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Bill Gates with his top 5 books of 2014. (Credit: Gates Notes)
Bill Gates with his top 5 books of 2014. (Photo Credit: Gates Notes)

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.

Smil_Material_hires cover.pdfCase 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.


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