The 5 books Bill Gates urges everyone to read this summer

Bill Gates
Kelvin Ma | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Bill Gates makes sure to stay on top of the latest news in science, technology and energy — three fields he says are the most promising for anyone looking to make a difference in the world.

To make sure he doesn't miss a beat, the billionaire reads every evening.

If you're interested in making better use of your down time, and especially if you have more of that this summer, consider a book the Microsoft co-founder himself recommends.

"I hope you'll find that [these books] make you think deeper about what it means to truly connect with other people," Gates writes on his blog, "and to have purpose in your life."

Here are five books Gates recommends you read this summer:

1. "Born a Crime," by Trevor Noah

In this best-selling book, Noah, best known as the comedic host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," recalls his difficult coming of age as a biracial child in apartheid South Africa.

While the story is tragic, Gates says, Noah's "moving stories will often leave you laughing."

"As a longtime fan of 'The Daily Show,'" Gates writes, "I loved reading this memoir about how its host honed his outsider approach to comedy over a lifetime of never quite fitting in."

2. "The Heart," by Maylis de Kerangal

This novel, Gates read after his wife Melinda recommended it, follows the story of a young man who, after getting into a car accident, is declared brain dead. His parents struggle with the decision on whether or not to donate his heart, which is still beating.

The Microsoft-co founder, who usually reads nonfiction books, says it is "closer to poetry than anything else" and recommended it to his friends.

3. "Hillbilly Elegy," by J.D. Vance

This best-selling memoir, which is set to become a major motion picture, explores what American poverty looks like today. Vance, a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, shares his experience growing up in a working-class Rust Belt town.

"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," writes Gates.

4. "Homo Deus," by Yuval Noah Harari

Gates recommended one of Harari's books, "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind," last summer. In this follow up, Harari explores the future of mankind, and specifically what would happen if humans eradicated war, sickness and poverty.

"'Homo Deus' argues that the principles that have organized society will undergo a huge shift in the 21st century," Gates writes, "with major consequences for life as we know it.

"I don't agree with everything Harari has to say, but he has written a smart look at what may be ahead for humanity."

5. "A Full Life," by Jimmy Carter

Former President Carter examines his life as a businessman, politician and humanitarian. He shares his regrets, which include leaving the U.S. Navy and losing his bid for re-election, as well as his the lessons on success he learned as President, a successful businessman and a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

"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," Gates writes.

According to Gates, the book "feels timely in an era when the public's confidence in national political figures and institutions is low."

"All of [these books] will transport you somewhere else—whether you're sitting on a beach towel or on your own couch.

Check out the books Gates said were the best he read in 2016.

Bill Gates' top five books of 2016
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