Bill Gates shares the 2 best books he’s read this year

When Elon Musk had an existential crisis at age 14, he read this book

Bill Gates loves to read. The billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder tears through around 50 books per year and prioritizes reading over other hobbies, even if it means missing out on certain cultural touchstones.

"There is so much good stuff to watch now that people tell me great things that I never get around to, like Game of Thrones," he writes on Reddit. "Partly, I leave a lot of time to read so my video allocation is less than most people."

Gates also shared the two best books he's read so far in 2018 during a recent "Ask Me Anything" session. "There are two amazing books," he writes. "One is 'Enlightenment Now' by Pinker and another is 'Factfulness' by Rosling. They are both very readable and explain that the world is getting better."

Here's a closer look at each.

"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress" by Steven Pinker

In a post on his blog, Gates called the Harvard psychology professor's tome his new favorite book of all time. "The world is getting better, even if it doesn't always feel that way. I'm glad we have brilliant thinkers like Steven Pinker to help us see the big picture," Gates writes.

The work presents "the big picture of human progress," according to Amazon, and points to data that shows life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge and happiness are on the rise worldwide.

Gates shares his five favorite facts from the book, such as that the average global IQ score is rising around three points per decade. "Our world today encourages abstract thought from a young age, and it's making us smarter," he says.

Read Gates' full review on his blog.

"Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think" by Hans Rosling

Written by a professor of international health, "Factfulness" explores why humans are consistently wrong about common problems facing the world. Instead of looking at facts, humans are largely influenced by our unconscious biases.

The silver lining is that the world is doing better than it may seem.

Gates and his wife Melinda first became fans of Rosling's in 2006, when he gave a viral TED Talk on the same topic. When the author passed away in 2017, the couple promised to carry on his final wish.

"He simply hoped that we would promise to keep spreading the message he was so passionate about: that the world is making progress, and that policy decisions should be grounded in data," Gates shares in a blog post dedicated to Rosling.

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