The Pacific Northwest likes to read, and what better way to get book suggestions than to ask around? In this monthly feature, we ask prominent Northwest residents what books they’re reading, rereading and recommending — and why.

This month: Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, shares her current reading list and the books that have stayed with her. Gates’ own book, “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World,” a clear-eyed examination of how promoting gender equality can reduce poverty, is recently out in paperback.

What book are you reading now?

I’m reading President Obama’s new book, “A Promised Land.” He’s an incredible writer, and it’s fascinating to dig into stories about his time in office and his reflections on America’s past and future. I’ve been taking my time going through it.

“Madame Fourcade’s Secret War” by Lynne Olson is another book I’m reading. It’s a page turner about a woman who led the French spy network in World War II and helped save the world from Hitler — I love it.

What book have you reread the most times?

The book that I’ve read over and over and over again is “Rules of Civility” by Amor Towles. Towles is a master of language. With each glittering sentence, he makes you feel like you’re living in Manhattan in the 1930s. It’s a beautiful, bittersweet, hilarious book that whisks you away.

What book would you recommend people read and why?

My favorite book recently — and one that I would highly recommend to people — is Dr. Edith Eger’s “The Choice.” She’s a psychologist and a Holocaust survivor. And in this book, she provides a personal and expert examination of how to heal from trauma. The pandemic is far from over. But for everyone who might be ready to start the healing, read this book.

— compiled by Megan Burbank

what influential locals are reading
(Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times)