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Bill Gates books
Bill Gates with the five books he recommends this summer. (The Gates Notes, LLC Photo)

Bill Gates is all about escaping with a good book, and come summer time, the Microsoft co-founder and avid reader likes to enlighten folks on how they can best unwind at the beach or anywhere else thanks to his list of must-reads.

This year’s summer reading list contains five titles, and Gates says the offerings are notable for the fact that the escape he sought out helped him to better understand “what it’s like to grow up outside the mainstream.”

From a memoir by “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah to a collection of anecdotes from former President Jimmy Carter, Gates says he learned some things that made him question his own thinking “about how the world works.”

Here’s Gates’ recommendations, linked back to his website for the full reviews on each book:

  • “Born a Crime,” by Trevor Noah: “Much of Noah’s story of growing up in South Africa is tragic. Yet, as anyone who watches his nightly monologues knows, his moving stories will often leave you laughing.”
  • “The Heart,” by Maylis de Kerangal: “The book uses beautiful language to connect you deeply with people who may be in the story for only a few minutes.”
  • “Hillbilly Elegy,” by J.D. Vance: “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.”
  • “Homo Deus,” by Yuval Noah Harari: “I don’t agree with everything Harari has to say, but he has written a smart look at what may be ahead for humanity.”
  • “A Full Life,” by President Jimmy Carter: “The book will help you understand how growing up in rural Georgia in a house without running water, electricity, or insulation shaped — for better and for worse — his time in the White House.”

Want to keep reading on GeekWire about what Gates likes to read? Here are the five best books he read last year and the five books he brought to the beach in 2016 and seven from 2015.

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