Economics and History in General

  • The Economists’ Hour (Binyamin Appelbaum)
  • Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality (James Kwak)
  • These Truths: A History of the United States (Jill Lepore)

Poverty and Inequality

  • Give People Money (Annie Lowrey). A good introduction to the idea of a universal basic income.
  • $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America (Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer)
  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (Matthew Desmond). This is more of a sociological book describing stories about eviction law and consequences in and around Milwaukee, WI.
  • Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America (Linda Tirado).

Monetary Macroeconomics (Short-Run) & Financial Crisis

  • The Big Short (Michael Lewis)
  • Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises (Robert Z. Aliber and Charles P. Kindleberger). The book that expands on Minsky’s theory of bubbles and crashes.
  • Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System–and Themselves (Andrew Ross Sorkin). A really well-written descriptive account of what happened in days of the financial crisis.
  • Debt: The First 5,000 Years (David Graeber)
  • House of Debt: How They (and You) Caused the Great Recession, and How We Can Prevent It from Happening Again (Atif Mian and Amir Sufi)
  • This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff)
  • Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy (Raghuram G. Rajan)
  • All the Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis (Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera)
  • Lords of Finance: The Bankers who Broke the World (Liaquat Ahamed) - Great Depression
  • After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response and the Work Ahead (Alan S. Blinder)
  • 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown (Simon Johnson and James Kwak)
  • A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers (Lawrence G. McDonald and Patrick Robinson)
  • Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy (Joseph E. Stiglitz)
  • The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 (Paul Krugman)

Growth Economics

  • Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Thomas Piketty and Arthur Goldhammer (translator)) - set aside a couple of months… years? Also known as C21.
  • The intro version of C21 -The Economics of Inequality (Thomas Piketty and Arthur Goldhammer (translator))
  • The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good (William Easterly)
  • Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson)
  • The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) (Robert J. Gordon)
  • The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It (Paul Collier)
  • The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics (William Easterly)
  • The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time (Jeffrey Sachs)

Behavioral Economics & Network Theory

  • Thinking, Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman). A truly great book.
  • Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (Dan Ariely)
  • Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics (Richard H. Thaler)
  • The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds (Michael Lewis)
  • The Wisdom of Crowds (James Surowiecki)
  • Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets (Incerto) (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)
  • The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)
  • Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein)
  • Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age (Duncan J. Watts)
  • Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life (Albert-Laszlo Barabasi)
  • Linked: The New Science of Networks (Albert-Laszlo Barabasi and Jennifer Frangos)
  • Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives – How Your Friends’ Friends’ Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do (Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler)
  • Understanding Social Networks: Theories, Concepts, and Findings (Charles Kadushin)
  • Everything Is Obvious: How Common Sense Fails Us (Duncan J. Watts)