough questions about race and deep ideological divisions,” Gates wrote.
4. “The best guide to going your own way”: The inner tennis gameRobert Gallwey.
Gates is known for his interest in self-improvement through reading.
He says this book is a “must read” for tennis fans, but anyone can learn something from it, especially how your body affects your mind — that is, the “inner gamethat you play with yourself.
5. “Best Book on the Periodic Table”: Mendeleev’s dreamPaul Strathern.
This book, generally speaking, covers how the periodic table came to be. “It’s a fascinating look at how science develops and how human curiosity has evolved over the millennia,” Gates wrote.