What I’ve been reading

1. Addiction: A Disorder of Choice, by Gene Heyman.  This book overstates its claims, but if you wish to see a non-economist defending a (broadly) Beckerian model of addiction, here you go.  I couldn't put it down!

2. Jodi Picoult, Handle with Care.  I felt I should try one by her to stay in touch.  It was better than I had expected though not really smarter than I had expected.  Here is an NYT article about her.

3. Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo.  This new translation by Julie Rose is more or less definitive.  But it is heavy.  If any book ought to be on Kindle…

4. Our Lot: How Real Estate Came to Own Us, by Alyssa Katz.  There is lots of good material about our social and policy infatuation with housing, but she commits a mistake that I have been "waiting for" — she blames part of the housing bubble on the decline of rent control

5. Javier Cercas, Anatomía de un instante.  A micro-study of one moment of time (Feb.23) when, post-Franco, Spain ended up sticking with the path to democracy rather than falling back to autocracy.  The focus is on conservative Prime Minister Adolfo Suárez and the book blends fictional and non-fictional narrative techniques very effectively.  Here is one review.  This is a very strong book also with relevance to current events in Iran.

6. Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz, From Poverty to Prosperity.  I've only been reading the Amazon blurb for it — the book isn't out yet — and here is Arnold on the book.


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