What I’ve been reading

The new Simon Schama book on the history of the Jews did not grab my attention, nor did the new short (derivative) novel by David Grossman.  Possibly the latter is better in the original Hebrew, given how much poetry it contains.  The new Siri Hustved book also didn’t thrill me.

The Rough Guide to Economics, by Andrew Mell and Oliver Walker, is another attempt to thread the needle between popular econ book and text.  I would have wished for a more dramatic and intuitive treatment of a) core microeconomic reasoning in the old Chicago/UCLA style, and b) a far greater and more central place for the truly dramatic importance of economic growth in boosting human welfare.

John Drury, The Life and Poetry of George Herbert is a beautiful treasure and it will make my best books of the year list.  Here is Herbert’s best poem.

Mai Jia’s Decoded: A Novel was a bestseller in China, and so far I am finding it compelling, and most other readers seem to agree.

Arrived in my pile are:

Cass Sunstein, Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas.

Romain D. Huret, American Tax Resisters.

Peter H. Schuck, Why Goverment Fails So Often, And How It Can Do Better.

Matt Grossman, Artists of the Possible: Governing Networks and American Policy Change Since 1945.  And a related blog post Do policymakers ignore voter agendas and priorities?, by Matt.


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