Books of the year

It’s the weekend when all the papers have run their pre-Christmas round-up of recommendations. Here are mine: all books I read and blogged about this year, although some were published in hardback earlier than I got to them. They are listed in order of reading through 2011, and all have been reviewed on this blog (although a few are buried so deep in an archive transferred from earlier software that I’ve not yet been able to excavate them):

– Matt Taibbi (outstanding combination of analysis and anger, originator of the ‘great vampire squid’ metaphor)

– Michael Lewis (A perspective on how the financial crisis happened from the point of view of the few who clearly saw it coming). Review

– Ian Morris (magisterial history of the world and the ebb and flow of economic might)

– Deborah Brautigam (a balanced and well-informed survey of China’s activities in Africa) Review

– Tim Wu (brilliant history and assessment of the competitive dynamics of communications industries) Review

– Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo (what we know about tackling poverty and fostering economic development) Review

– Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts (a travelogue of Britain’s urban fringes, important spaces on this island) Review

– Lesley Chang (fantastic insight into China’s industrial and social transformation, terrific reportage) Review

– Evan Davis (a highly readable portrait of the state of British manufacturing, and its strengths and weaknesses). Review

– Tim Harford (enjoyable advocacy of the benefits of experimentation and failure, a terrific read) Review

– Ed Glaeser (a great urban economist sets out the benefits of cities, economic, social and environmental) Review

– Tyler Cowen (too slow technological gains are to blame for unemployment). Review. To be read along with

– Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee (too fast technological gains are to blame for unemployment) Review

– Agnar Sandmo (excellent history of economic thought) Review

– David Graeber (somewhat tendentious but thought-provoking history of credit, and reflection on today’s debt crises) Review

– Robert Harris (pacy thriller: what happens when financial market algorithms develop a mind of their own)

– Roger Backhouse and Bradley Bateman (an illuminating short history of J.M.Keynes) Review

– Daniel Kahneman (a must-read summary of the state of our knowledge about how humans take decisions, especially in economic contexts) Review

But of course if you only read one book published in 2011, I have to recommend my own


[amazon_image id=”0691145180″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Economics of Enough: How to Run the Economy as If the Future Matters[/amazon_image]


6 thoughts on “Books of the year

  1. Wow, did you really read all those books this year. Great choice, but have to say, your’s looks most relevant. Certainly got the best title. Good luck, hope it sells loads.

  2. Pingback: Books of the year, part 2 | The Enlightened Economist

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