1. Andrej Svorencik and Harro Maas, editors, The Making of Experimental Economics: Witness Seminar on the Emergence of a Field. Transcribed dialogue on the origins and history of a field, including many of the key players including Vernon Smith and Charles Plott, among others. There should be a book like this — or better yet a web site — for every movement, major debate, new method, and school of thought.
2. Adam Kucharski, The Perfect Bet: How Science and Math are Taking the Luck Out of Gambling. The subtitle is an exaggeration, nonetheless this is an interesting topic and book. There is invariably a frustrating element to such an investigation, because the best schemes are hard to uncover or verify. Nonetheless have you not thought — as I have — that a determined, Big Data-crunching, super smart entity could in fact beat the basketball odds just ever so slightly?
3. Svetlana Alexievich, Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets. A good book, and a good introduction to her writing. I have to say though, I did not find this incredibly profound or original. Chernobyl is deeper and more philosophical.
4. Srinath Raghavan, India’s War: World War II and the Making of Modern South Asia. Consistently well-written and interesting, the title says it all.
Three useful country/topics books on Latin America are:
Lee J. Alston, Marcus Andre Melo, Bernardo Mueller, and Carlos Pereira, Brazil in Transition: Beliefs, Leadership, and Institutional Change.
Richard E. Feinberg, Open for Business: Building the New Cuban Economy.
Dickie Davis, David Kilcullen, Greg Mills, and David Spencer, A Great Perhaps?: Colombia: Conflict and Convergence. After Uruguay, is Colombia not the longest standing democracy in South America?