These are the favorite books I have read this year . They may or may not have been published this year. Relative to other years, I read a fair number of good, but not great books and thus my list is fairly short.
- Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics: Entrepreneurship and the State by Yasheng Huang. This book, while a bit dated, is extremely interesting. It was published in 2008. It describes how different definitions of state-owned firms evolved over time and why Shanghai–while looking like a world class city for tourists–often lags behind other areas of China due to a heavy state control. It certainly makes me interested in reading his new book The Rise and the Fall of the EAST: Examination, Autocracy, Stability and Technology in Chinese History and Today.
- The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith. A classic and shows that Adam Smith was a deep thinker, not just about economics. The pivotal insights of the book explain reasons for why human nature is the way it is. Later work (e.g., the Wealth of Nations) takes these theories of moral sentiments as given and builds an economic system around it.
- Dune by Frank Herbert. I liked the movie so much I read the book. Herbert develops a world that draws you in, filled with magic, political intrigue, and even some economics. I’ll definitely read more in this series.
- A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielsen. This was recommended by my daughter and was a great young adult piece of historical fiction. It deals with a family who is separated on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall. Great books for young readers–or any reader to be honest–who is interested in personal stories related to history. I’m now reading Lines of Courage by the same author per my daughter’s recommendation.
Feel free to add your suggestions below.