Here are Bill Gates' five favourite books of 2016

Emma Haslett
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Go on. Read them. (Source: Getty)

Bill Gates is nothing, if not reliable. In recent years, the turning of the seasons have been marked by many with the release of the Microsoft founder's latest Best Books list. And lo, Winter 2016's list came to pass.

Gates' Favourite Books of 2016 lists five titles, from a collection of essays on tennis to a little light reading on the history of genetics.

Tl;dr? There's even a handy video at the bottom.

1. String Theory, David Foster Wallace

Gates points out this isn't a book about physics - rather, it is five essays on tennis. "You don’t have to play or even watch tennis to love this book," he adds.

"The late author wielded a pen as skillfully as Roger Federer wields a tennis racket. Here, as in his other brilliant works, Wallace found mind-blowing ways of bending language like a metal spoon."

2. Shoe Dog, Phil Knight

A memoir by the co-founder of Nike, Gates says Shoe Dog is a "refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like: messy, precarious, and riddled with mistakes".

3. The Gene, Siddhartha Mukherjee

Pullitzer Prize-winner Mukherjee focuses on the past, present and future of genome science, looking at the ethical questions new technological breakthroughs provoke.

"Mukherjee wrote this book for a lay audience, because he knows that the new genome technologies are at the cusp of affecting us all in profound ways," says Gates.

4. The Myth of the Strong Leader, Archie Brown

This 2014 book suggests those who have made the biggest bangs in history are often not those seen to be strong leaders.

"They tend to be the ones who collaborate, delegate, and negotiate—and recognise that no one person can or should have all the answers," adds Gates.

5. Honourable mention: The Grid, Gretchen Bakke

The UK isn't the only country grappling with an ageing power network: the US' infrastructure is also on the brink of crumbling. Gates says this book fits into one of his favourite genres: “Books About Mundane Stuff That Are Actually Fascinating."

"Even if you have never given a moment’s thought to how electricity reaches your outlets, I think this book would convince you that the electrical grid is one of the greatest engineering wonders of the modern world," he adds.

"I think you would also come to see why modernising the grid is so complex and so critical for building our clean-energy future.

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