50 books like Market Madness

By Blake C. Clayton,

Here are 50 books that Market Madness fans have personally recommended if you like Market Madness. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Liar's Poker

Paddy Hirsch Author Of The Devil's Half Mile

From my list on glimpse into the dark heart of the financial markets (without being bored to tears).

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a career financial and business journalist, only recently turned novelist. I’m obsessed with the way that history repeats itself in the financial markets and that we never seem to learn our lessons. Fear and greed have always driven the behavior of bankers, traders, and investors; and they still do today, only barely inhibited by our regulatory system. I want to help people understand how markets work, and I like combining fiction with fact to explain these systems and how they’re abused. With that in mind, I work during the day as a reporter at NPR and by night as a scribbler of historical fiction with a financial twist.

Paddy's book list on glimpse into the dark heart of the financial markets (without being bored to tears)

Paddy Hirsch Why did Paddy love this book?

I love this book because it reads like a fictional tale about the modern financial markets, and yet it’s all absolutely true!

I am still staggered by some of the stories that Lewis tells about the real-life characters who worked on Wall Street back in the 1980s. And I’m in awe of the colorful way he describes and explains the way the bond markets work—no easy task.

Not only did he bring the go-go days of the 80s to life for me, but he also gave me a solid grounding in the machinations of the financial markets, helping me in both my writing and journalism careers.

By Michael Lewis,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Liar's Poker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Michael Lewis was fresh out of Princeton and the London School of Economics when he landed a job at Salomon Brothers, one of Wall Street's premier investment firms. During the next three years, Lewis rose from callow trainee to bond salesman, raking in millions for the firm and cashing in on a modern-day gold rush. Liar's Poker is the culmination of those heady, frenzied years-a behind-the-scenes look at a unique and turbulent time in American business. From the frat-boy camaraderie of the forty-first-floor trading room to the killer instinct that made ambitious young men gamble everything on a high-stakes game…


Book cover of Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism

Amy Myers Jaffe Author Of Oil, Dollars, Debt, and Crises: The Global Curse of Black Gold

From my list on why oil and global banking crises happen at the same time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my career as a business journalist writing about Arab finance and oil at a time when few women were in that industry. Rather improbably, perhaps, I became well-known for correctly predicting trends – geopolitical and geo-economical. In my thirties, I shifted to the academy, becoming a director of energy research at Rice University in Houston and subsequently a sought-after advisor to government, corporations, and financial institutions. I wrote my first paper on oil crises while in high school (winning third prize in a state term paper contest) and have never left the subject. Now more than ever, the public needs to understand the real facts behind oil and financial crises. 

Amy's book list on why oil and global banking crises happen at the same time

Amy Myers Jaffe Why did Amy love this book?

One of the disadvantages to writing a book with any economics in it is just that, readers need to know a little economics to get the most out of your book.

But to grasp how oil and the dollar interact and why we wind up in repeating financial crises, you don’t have to go back and reread Keynes and Irving Fischer (on interest rates). In 2009, Nobel Prize-winning economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller wrote this easy-to-read and easy-to-understand book that critiques traditional economics (e.g. it’s dependence on “rational” actors) and dissects the building blocks one needs to know to grasp the ins and outs of economic cycles.

Importantly, they explain why people continue to believe they can make a fortune by investing at the top of the market (the confidence multiplier and contagion). Their book leads the reader through the basics on how bubbles (irrational exuberance) and panics ensue…

By George A. Akerlof, Robert J. Shiller,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Animal Spirits as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The global financial crisis has made it painfully clear that powerful psychological forces are imperiling the wealth of nations today. From blind faith in ever-rising housing prices to plummeting confidence in capital markets, "animal spirits" are driving financial events worldwide. In this book, acclaimed economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller challenge the economic wisdom that got us into this mess, and put forward a bold new vision that will transform economics and restore prosperity. Akerlof and Shiller reassert the necessity of an active government role in economic policymaking by recovering the idea of animal spirits, a term John Maynard Keynes…


Book cover of Partial Hegemony: Oil Politics and International Order

Amy Myers Jaffe Author Of Oil, Dollars, Debt, and Crises: The Global Curse of Black Gold

From my list on why oil and global banking crises happen at the same time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my career as a business journalist writing about Arab finance and oil at a time when few women were in that industry. Rather improbably, perhaps, I became well-known for correctly predicting trends – geopolitical and geo-economical. In my thirties, I shifted to the academy, becoming a director of energy research at Rice University in Houston and subsequently a sought-after advisor to government, corporations, and financial institutions. I wrote my first paper on oil crises while in high school (winning third prize in a state term paper contest) and have never left the subject. Now more than ever, the public needs to understand the real facts behind oil and financial crises. 

Amy's book list on why oil and global banking crises happen at the same time

Amy Myers Jaffe Why did Amy love this book?

Most international relations scholars see oil as a side show that doesn’t fit into their big picture balance of power paradigms.

Colgan breaks the mold to narrate how the history of oil crises reveals core truths about international relations and how different-sized countries can use coercion within a subsystem to assert influence over larger powers.

Colgan attacks his field’s Mearsheimerisque, longstanding premise that military security and strategic considerations exclusively drive geopolitical relations. Instead, he utilizes oil geopolitics as a subsystem to show how countries coerce each other through a larger variety of means (military, economic, and leadership selection, to name three) with a wider variety of goals.

In my view, Colgan’s subsystem model allows for a deeper understanding of what motivates countries and what tools they have to influence each other to gain strategic benefits.   

By Jeff D. Colgan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Partial Hegemony as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The global history of oil politics, from World War I to the present, can teach us much about world politics, climate change, and international order in the twenty-first century.

When and why does international order change? The largest peaceful transfer of wealth across borders in all of human history began with the oil crisis of 1973. OPEC countries turned the tables on the most powerful businesses on the planet, quadrupling the price of oil and shifting the global distribution of profits. It represented a huge shift in international order. Yet, the textbook explanation for how world politics works-that the most…


Book cover of Oil, the State, and War: The Foreign Policies of Petrostates

Amy Myers Jaffe Author Of Oil, Dollars, Debt, and Crises: The Global Curse of Black Gold

From my list on why oil and global banking crises happen at the same time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my career as a business journalist writing about Arab finance and oil at a time when few women were in that industry. Rather improbably, perhaps, I became well-known for correctly predicting trends – geopolitical and geo-economical. In my thirties, I shifted to the academy, becoming a director of energy research at Rice University in Houston and subsequently a sought-after advisor to government, corporations, and financial institutions. I wrote my first paper on oil crises while in high school (winning third prize in a state term paper contest) and have never left the subject. Now more than ever, the public needs to understand the real facts behind oil and financial crises. 

Amy's book list on why oil and global banking crises happen at the same time

Amy Myers Jaffe Why did Amy love this book?

There are many books that attempt to demonstrate a link between oil and war, and anyone who watches the news knows intuitively that such a link likely exists.

Ashford’s book lays out in brilliant detail how oil wealth is in some cases largely spent on military equipment (p. 74 to 81 covers Russia’s military modernization) and rightly asks the question if all this purchasing of armaments creates a “lubricant” to war. But she keeps open the option that the oil wealth-war connection is not destiny.

In closing chapters, she offers a few cases where oil states have chosen to use “soft power” and muses in the end that as oil’s days eclipse with the energy transition, the oil-war connection might similarly fade.  

By Emma Ashford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Oil, the State, and War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A comprehensive challenge to prevailing understanding of international implications of oil wealth that shows why it can create bad actors

In a world where oil-rich states are more likely to start war than their oil-dependent counterparts, it's surprising how little attention is still paid to these so-called petrostates. These states' wealth props up the global arms trade, provides diplomatic leverage, and allows them to support violent and nonviolent proxies. In Oil, the State, and War, Emma Ashford explores the many potential links between domestic oil production and foreign policy behavior and how oil production influences global politics.

Not all petrostates…


Book cover of Titanshade

Sarah J. Sover Author Of Fairy Godmurder

From my list on dicks in urban fantasy (detectives, that is).

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Sarah J. Sover, and I adore smashing genres together, especially when there’s magic involved. My first book, Double-Crossing the Bridge, is a comedic fantasy about drunk trolls pulling a suicidal heist, and my new release, Fairy Godmurder is like Jessica Jones with sparkle. The novels are wildly different from each other, but they both exist in the crime-fantasy sphere, where I can delve deep into character motivations, explore wrongs in the world through a fantastical lens, and play with well-loved tropes, inverting and subverting in unexpected ways. I love that this is a growing genre, and I hope I get an influx of suggestions added to my own TBR tower because of this list!

Sarah's book list on dicks in urban fantasy (detectives, that is)

Sarah J. Sover Why did Sarah love this book?

Carter is your typical noir detective—cynical and staring down a rocks glass. But Titanshade is far from a standard city. It’s gritty and brimming with all kinds of characters from those you think you know to new species whose spilled guts smell like cinnamon. I’m particularly fond of the blood magic readings. And when Carter is backed into a corner, this hardboiled dick may surprise you.

By Dan Stout,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Titanshade as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This noir fantasy thriller from a debut author introduces the gritty town of Titanshade, where danger lurks around every corner.

"Take a little Mickey Spillane, some Dashiell Hammet, a bit of Raymond Chandler, and mix it with Phillip K. Dick's Blade Runner; add a taste of CJ Box, and Craig Johnson, and you've got a masterpiece of a first novel." —W. Michael Gear, New York Times bestselling author

Carter's a homicide cop in Titanshade, an oil boomtown where 8-tracks are state of the art, disco rules the radio, and all the best sorcerers wear designer labels. It's also a metropolis…


Book cover of The Birth of Energy: Fossil Fuels, Thermodynamics, and the Politics of Work

Jeremy Bendik-Keymer Author Of Involving Anthroponomy in the Anthropocene: On Decoloniality

From my list on how we got to climate change and mass extinction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the grandson of a coal miner from a multi-generational, Ohio family. What matters most to me is having some integrity and being morally okay with folks. I never thought of myself as an environmentalist, just as someone trying to figure out what we should be learning to be decent people in this sometimes messed-up world. From there, I was taken into our environmental situation, its planetary injustice, and then onto studying the history of colonialism. This adventure cracked open my midwestern common sense and made me rethink things. Happily, it has only reinforced my commitment to, and faith in, moral relations, giving our word, being accountable, and caring.

Jeremy's book list on how we got to climate change and mass extinction

Jeremy Bendik-Keymer Why did Jeremy love this book?

Daggett’s award-winning book is a good example of a turn in political studies to understand the roots of our environmental problems by grasping how the way we organize society was shaped during early capitalism, colonialism, and the industrial revolution. Her book is also an example of the turn to energy politics which will define this century for some time. Check out the way this book uses history and old steampunk-esque documents to show us the bizarre dreams of the industrial revolution as these were tied to exploiting laborers for the sake of the wealth generation of the few!

By Cara New Daggett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Birth of Energy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The Birth of Energy Cara New Daggett traces the genealogy of contemporary notions of energy back to the nineteenth-century science of thermodynamics to challenge the underlying logic that informs today's uses of energy. These early resource-based concepts of power first emerged during the Industrial Revolution and were tightly bound to Western capitalist domination and the politics of industrialized work. As Daggett shows, thermodynamics was deployed as an imperial science to govern fossil fuel use, labor, and colonial expansion, in part through a hierarchical ordering of humans and nonhumans. By systematically excavating the historical connection between energy and work, Daggett…


Book cover of The Energy of Slaves

Richard Heinberg Author Of Power: Limits and Prospects for Human Survival

From my list on understanding power.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a systems thinker (Senior Fellow at an environmental think tank, author of 14 books and hundreds of essays) who’s addicted to trying to understand the world. After a few decades, the following is my state of understanding. Power is everywhere and determines everything in our lives. Whether due to the physical power of energy channeled through technology, or the social power of organizations and money, we’re enabled or disabled daily. During the last century, fossil-fueled humanity has overpowered planetary systems, as evidenced by climate change, species extinctions, and resource depletion. Few think critically about power. Unless we start doing so, we may be inviting the ultimate disempowerment—extinction.

Richard's book list on understanding power

Richard Heinberg Why did Richard love this book?

If the goods and services that we enjoy in America today all had to be provided by human muscle power, we would each, on average, need roughly 150 people working full-time for us. Instead, fossil fuels do the work. The good news: coal helped end the horrors of slavery. The bad news: we’re all now utterly dependent on an energy system that’s destroying the world and the survival prospects of future generations. In many ways, we have become slaves to the fossil fuel regime, and Nikiforuk explains how. This book deserved far more attention than it received when published in 2012.

By Andrew Nikiforuk,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Energy of Slaves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ancient civilizations routinely relied on shackled human muscle. It took the energy of slaves to plant crops, clothe emperors, and build cities. In the early 19th century, the slave trade became one of the most profitable enterprises on the planet. Economists described the system as necessary for progress. Slaveholders viewed religious critics as hostilely as oil companies now regard environmentalists. Yet the abolition movement that triumphed in the 1850s had an invisible ally: coal and oil. As the world's most portable and versatile workers, fossil fuels replenished slavery's ranks with combustion engines and other labor-saving tools. Since then, oil has…


Book cover of Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming

Liz Conor Author Of Skin Deep: Settler Impressions of Aboriginal Women

From my list on climate change and race.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became a climate activist and later a researcher after my sister and her family lost their home in the Black Saturday fires of 2009 in Victoria. Their bravery and survival is a daily reminder for me, that climate change is upon us, and we are fighting for our lives as well as our children and future generations. Because my research has been focused on colonialism and race their story has opened many questions for me around the history of colonialism and whether it was coal-fired. I’m thinking about what it means for settlers to lose their homes on stolen land, and whether this recognition could prompt us to rethink land ownership, custodianship, and coexistence.

Liz's book list on climate change and race

Liz Conor Why did Liz love this book?

To understand our present plight with climate change we have to get our minds around the history of steam power, and why it came to dominate and supersede wind and water, despite its equal horsepower and greater expense.

Malm’s study is brilliant and while it focuses on labour relations moreso than race the reader only has to think of cotton and slavery, and wool and the colonial frontier to build in the global implications for the transition to steam power. 

By Andreas Malm,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fossil Capital as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A sweeping study of how capitalism first promoted fossil fuels with the rise of steam power - and contributed to the worsening climate crisis

The more we know about the catastrophic implications of climate change, the more fossil fuels we burn. How did we end up in this mess? In this masterful new history, Andreas Malm claims it all began in Britain with the rise of steam power. But why did manufacturers turn from traditional sources of power, notably water mills, to an engine fired by coal? Contrary to established views, steam offered neither cheaper nor more abundant energy -…


Book cover of Of Modern Extraction: Experiments in Critical Petro-theology

Larry L. Rasmussen Author Of The Planet You Inherit: Letters to My Grandchildren When Uncertainty's a Sure Thing

From my list on wisdom amid planetary uncertainty.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been engaged as a teacher of religion and ecology since the first Earth Day 50 years ago. That has entailed writing some prize-winning books, Earth Community, Earth Ethics (1996) and Earth-honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key (2013). Now I want to pass along distilled learnings to my grandchildren as they face a planet in tumult. The form—love letters—and the audience—future generations as represented by my grandkids—moves me to focus on effective communication of a highly personal sort to young people on matters vital to their lives. It’s a nice bookend near the end of my own life.

Larry's book list on wisdom amid planetary uncertainty

Larry L. Rasmussen Why did Larry love this book?

This work is one in the series of Explorations in Theology, Gender, and Ecology. Its distinction is a deep dive into the religious, ecological and gender dimensions of the modern fossil-fuel extractive economy that has become destructive of nature’s economy and human well-being at the same time that it has captured our way of life. Rowe takes the reader into the gender and theological underpinnings of corporate capitalism, thereby contributing to an emerging field of study, the Energy Humanities. Of Modern Extraction is cutting-edge work by a lucid writer who rewards anyone patient enough to take on this vital but complex topic.

By Terra Schwerin Rowe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Of Modern Extraction as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Predominant climate change narratives emphasize a global emissions problem, while diagnoses of environmental crises have long focused a modern loss of meaning, value, and enchantment in nature. Yet neither of these common portrayals of environmental emergency adequately account for the ways climate change is rooted in extractivisms that have been profoundly enchanted.

The proposed critical petro-theology analyzes the current energy driven climate crisis through critical gender, race, decolonial, and postsecular lenses. Both predominant narratives obscure the entanglements of bodies and energy: how energy concepts and practices have consistently delineated genres of humanity and how energy systems and technologies have shaped…


Book cover of Energy and Equity

Mikael Colville-Andersen Author Of Copenhagenize: The Definitive Guide to Global Bicycle Urbanism

From my list on unexpected books about cities & urbanism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an urban designer, author, and host of The Life-Sized City urbanism series - as well as its podcast and YouTube channel. I’ve worked in over 100 cities, trying to improve urban life and bring back bikes as transport. I came at this career out of left field and am happily unburdened by the baggage of academia. I've famously refrained from reading most of the (probably excellent) books venerated by the urbanism tribe, in order to keep my own urban thinking clear and pure. My expertise stems instead from human observation and I find far more inspiration in photography, literature, cinema, science, and especially talking to and working with the true experts: the citizens.

Mikael's book list on unexpected books about cities & urbanism

Mikael Colville-Andersen Why did Mikael love this book?

"Participatory democracy demands low-energy technology, and free people must travel the road to productive social relations at the speed of a bicycle."

Illich’s book - more of a long essay, really - remains astonishingly relevant almost fifty years on. It confirmed countless things that I sensed and suspected on the cusp of my career in urbanism many years ago. His rationality about transport, energy, and democracy is carved out of the finest literary granite. Criticism of this text merely runs off the rock like raindrops. It is my ultimate inspiration for working in urbanism and yet a constant source of dismay that our societies continue to neglect the wisdom within the words. The essay “The Social Ideology of the Motorcar” by André Gorz is a must-read companion to Illich’s visionary words.

By Ivan Illich,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Energy and Equity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A junkie without access to his stash is in a state of crisis. The 'energy crisis' that exists intermittently when the flow of fuel from unstable countries is cut off or threatened, is a crisis in the same sense. In this essay, Illich examines the question of whether or not humans need any more energy than is their natural birthright. Along the way he gives a startling analysis of the marginal disutility of tools. After a certain point, that is, more energy gives negative returns. For example, moving around causes loss of time proportional to the amount of energy which…


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