The study of economics can be very complex because economics includes so many areas and is closely intertwined with psychology, sociology, finance, and politics. Even if you studied economics in college, there are many books that can diversify your understanding and change your thinking.
The books I propose to read are based solely on my own experience and cover authors with extremely different worldviews (that is, authors who belong to completely different economic currents). But I think this is the right thing to do, because after all, this approach allows you to look at similar problems from different points of view.
1. Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics by Henry Hazlitt
This book is good because it explains the theoretical foundations of economics in simple and uncomplicated language. Economics (probably the best textbook for economists written by Campbell R. McConnell, Stanley L. Brue, Sean M. Flynn) would still be too complicated to read if you understand nothing about economics.
And too “boring” if you already know what it says. So if you want something to start with, Economics in One Lesson is an excellent choice, as it combines the theory and a great author’s vision.
2. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
This book could be considered obsolete in many ways. At least because the “invisible hand of the market” does not work, which confirms that there are many government regulations in various countries whose purpose is to balance the economy and eliminate market failures.
However, this book is very important just because it was one of the first to give rise to economics as a separate science, so it makes sense to read it anyway.
3. The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford
This book should not be seen as a guide to economic theory, but as an illustration of how important economics as a science is in our world. The book contains many excellent examples of how economics affects our lives and why everyone should study it, at least on a basic level.
4. 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang
A great book that dispels many commonplace myths about economics. At the beginning of the book the author explains that despite the title the book cannot be considered anti-capitalist, but his goal is to explain our lives and look at capitalism as an economic system from a different angle.
All in all, I don’t think this book can enrich your economic understanding specifically, but at least it will make you think.
5. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
This book is a stark contrast to anything you’ve read before. I don’t even know how to describe it, but it’s definitely fun and answers non-obvious questions you may never have even asked.
I won’t write much so as not to spoil anything, but I will say that I miss the time when I hadn’t read this book yet, I definitely enjoyed it a lot when it fell into my hands.
6. International Economics by Dominick Salvatore
Unlike previous books, this book is more of a textbook than an interesting read. But if you want to understand economics on an international scale, you should definitely read it.
7. Das Kapital by Karl Marx
This is perhaps the most difficult book to read of all those presented here (or rather, it is a series of books), but it is a very important book that has influenced economic thought for centuries to come.
If you are just beginning to learn about economics, this is clearly not the book for you. However, if you are already proficient in economics (or at least have some knowledge), then Karl Marx’s Capital would be the right book to enrich your understanding of economic science.