Holiday reading – Rowing – Economics – Psychology

Here are some books that are on the list to read this holiday. There is a mix of some new, some old and some rowing. Thanks to Leith Menzies for the rowing books:

  • Mind over water: lessons on life from the art of rowing – I am told that this book is a combination of rowing and life lessons. Rowers will recognise the technical side of things but the book does address the aspects of our world whatever challenge you set yourself.
  • The Kiwi Pair – Another rowing book following the double olympic champions and numerous world champions Hamish Bond and Eric Murray. Very different personalities and also interesting to read how coaches got the best out of them – a lot of psychology in achieving consistent elite performance.
  • Narconomics – I’ve had this book for awhile – like 3 years and it has been lent to numerous students who have said it is very good. Tom Wainwright – who was Central American correspondent for The Economist – argues that most successful drug cartels operate like Wal-Mart in that they have a virtual monopoly on the product at the source of supply.
  • The Economists’ Hour – A recent publication that how economists who believed in the power and the glory of free markets transformed the business of government, the conduct of business and, as a result, the patterns of everyday life. It explains how globalisation failed to deliver on its central promise of increased prosperity.
  • Messengers – The review in The Economist got my attention. With the amount of information available to people these days why is it that self-confident people are believed over experts in their field. Stephen Martin and Joseph Marks look at variables such as appearance and financial status that influence our trust in these people.
  • Licence to be bad – Modern economics dismisses ethics in favour of a narrow focus on self-interest – they have applied the same reasoning in the law courts, leading to the doctrine that bargaining by parties achieves the optimal outcome. However it doesn’t favour behavioural economics which suggests that we are not calculating machines.

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