编者按:本文来自微信公众号“比尔盖茨”(ID:gatesnotes),作者Bill Gates,原文标题为:“适合在今年冬季阅读的五本书”。

As the clock ticks closer to midnight on New Year’s Eve, it’s fun to look back at what you’ve accomplished this year. December is a great time to take stock of everything you’ve done over the last twelve months — including all of the books you’ve read. 


Because I’m a data guy, I like to look at my reading list and see if any trends emerge. This year, I picked up a bit more fiction than usual. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but I seemed to be drawn to stories that let me explore another world. 


Along with A Gentleman in Moscow and An American Marriage, I read The Friend by Sigrid Nunez (very bizarre and very good), Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (amazingly clever but a bit hard to follow), and The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion (I love this series). I even picked up a short story collection in David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. 

继《莫斯科绅士》与《美国式婚姻》之后,我读了西格丽德Ÿ努涅斯的《朋友》(既非常怪诞又十分出色),大卫·米歇尔的《云图》(这故事奇妙至极,但要跟上进度还有些难度),还有格雷姆·辛浦生的《罗西结局》(The Rosie Result,中文名暂译)(我很喜欢这套书),甚至还读了大卫·福斯特·华莱士的《男人众生相》中的一个短篇小说集。

Maybe next year’s end-of-year books post will finally include the Wallace novel I’ve been wanting to read for a while: Infinite Jest. 


For this year’s holiday books list, I chose five titles that I think you’ll also enjoy reading. These weren’t necessarily my favorite books of the year — but I think they’re all good choices to help wrap up your 2019 or start 2020 on a good note:


01 An American Marriage《美国式婚姻》

By Tayari Jones / 塔亚莉·琼斯【美】


An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones. My daughter Jenn recommended that I read this novel, which tells the story of a black couple in the South whose marriage gets torn apart by a horrible incident of injustice. 

Jones is such a good writer that she manages to make you empathize with both of her main characters, even after one makes a difficult decision. The subject matter is heavy but thought-provoking, and I got sucked into Roy and Celestial’s tragic love story.


02  These Truths《这些真相》(中文名暂译)

By Jill Lepore / 吉尔·莱波雷【美】


These Truths, by Jill Lepore. Lepore has pulled off the seemingly impossible in her latest book: covering the entire history of the United States in just 800 pages. 

She’s made a deliberate choice to make diverse points of view central to the narrative, and the result is the most honest and unflinching account of the American story I’ve ever read. Even if you’ve read a lot about U.S. history, I’m confident you will learn something new from These Truths. 


03  Growth《增长》(中文名暂译)

By Vaclav Smil / 瓦科拉夫·斯米尔【加】


Growth, by Vaclav Smil. When I first heard that one of my favorite authors was working on a new book about growth, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. (Two years ago, I wrote that I wait for new Smil books the way some people wait for the next Star Wars movie.

 I stand by that statement.) His latest doesn’t disappoint. As always, I don’t agree with everything Smil says, but he remains one of the best thinkers out there at documenting the past and seeing the big picture.


04 Prepared《准备好》(中文名暂译)

By Diane Tavenner / 戴安·塔文纳【美】


Prepared, by Diane Tavenner. As any parent knows, preparing your kids for life after high school is a long and sometimes difficult journey. Tavenner — who created a network of some of the best performing schools in the nation — has put together a helpful guidebook about how to make that process as smooth and fruitful as possible. 

Along the way, she shares what she’s learned about teaching kids not just what they need to get into college, but how to live a good life.


05 Why We Sleep《为什么要睡觉》

By Matthew Walker / 马修·沃克【美】


Why We Sleep, by Matthew Walker. I read a couple of great books this year about human behavior, and this was one of the most interesting and profound. Everyone knows that a good night’s sleep is important — but what exactly counts as a good night’s sleep? And how do you make one happen? Walker has persuaded me to change my bedtime habits to up my chances. If your New Year’s resolution is to be healthier in 2020, his advice is a good place to start.