1. Falling Behind: How Rising Inequality Harms the Middle Class, by Robert Frank (the economist Robert Frank). The best statement of the Frankian world view; every book of his is full of ideas and there are very few authors you can say that about.
2. John Lanchester, A Family Romance. Imagine finding out your mother was once a nun and then that she led a life of lies. I would have liked this book much better had it not been fiction. It felt so real and even has good photos but I am disappointed to keep on thinking it is only a story.
3. Gunther Grass, Peeling the Onion. Why oh why oh why do I let myself be fooled. There is only one author I find flat out too obnoxious to read, and it is this guy. And that was before I learned of the whole SS business. I had heard this one is different, but it isn’t. Or it is, but he’s still too far over the line for that to matter.
4. Elizabeth Currid, The Warhol Economy: How Fashion Art & Music Drive New York City. The title says it all.
5. The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language, by Christine Kenneally. The early chapters have excellent material on the contributions of Chomsky and Pinker, but after that it bored me.