1. Habibi, by Craig Thompson. I don’t enjoy most graphic novels, but this is my favorite of the ones I’ve read.
2. Roger Farmer, “The Stock Market Crash of 2008 Caused the Great Recession: Theory and Evidence.” I don’t agree with every part of the model, but it focuses our attention on what has become the #1 question of the American macroeconomy: to what extent can a boost in nominal flow make up for a shortfall in wealth?
3. Robert Levine, Free Ride: How Digital Parasites are Destroying the Culture Business, and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back. An important book in cultural economics, this clear, energetically written tract is perhaps the best critique of where our culture is at today. It’s about parasitism more generally, not just copyright violation. Everyone who follows cultural economics should read this book.
4. Robert L. Bradley, Jr. Edison to Enron: Energy Markets and Political Strategies, home page here. The second part of a three-volume series on the history of American energy, told through the distinction between productive and predatory capitalism. Bradley is a very much underrated economic historian, largely because of his “amateur” status, but there is a remarkable amount of learning in his books..
5. Douglas A. Irwin, Trade Policy Disaster: Lessons from the 1930s, self-recommending. Another new and self-recommending book is Mark Miller’s Salsas of the World, he is one of my cooking and restaurant heroes.