He’s not quite on the level of Oprah in her television heyday, but Bill Gates has developed a large following for his regular book reviews and recommended reading lists — shining a light on titles that might not otherwise receive popular attention.
Case in point: Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization, by Vaclav Smil.
That’s one of Gates’ five favorite books of 2014, as unveiled this morning on his site, the Gates Notes. The list has a overarching theme — inadvertent, Gates says — of business and economics, with titles including Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century and How Asia Works by Joe Studwell.
Others on the list are Business Adventures, by John Brooks, a classic book that Gates has helped to rescue from obscurity; and The Rosie Effect, by Graeme Simsion, a strong follow-up to The Rosie Project, which Gates describes as “one of the best novels I’ve read in ages.”
Gates gives a rundown of his picks in this Lego-style stop motion animation. See his full post for more on each book.