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Faculty Summer Reading List

From the fall of Rome to an intimate memoir of Chicago’s south side, from a Nobel prize winner’s take on behavioral economics to a science fiction mind-bender... our faculty has some great suggestions to get you through the summer!

Faculty Summer Reading List


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Book Description

Seema Jayachandran

Seema Jayachandran

The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson

A beautifully written non-fiction book about the "Great Migration" of Black Southerners in the 20th century, told through the lives of three people, who migrated to Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles.

Yingni GuoYingni Guo

Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman

The book offers a pathbreaking tour of our two-system mind and how we think.

Joel MokyrJoel Mokyr



Escape from Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity, Walter Scheidel

Why did Europe develop in one way and China in another? In 500 AD they looked pretty similar, then they went in different directions, creating what historians call the Great Divergence. A historian of the classical world with ambitions to explain everything takes a look - you'll be amazed and stimulated.

Love, Money, and Parenting: How Economics Explains the Way We Raise Our Kids, Matthias Doepke

Why do we spend more time and money on our children than ever before? Does economics have anything useful to say about that? Our own Matthias Doepke takes a look with Yale's Zilibotti. The answer, of course, is "yes" but perhaps not for the reasons you thought!

Matthias Doepke

Matthias Doepke

The Titan, Theodore Dreiser

A classic American novel based on the true story of the construction of the “El” in Chicago – a fun read with lots of local history, including political corruption and unbridled capitalism at the emergence of Chicago as a leading metropolis.

Eric AuerbachEric Auerbach

The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation, Natalie Moore

Moore is a local born reporter for WBEZ Chicago. It is part memoir of her time growing up in the South Side, and part a history discussing segregation and housing in Chicago. 

Jeff Ely

Jeffrey Ely

Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell

Most novels are boring.  They either start slow and you are too bored to finish them or they have a quick hook that gets you interested but no follow-through.  This novel is more like 6 little novels all woven together, each one written in such a different style that it’s like reading the best parts of 6 different novels written by 6 different authors.  You won't get bored.

Ian Savage

Ian Savage

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics, Richard H. Thaler

Behavioral economics has moved into the mainstream of the profession in recent years.  Richard Thaler is a leading figure in making this happen and won the Nobel Prize for his efforts in 2017.  While his 2008 book with Cass Sunstein "Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness" is perhaps the best popular introduction, the professional economist may find this later book of interest for a "behind the scenes" account of the evolution of his thinking on the subject and the collaborators and opponents he encounters during his fifty-year career.  If you know some of the characters in the book (or at least know of their reputations), it adds to the enjoyment.

Jeff Lewis

Jeffrey Lewis

 The Body in Question, Jill Ciment

If you need a break from discussing price theory, you might enjoy The Body in Question by Jill Ciment.  It's a reflection on the trial-by-jury system, a meditation on mortality, and a murder mystery all wrapped into one...

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