1. Ben Cohen, The Hot Hand: The Mystery and Science of Streaks. An intelligent popular social science book covering everything from Stephen Curry to Shakespeare to The Princess Bride, David Booth, Eugene Fama, and more. I am not sure the book is actually about “the hot hand” as a unified phenomenon, as opposed to mere talent persistence, but still I will take intelligence over the alternative.
2. Richard J. Lazarus, The Rule of Five: Making Climate History at the Supreme Court. A genuinely interesting and well-presented history of how climate change became a partisan issue in the United States, somewhat broader than its title may indicate.
3. Ryan H. Murphy, Markets Against Modernity: Ecological Irrationality, Public and Private. The book has blurbs from Bryan Caplan and Scott Sumner, and I think of it as an ecological, historically reconstructed account of the demand for irrationality as it relates to the environment, interest in “do-it-yourself,” and the love for small scale enterprise. Interesting, but overpriced.
4. Juan Du, The Shenzhen Experiment: The Story of China’s Instant City. An actual history, as opposed to the usual blah-blah-blah you find in so many China books. The author has a background in architecture and urban planning, and stresses the import of the Pearl River Delta before Deng’s reforms (Shenzhen wasn’t just a run-down fishing village), decentralization in Chinese reforms, and fits and starts in the city’s post-reform history. Anyone who reads books on China should consider this one.
Gordon Teskey, Spenserian Moments, The Master is finally receiving his poetic due.
Toby Ord’s forthcoming The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity is a comprehensive look at existential risk, written by an Oxford philosopher and student of Derek Parfit.