Bill Gates’ Favorite Books of 2016

A couple of times a year, Microsoft founder and noted bibliophile Bill Gates makes a list of his favorite recent reads.

This winter, his list of favorites from 2016 reveals Gates’ continuing curiosity and desire to learn.

String Theory by David Foster Wallace
Gathered for the first time in a deluxe collector’s edition, here are David Foster Wallace’s legendary writings on tennis, five tour-de-force pieces written with a competitor’s insight and a fan’s obsessive enthusiasm. Wallace brings his dazzling literary magic to the game he loved as he celebrates the other-worldly genius of Roger Federer; offers a wickedly witty dissection of Tracy Austin’s memoir; considers the artistry of Michael Joyce, a supremely disciplined athlete on the threshold of fame; resists the crush of commerce at the U.S. Open; and recalls his own career as a junior player.

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Now, for the first time ever, in a memoir that’s candid, humble, startling, funny, and beautifully crafted, Nike Founder Phill Knight tells his story at last. He begins with his crossroads moment: twenty-four years old, backpacking around the world, wrestling with life’s Great Questions, he decides the unconventional path is the only one for him. Rather than work for a big corporation, he will create something all his own, something new, dynamic, different.

The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Siddhartha Mukherjee has a written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant, and illuminating as his extraordinarily successful biography of cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.

The Myth of the Strong Leader by Archie Brown
In this magisterial and wide-ranging survey of political leadership over the past hundred years, renowned Oxford politics professor Archie Brown challenges the widespread belief that strong leaders – meaning those who dominate their colleagues and the policy-making process – are the most successful and admirable.

The Grid by Gretchen Bakke
America’s electrical grid, an engineering triumph of the twentieth century, is turning out to be a poor fit for the present. It’s not just that the grid has grown old and is now in dire need of basic repair. Today, as we invest great hope in new energy sources–solar, wind, and other alternatives–the grid is what stands most firmly in the way of a brighter energy future. If we hope to realize this future, we need to re-imagine the grid according to twenty-first-century values.