Books to read

Looked good to the FT, looks good for me: the books I must have:

> The Idea of Justice: In this intricate, endlessly thought-provoking book, Amartya Sen brings the full force of his formidable mind and his moral sense to show how specific questions – of chronic malnourishment, ill-health, demographic gender imbalance – must be analysed in terms of justice.

> The Case for God: What Religion Really Means: WB Yeats wrote that our ideas about God are all “trash and tinsel”, like a tawdry wedding dress hiding the truth that lies beneath. Karen Armstrong, one of our best living writers on religion, agrees. But in her latest book, The Case for God, she argues that there was a time when people understood God better.

> Lords of Finance: 1929, The Great Depression – and the Bankers Who Broke the World By Liaquat Ahamed: A former World Bank economist, Ahamed revisits the great crash of 1929 and details how the work of revered central bankers led to disaster. A salutary warning from the past about the unexpected consequences of policy mistakes at the highest level. Historical but topical.

> Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters For Global Capitalism
By George Akerlof and Robert Shiller: Behavioural economics, once regarded with deep suspicion, is winning more advocates. Akerlof is a Nobel laureate while Shiller teaches at Yale. Its title echoes Keynes, while its analysis forces readers to consider how irrational human behaviour impinges on neat economic models.

> False Economy: A Surprising Economic History of the World By Alan Beattie: The FT’s world trade editor reveals why some economies flourish while others fail, even when they appear to be equally blessed with natural resources and opportunities to prosper. A commentary on the often mysterious world of global economic mega-trends.

> The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better By Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett: Two distinguished academics explain how consumerism and gross income inequality can harm general well-being. And this inequality seems to be bad news for rich and poor alike. The alternative? Collaboration and greater human kindness. A well-timed and exhaustively researched attack on the “greed is good” ethos.

> God is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith is Changing the World By John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge: In their latest book, the Economist’s editor-in-chief and US editors seek to address liberal incomprehension of the religious beliefs that animate hundreds of millions of people. Their focus is on Christianity with an American accent and its harnessing of modernity.

and, finally, of course:

> How to Drink By Victoria Moore: You might think drinking is one thing we do know how to do but Moore’s thesis is that drinking has suffered in comparison to eating. An unsnobbish and eclectic but knowledgeable series of tips on what to drink, when and with what.