The 5 books Bill Gates wants you to read this summer

Bill Gates wants you to contemplate a few of life's toughest questions this summer.

For his annual summer reading list, Gates has chosen five works that pose big, philosophical questions such as "Why do bad things happen to good people?" and "Where does humanity come from, and where are we headed?"

The topics may be heavy, but "all these books are fun to read, and most of them are pretty short," Gates writes in his blog, Gates Notes. Click through to see the five books he wants you to pick up this summer—including the one he called "one of the best books I’ve ever read."

Leonardo da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson
© 2017 Walter Isaacson

Book 5: Leonardo da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson. Gates has long been fascinated with Leonardo da Vinci. He even owns the 508-year-old Codex Leicester, one of Leonardo's 32 surviving journals. He's read many biographies about the painter, but Isaacson's 624-page-tome "does the best job" of weaving together disparate pieces of Leonardo's life to explain what made him so special, writes Gates. "When you look across all of Leonardo’s many abilities and his few failings, the attribute that stands out above all else was his sense of wonder and curiosity" (Simon & Schuster site, accessed 5/25; Gates, Gates Notes, 5/22 [1]; Gates, Gates Notes, 5/21).

See Book 4

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