What shall I read next?

I have a lot of travel this week, and am very indecisive this morning. The options are:

The Son Also Rises by Gregory Clark   The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World)

Prisonomics by Vicky Pryce  Prisonomics: Behind bars in Britain’s failing prisons

The Zero Marginal Cost Society by Jeremy Rifkin   The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism

or The Everything Store by Brad Stone   The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

There’s a lot more in the pile but I wouldn’t want to subject readers of this blog to the psychological distress of the paradox of choice…. Please vote soon!



8 thoughts on “What shall I read next?

  1. Without even having read it, or having any opinion on whether his thesis is correct or not, I would vote for the Gregory Clark book. His lectures at UC Davis, available on Utube, are very entertaining.

  2. I’m actually immediately put off by the “zero marginal cost” thing. Seems a plainly silly idea but a catchy title so good for selling books. Confound them by not buying! I’d be more interested in the Amazon story / whether internet-based companies tend towards monopoly / what that says about the things that stop monopoly from forming in the non-internet economy (a more plausible idea than the zero marginal cost thingyo).

  3. Prisonomics. Ms Pryce did some of her time at an open prison which we know well, albeit only as visitors. As prisons go it seemed a decent place, indeed we sometimes wondered if they would take pensioner boarders, as in the residential hotels of old. The food they were selling was of very high quality and it was engaged in agriculture and horticulture. Inevitably it is to close soon. Once for centuries it was the home of the Filmer family, of philosophic interest.

  4. Clark’s book, which I recently finished, is one of he most important works of social science in recent times. Using a brilliant method (tracking surnames), he is able to extend our understanding of social mobility far into the past and make comparisons across diverse societies. Should be at the top of your list, especially because it’s going to give rise to a major critical discussion, once it’s been absorbed by more people.

  5. For some, all too often business books appear dull or boring. Same old mantras and platitudes. But the last three I have read – Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton, Hubris by Ray Pearman and Ian Martin’s RBS (looking forward to Ian Fraser’s forthcoming book on RBS too) are fine stories of the business world. They all explore in vivid terms the collision in the workplace between org politics and economics (a conflict often airbrushed out by some (many) business schools ). I think Peter Drucker would have approved. My – such books have changed since he helped create the modern study of the corporation. But still not sure whether to recommend the Amazon book despite it winning the FT award – hang on for Ian Fraser’s book!

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