1. Rob Reich, Just Giving: Why Philanthropy is Failing Democracy and How it Can Do Better. A sustained argument that current manifestations of philanthropy are not very egalitarian or necessarily realizing democratic ideals. My views stand “to the right” of this book, but for some of you it will serve as a very good articulation of why philanthropy might be making you nervous.
2. Edmund White, The Unpunished Vice: A Life of Reading. An exquisitely written book, yet his reading narrative leaves me cold (too much an insider? not eccentric enough?). I found the chapter on his husband and their relationship extraordinarily compelling. A highly intelligent book, at the very least.
3. Jason Brennan, When All Else Fails: The Ethics of Resistance to State Injustice. A well-argued libertarian take on exactly what the subtitle promises.
4. Robert Skidelsky, Money and Government: The Past and Future of Economics. The history of macro and money told through its historical development, which in my view is the right approach. The coverage ranges from the classical economists up through the present day. I hope this book does well.
5. Nicola Gennaioli and Andrei Shleifer, A Crisis of Beliefs: Investor Psychology and Financial Fragility. An “as smart as you would expect” take on the hypothesis that investor over-extrapolation of recent price trends can cause financial crises, including our recent financial crisis.