What I’ve been reading lately

I love reading, but perhaps due to a short attention span or perhaps just as a sign of the times, I am bad at finishing books and am usually in the middle of about ten to twenty different books at any given time.  There are books on my nightstand, on the coffee table next to the couch, on my kitchen table, on my desk and of course several hundred in waiting on my bookshelves.  (Note to self: update your Delicious Library catalog and post updated version to MobileMe).

I have been getting better lately at finishing books, and here are a few I’ve read recently that I enjoyed:

  • The Price of Everything by Russ Roberts. I’ve enjoyed reading Russ and his colleague Don Bordreaux’s posts on Cafe Hayek recently and also have found Russ’s podcast EconTalk very intellectually stimulating. Highly recommend this book for anyone interested in basic economic principles as told through fiction.
  • Free to Choose by Rose and Milton Friedman. Milton Friedman is one of the intellectual giants of the 20th century and I have been reading a lot more of his work recently along with other works concerning economics. This work is less about economics in a strict sense and more about personal freedom and how the preservation of personal freedom affects economics and public policy. Every once in a while I read a book and think “everyone needs to read this” and this is one of them.
  • Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman. In some ways a predecessor to Free to Choose, but slightly more theoretical. Still a great work about personal freedom and how capitalism is the best way to ensure continued freedom and prosperity.
  • Real Education by Charles Murray. This is a very interesting book, and I am about halfway through now. The basic premise is that we shouldn’t pretend that all children have the same ability to succeed in academics, just as we don’t pretend that all children can be gifted athletes or musicians. He thinks the push for everyone to go to college is harmful because most students do not have the ability or intelligence to learn true college-level material. Very interesting and will see how the rest of the book goes and what he recommends be done with our education system.

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