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Ever wondered what books Bill Gates has on his bedside table? The World Economic Forum (WEF) has offered an insight, as it released a list of books recommended by two of the world’s richest people, Microsoft’s Gates and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Both, it is believed, credit reading as crucial to success.
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Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence has Declined: Gates tweeted that this book is “the most inspiring” he has ever read. Written by Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker, it argues that despite common belief, the world has become a less dangerous place. Gates said Pinker’s argument “sounds crazy” but “it’s true.”
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The Three-Body Problem: Zuckerberg described this book by Liu Cixin as a “fun break” from the more serious economic and social science books he normally reads. The book revolves around a cultural revolution that takes place after an alien invasion on Earth, following the Chinese government’s secret communication with the race. The book was also praised by former US president Barack Obama.
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The Gene: An Intimate History: Gates recommended this book by oncologist and Harvard graduate Siddhartha Mukherjee, stating that the author wrote it for a lay audience, “…because he knows that the new genome technologies are at the cusp of affecting us all in profound ways.” The book touches on unanswered questions regarding human personalities and their formation.
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Creativity, Inc.: This book written by one of the founders of computer animation firm Pixar, Ed Catmull, shares lessons on management and entrepreneurship. It specifically warns companies from obstructing employees’ creativity. Zuckerberg said he loves “reading first-hand accounts about how people build great companies like Pixar and nurture innovation and creativity.”
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Shoe Dog: Written by the media-shy co-founder of Nike, Phil Knight, this memoir is “a refreshingly honest reminder” of the challenges that come with success, according to Gates, such as fallouts and disagreements. Gates said Knight is quiet and difficult to get to know, but that the co-founder “opens up in a way few CEOs are willing to do” in the book.