My Skåne vacation and what I am reading

It is vacation time for the Christensen family so I might not be blogging too much in the next couple of weeks, but we will see. I would however, like to share what books I have brought with me on our vacation in our vacation home in Southern Sweden (Skåne).

Here is my list of vacation books:

1) “Two lucky people”  is Milton and Rose Friedman’s autobiography. I have read it before, but it is such a nice book about a world class economist and his loving wife. They remained an incredible team throughout their long lives. Did I mention that my copy of Two Happy People is signed by Uncle Milty?

2) Two books – or rather pamphlets – by Gustav Cassel: “The World’s Monetary Problems; Two Memoranda” and “On Quantitative Thinking in Economics”. I have only read a little of both books. Cassel was an amazing writer and I look forward to digging into the books.

3) Of course Bob Hetzel’s “The Great Recession” is in my bag – also on this vacation. I have already long ago read the entire book, however I bring Bob’s book everywhere I go.

4) “The Gold Standard in Theory and History” – edited by Eichengreen and Flandreau back in 1985 is a collection of articles on the gold standard.

5) Tobias Straumann’s “Fixed Ideas of Money” about why small European nations have tended to opt for fixed exchange rate regimes. I have read most of the book. It is an extremely well researched and well written book. I find the book particularly interesting because it describes the monetary history of small countries like Belgium and Denmark. This monetary history of these countries is generally under-researched compared to for example the monetary history of the US or the UK.

6) Larry White’s new book “The Clash of Economic Ideas” about “The Great Policy Debates and Experiments of the Last Hundred Years”. Have read a couple of the chapters in the book even before I got the book, but the latest chapter I read was about the formation of the Mont Pelerin Society (Chapter 8) – it’s a great chapter. The book is a very easy read and very enjoyable. I suspect that this will be the book I will spend the most time with on this vacation. See Larry’s presentation on his book here.

Finally, I must admit I have never been able to read fictional books. Economics, history, philosophy and books about gastronomy, but never fiction (sorry Ayn Rand…)

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10 Comments

  1. David Beckworth

     /  July 1, 2012

    Lars, here is a fiction book you could read: an economist travels back through time with the books on your list above and changes the course of human history! Someone needs to write so that you can try fiction for a change!

    Reply
  2. David, that is an excellent idea! But ok, what would be your recommendation on the fictional book I should read?

    Reply
  3. Ole Brinkmann Pedersen

     /  July 2, 2012

    On your next holiday you should bring with you:
    Acemoglu and Robinson: Why Nations Fail (2012)

    Reply
    • Ole, I should have brought Why Nations Fail. I actually got it not long ago and now you say it I regret not bringing it along.

      Reply
  4. flow5

     /  July 2, 2012

    Non-fiction only. Yes. “Nobody can teach anyone anything” Doubleday Canada 1971 Author Wilfred Rusk Wees agrees.
    Original from University of Minnesota

    Wees’ claimed that the brightest read only non-fiction. Dr. George Sheehan (medical editor for Runner’s World magazine) flat out recommended shunning everything but his vocation which was also his avocation (that included newspapers, tv, etc.).

    Reply
    • flow5, interesting. However, I kind of feel uncultured that I have such a hard time reading fiction and would love to be able to relax with fiction.

      Reply
  5. For fiction with a little economics … . My _Harald_, published by Baen and now available as an ebook on their free library, in part involves the economics of warfare–in particular the problems of raising an army from a semi-stateless society with neither taxes nor feudal obligations. And my _Salamander_, available as a Kindle on Amazon, is in part about a fantasy equivalent of the central planning fallacy.

    But neither is mainly about economics, I’m afraid. Hazlitt wrote a book that was, but it isn’t very good.

    Reply
    • David, good suggestions. Maybe I should steal my wife’s Kindle and get Salamander. Can it beat Two Lucky People?

      By the way there is one big problem with ebooks – how do you get a signed copy? ;-)

      Reply
  6. For good intelligent fiction I recommend everything written by Robert A. Heinlein, starting with “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”. The fictions of Heinlein have solid base in rational thinking and economics. And they’re entertaining as hell.

    Reply
  7. I have downloaded the Kindle app on my recently acquired iPad and yes, I am also doing lots of non-fiction reading. I am currently reading James C Scott’s “Seeing Like A State” and recently finished David Graeber’s “Debt: the First 5000 Years”. The former is very good indeed and the latter is enlightening but seriously flawed.

    I have also posted on the banking industry, but perhaps you should not spoil your holiday reading it ;)

    http://skepticlawyer.com.au/2012/07/03/corrupting-risk-on-top-of-the-surplus-pyramid/

    Reply

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