WASHINGTON — Whether you’re lounging at the beach or stuck inside during a summer thunderstorm, a book is the perfect companion to have in any situation.
But with so many books to choose from, where do you even start?
Bill Gates has you covered with five summer reads he recommended
this week on his blog.
“The books on this year’s summer reading list pushed me out of my own experiences, and I learned some things that shed new light on how our experiences shape us and where humanity might be headed,” Gates had written.
Here are the five books he says will “transport you somewhere else.”
“Even though the former president has already written more than two dozen books, he somehow managed to save some great anecdotes for this quick, condensed tour of his fascinating life,” Gates wrote about this New York Times Bestseller.
The book was originally published in 2015, but Gates says this former president’s memoir “feels timely in an era when the public’s confidence in national political figures and institutions is low.”
(AP Photo/Alex Sanz)
Jimmy Carter, “A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety”
Another New York Times Bestseller, this 2016 memoir by Yale Law School graduate J.D. Vance outlines his white working class background with roots in the Rust Belt and Appalachia.
“While the book offers insights into some of the complex cultural and family issues behind poverty, the real magic lies in the story itself and Vance’s bravery in telling it,” Gates wrote.
(AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)
J.D. Vance, “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis”
Gates wrote, “As a longtime fan of ‘The Daily Show,’ I loved reading this memoir about how its host honed his outsider approach to comedy over a lifetime of never quite fitting in.”
The current “Daily Show” host is South African comedian Trevor Noah. In his best-selling memoir, he details his childhood during Apartheid and how his birth to a black South African mother and a white Swiss father was considered a criminal act.
(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Comedy Central)
Trevor Noah, “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood”
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Comedy Central
Gates says that his wife Melinda recommended this book and as a mostly nonfiction reader, this particular work of fiction was “closer to poetry than anything else.”
This 2016 novel by French writer Maylis de Kerangal follows the story of a heart transplant, but Gates insists “the plot is secondary to the strength of its words and characters. The book uses beautiful language to connect you deeply with people who may be in the story for only a few minutes.”
(Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Maylis de Kerangal, “The Heart”
Getty Images/Pascal Le Segretain
Yuval Noah Harari, “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow”
In last summer’s reading list, Gates recommended Harari’s previous book “Sapiens.” He called its “provocative” successor “Homo Deus” similarly “challenging, readable, and thought-provoking.”
Looking for a read to really stretch your mind? Gates wrote, “I don’t agree with everything Harari has to say, but he has written a smart look at what may be ahead for humanity.”