One of his favorite authors is Vaclav Smil, a Czech-Canadian professor emeritus at the University of Manitoba.
"I've read nearly all of his 37 books. I wait for new Smil books the way some people wait for the next Star Wars movie," writes Gates on his blog.
"I read Smil because he's uniquely good at going both deep and broad," Gates writes. "In his latest book, 'Energy and Civilization: A History,' he goes deep and broad to explain how innovations in humans' ability to turn energy into heat, light and motion have been a driving force behind our cultural and economic progress over the past 10,000 years."