These are Bill Gates’ favorite five books of 2018

Every year Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and richest man in the world (depending on how Amazon's stock is doing) releases his reading list.

These are books he considers were thought-inspiring, touching or just plain entertaining. His list is usually a diverse set of interesting titles, from the memoirs of a comedian to treatises on how to change society for the 21st century.

His end of year list for 2018 is five books he loved.

1. "Bad Blood" by John Carreyrou

If you have never heard the name Theranos, you are in for a fascinating tale of deception. John Carreyrou, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, chronicled the meteoric rise of Theranos, a medical startup built on fraudulent technology, and its fall when Carreyrou exposed that fraud.

"'Bad Blood' tackles some serious ethical questions, but it is ultimately a thriller with a tragic ending," Gates said. "The story feels almost too ridiculous to be real at points."

» Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has died at 65 from cancer

2. "Army of None" by Paul Scharre

Paul Scharre is a former Amy Ranger and a policy expert for a think tank. His book tackles autonomous weapons in combat, and the consequences of their use.

"Scharre writes clearly about a huge range of topics: computer science, military strategy, history, philosophy, psychology, and ethics," Gates said. "He gives you the right grounding to start participating in the debate over where our country should draw the line on these powerful technologies."

3. "21 Lessons for the 21st Century" by Yuval Noah Harari

In his review of Yuval Noah Harari's new book for the New York Times, Bill Gates called it "fascinating." Harari tackles many of the present day's challenges and how we can think about them without worrying so much.

4. "Educated" by Tara Westover

"I thought I was pretty good at teaching myself — until I read Tara Westover's memoir 'Educated,'" Gates said.

Westover grew up in a Mormon home in rural Idaho with a father who believed the apocalypse was coming, so the family should rely on themselves as much as possible.

Despite none of the seven Westover kids receiving proper homeschooling, three of them, including Tara, have earned a Ph.D.

Gates called it "the kind of book that I think everyone will enjoy, no matter what genre you usually pick up."

5. "The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness" by Andy Puddicombe

Gates said he was skeptical of meditation until being convinced by Andy Puddicombe, the founder of the app Headspace and an ordained Buddhist monk.

"If you want to try meditation for yourself, one good way to ease into it—especially if you're as skeptical as I was—is to pick up a copy of Andy's book," Gates said.

The AJC may receive a commission for purchases made through some links in this article.

About the Author