Saturday, May 1, 2010

books

Animal Spirits, by George Akerlof and Robert Schiller - Very interesting, well organized and well written consideration of the implications of behavioral economic concepts on macroeconomic phenomena. Aggregate implications of microeconomics is of course always an ultimate goal but behavioral economics is too young to hear much discussion of that aspect yet, so this was nice and fresh. I craved formal theory, but that's to be expected from a popular audience book.

Dr. Neruda's Cure for Evil, by Rafael Yglesias - Yglesias is my new favorite fiction writer. I went on a three day backpacking trip intending to spend the free time studying game theory but instead inhaled this book cover to cover, all 700 pages. It's a psychological thriller in three parts that keeps changing directions unexpectedly and is unrelentingly scintillating. This one and A Happy Marriage were great in different ways but both so good I can't pick a favorite.

The Poorhouse Fair, by John Updike - I usually love Updike but this one was exceedingly dull. It got better towards the end, and he is invariably a genius at exposing subtle emotions and human interactions, but I still wouldn't recommend it. Read The Same Door instead.

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