Bill Gates in his blog:
Vaclav Smil is my favorite author, but I sometimes hesitate to recommend his books to other people. His writing, while brilliant, is often too detailed or obscure for a general audience. (Deep dives on Japanese dining habits or natural gas can be a tough sell for even the smartest, most thoughtful readers.) Still, I’m a big enough fan to keep telling my friends and colleagues about his books, even though I know most of them won’t take me up on my recommendations.
That’s why I was thrilled when Vaclav released his most accessible book yet. Numbers Don’t Lie: 71 Things You Need to Know About the World, which came out last fall, takes everything that makes his writing great and boils it down into an easy-to-read format. I unabashedly recommend this book to anyone who loves learning.