Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The best books I read in 2015

Here is the list of books I read this year.  Note - these are books I read in 2015, but some came out prior to this year.

The books I recommend, either because I learned from them or because they were entertaining (or both) - in no particular order:

1. The Century Trilogy by Ken Follett.  These three (very large) books are historical fiction.  I found the stories fascinating.  On top of that, I learned a bit about what life might have been like at various points and places in the 20th century.  On top of that, there are many good economic lessons one can learn from these books.

2. By the People by Charles Murray.  Outstanding book.  A bit depressing, as it is quite convincing in how the American dream - in terms of how it was initially considered - is dead.  But it also shows a game plan for winning it back.

3. Misbehaving by Richard Thaler.  He's a bit arrogant and overstates his case in many places, but it serves as nice overview of behavioral economics.

4. The Business of Broadway by Mitch Weiss.  Great book for Broadway fans who like learning about the business side of things.

5. Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins.  He is good and offers great advice.  I'm going to have my kids read this.

Last, but not least:

6. The Survivor (Mitch Rapp novel) by Vince Flynn and Kyle Mills.  One of my favorite book series ever has continued after the tragic early death of Vince Flynn.  I was skeptical before it came out, but found this as enjoyable as the previous books.

Some other books:

1. The new Krugman book.  I'm not a Krugman fan.  This was no worse than his other books, and definitely better than his NY Times columns.
2. The new Stiglitz book.  This was worse than his other books, but largely because it was just a collection of his columns. If you want a drinking game, take a shot every time he says George W. Bush gave "tax cuts for the rich" (with no supporting evidence to defend his claim).
3. Chicagonomics.  This book was OK, but I was hoping for more.  I did enjoy his interview transcripts at the end of the book most.  Admittedly, I didn't finish this.  Just couldn't keep my attention well enough.  (Although I skipped to the end for the interviews.)
4. Cockpit Confidential.  It wasn't bad, but I stalled part-way through and didn't finish.
5. Real Dissent.  Same as #4.