Favorite Business Books, From ‘Invisible Hand’ to ‘Ugly Beauty’

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Source: Princeton University Press via Bloomberg

The cover jacket of "Beyond the Invisible Hand: Groundwork for a New Economics" by Kaushik Basu.

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Source: Princeton University Press via Bloomberg

The cover jacket of "Beyond the Invisible Hand: Groundwork for a New Economics" by Kaushik Basu. Close

The cover jacket of "Beyond the Invisible Hand: Groundwork for a New Economics" by Kaushik Basu.

Source: Oxford University Press via Bloomberg

The cover jacket of "Exorbitant Privilege: The Decline of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System," by Barry Eichengreen. Close

The cover jacket of "Exorbitant Privilege: The Decline of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary... Read More

Source: Basic Books via Bloomberg

The cover jacket of "The Futures: The Rise of the Speculator and the Origins of the Biggest World Markets" by Emily Lambert. Close

The cover jacket of "The Futures: The Rise of the Speculator and the Origins of the Biggest World Markets" by Emily Lambert.

Source: Farrar, Straus & Giroux via Bloomberg

The cover jacket of "How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly -- and the Stark Choices Ahead" by Dambisaa Moyo. Close

The cover jacket of "How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly -- and the Stark Choices Ahead" by Dambisaa Moyo.

Source: Princeton University Press via Bloomberg

The cover jacket of the book "The New Lombard Street: How the Fed Became the Dealer of Last Resort" by Perry Mehrling. Close

The cover jacket of the book "The New Lombard Street: How the Fed Became the Dealer of Last Resort" by Perry Mehrling.

Source: Penguin via Bloomberg

The cover jacket of "The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do" by Eduardo Porter. Close

The cover jacket of "The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do" by Eduardo Porter.

Source: Doubleday via Bloomberg

The cover jacket of "Punching Out: One Year in a Closing Auto Plant" by Paul Clemens. Close

The cover jacket of "Punching Out: One Year in a Closing Auto Plant" by Paul Clemens.

Source: Wiley via Bloomberg

The cover jacket of "Red Capitalism," by Carl L. Walter and Fraser J.T. Howie. Close

The cover jacket of "Red Capitalism," by Carl L. Walter and Fraser J.T. Howie.

Source: Random House via Bloomberg

The cover jacket of the book "Spousonomics: Using Economics to Master Love, Marriage, and Dirty Dishes," by Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson. Close

The cover jacket of the book "Spousonomics: Using Economics to Master Love, Marriage, and Dirty Dishes," by Paula... Read More

Photographer: Sarah Turton/Harper Collins via Bloomberg

The cover jacket of "Ugly Beauty: Helena Rubinstein, L'Oreal, and The Blemished History of Looking Good" by Ruth Brandon. Close

The cover jacket of "Ugly Beauty: Helena Rubinstein, L'Oreal, and The Blemished History of Looking Good" by Ruth Brandon.

With the world’s balance of economic power shifting, we’re often asked to recommend books that put the upheaval in context. Here’s a list of our 10 favorite titles on markets and economics so far this year.

“Beyond the Invisible Hand” by Kaushik Basu. India’s chief economic adviser explores the dark side of Adam Smith’s invisible hand.

“Exorbitant Privilege” by Barry Eichengreen (Oxford). A brisk primer on the dollar’s role as the dominant international currency.

“The Futures” by Emily Lambert (Basic). A bouncy historical jaunt through Chicago’s trading pits.

“How the West Was Lost” by Dambisa Moyo (Allen Lane/ Farrar, Straus & Giroux). A reasoned look at how the world’s most-advanced nations are squandering their economic lead.

“The New Lombard Street” by Perry Mehrling (Princeton). A cogent analysis of how the financial crisis turned the Federal Reserve into America’s “dealer of last resort.”

“The Price of Everything” by Eduardo Porter (Portfolio/ Heinemann). An energetic tour of how prices work, from cheap sperm to $4,731 printer ink.

“Punching Out” by Paul Clemens (Doubleday). A blackly comic journal of what happens after a U.S. factory shuts down.

“Red Capitalism” by Carl E. Walter and Fraser J.T. Howie (Wiley). An eye-opening look at how Communist Party bosses control China’s economy.

“Spousonomics” by Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson Random House/Bantam). A geeky guide to finding marital bliss through economics.

“Ugly Beauty” by Ruth Brandon (Harper). An incisive history of cosmetics tycoon Helena Rubinstein and Eugene Schueller, the founder of L’Oreal SA. (OR)

(James Pressley is a book critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)

To contact the writer on the story: James Pressley in Brussels at jpressley@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Beech at mbeech@bloomberg.net.

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