What I’ve been reading in May
Angela Duckworth’s new book Grit (US) (UK) – you can read some of my thoughts here. Enjoyable, but not the best book I read this month; if you liked the TED talk you’ll like the book.
Felix Martin’s superb book Money (US) (UK) – some wonderful stories about the evolution of key pieces of financial technology from the tally stick to international banking. A surprisingly light read for a learned book. Strongly recommend.
Equally strong recommendation for William Goetzmann’s Money Changes Everything (US) (UK) – this is a more technical history of finance from Uruk to Rome and beyond. Smaller print, heavier read, but still full of fascinating nuggets and extremely well researched.
I’ve been enjoying Will Gompertz’s Think Like an Artist (US) (UK) which teaches you a lot of art and art history under the guise of a self-help manual. Very nicely done.
Mark Miodownik’s Stuff Matters (US) (UK) is a clever reflection on material sciences. I loved the chapter on concrete, which tells you something about his lightness of touch.
Next on the pile, Robert Gordon’s magisterial The Rise and Fall of American Growth. (US) (UK) Self-recommending; I’ve not read it yet but must hasten.