Summer frivolity

The reason for the 2 weeks’ silence here was of course my summer holiday – when I read fewer serious books than usual because I spent a couple of hours a day writing my next book (a public policy economics textbook for Princeton University Press). Among the detective novels and other fiction though, I did read East West Street by Philippe Sands which is absolutely as brilliant as all the reviews have said, and could not be more timely.


It wasn’t all frivolous detective novels. As well as the Sands, Linda Grant’s The Dark Circle stood out, and Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist, though I wasn’t so keen as others on Zadie Smith’s Swing Time. I also really enjoyed MFK Fisher’s The Gastronomical Me.

Having now read half a year’s worth of fiction in a fortnight, though, it’s time to pick my next economics book. In the pile are two Piketty-related volumes: Anti-Piketty: Capital for the 21st Century and The Contradictions of Capital in the 21st Century (or ‘pro-Piketty’). Also some September publication proofs. Both Scott Page’s The Diversity Bonus and Dennis Rasmussen’s The Infidel and the Professor are tempting but I think I have to start with Eli Cook’s The Pricing of Progress: Economic Indicators and the Capitalization of American Life. This looks from a very quick skim like a pre-history of GDP from a US perspective.