100 books like The High Cost of Free Parking

By Donald Shoup,

Here are 100 books that The High Cost of Free Parking fans have personally recommended if you like The High Cost of Free Parking. 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 There Are No Accidents: The Deadly Rise of Injury and Disaster―Who Profits and Who Pays the Price

Daniel Knowles Author Of Carmageddon: How Cars Make Life Worse and What to Do about It

From my list on urbanists who hate cars.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been interested in city planning for as long as I can remember. That is perhaps because I grew up in Birmingham, England, a city that probably suffered from its worst excesses more than most. In my job as a reporter for The Economist, I have had the privilege to see cities all over the world upfront, and probe how they work. Some of these are books I keep coming back to; others ones that I furiously agreed with. I hope you enjoy them all.

Daniel's book list on urbanists who hate cars

Daniel Knowles Why did Daniel love this book?

Jessie’s book, There Are No Accidents, is dedicated to a friend of hers who was killed cycling in New York City, by a drunk driver.

Her book however explains how such “accidents” are not only the fault of the people who directly cause them, but also of social systems that make it possible for bad decisions to cause catastrophes, and who it is who profits from them.

As a cyclist, I think about that all of the time whenever I get into an argument with a driver who – accidentally – almost kills me.

By Jessie Singer,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked There Are No Accidents as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A journalist recounts the surprising history of accidents and reveals how they've come to define all that's wrong with America.

We hear it all the time: "Sorry, it was just an accident." And we've been deeply conditioned to just accept that explanation and move on. But as Jessie Singer argues convincingly: There are no such things as accidents. The vast majority of mishaps are not random but predictable and preventable. Singer uncovers just how the term "accident" itself protects those in power and leaves the most vulnerable in harm's way, preventing investigations, pushing off debts, blaming the victims, diluting anger,…


Book cover of Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights

Anne Lutz Fernandez Author Of Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives

From my list on understanding America’s car system.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been interested in car culture since my anthropologist sister and I first began collaborating on a research and writing project on the topic over fifteen years ago. At that time, I had just moved from a transit-rich city to a car-dependent suburb and she had just moved from a suburb to a walkable city, which got us talking about just how much this singular object—the car—shaped our everyday lives. Carjacked was published in 2010, and since then I’ve continued to read and write about transportation, although I also write a lot about education—another obsession for another list of recommended books.  

Anne's book list on understanding America’s car system

Anne Lutz Fernandez Why did Anne love this book?

I first learned about this book from the PBS documentary that was based on it, and it is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the complex history of the automobile in America, a history rife with contradictions. Sorin highlights how the advent of the car provided Black Americans with great freedom and opportunity (including through its role in the civil rights movement) but also came with severe risks and restrictions. I especially appreciated how the author’s family history deepened the broader, national story. 

By Gretchen Sorin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Driving While Black as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Driving While Black demonstrates that the car-the ultimate symbol of independence and possibility-has always held particular importance for African Americans, allowing black families to evade the dangers presented by an entrenched racist society and to enjoy, in some measure, the freedom of the open road. Melding new archival research with her family's story, Gretchen Sorin recovers a lost history, demonstrating how, when combined with black travel guides-including the famous Green Book-the automobile encouraged a new way of resisting oppression.


Book cover of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)

Anne Lutz Fernandez Author Of Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives

From my list on understanding America’s car system.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been interested in car culture since my anthropologist sister and I first began collaborating on a research and writing project on the topic over fifteen years ago. At that time, I had just moved from a transit-rich city to a car-dependent suburb and she had just moved from a suburb to a walkable city, which got us talking about just how much this singular object—the car—shaped our everyday lives. Carjacked was published in 2010, and since then I’ve continued to read and write about transportation, although I also write a lot about education—another obsession for another list of recommended books.  

Anne's book list on understanding America’s car system

Anne Lutz Fernandez Why did Anne love this book?

I did not expect to thoroughly enjoy a book with ninety pages of footnotes on a subject that people love to complain about day in and day out. But Vanderbilt, who has a great sense of humor and unrelenting interest in human behavior, took me along easily on his quest to satisfy his many questions about drivers, driving, roads, and traffic safety. The answers to those we’ve often asked ourselves on the road (usually while cursing), are often surprising. 

By Tom Vanderbilt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A New York Times Notable Book

One of the Best Books of the Year
The Washington Post • The Cleveland Plain-Dealer • Rocky Mountain News

In this brilliant, lively, and eye-opening investigation, Tom Vanderbilt examines the perceptual limits and cognitive underpinnings that make us worse drivers than we think we are. He demonstrates why plans to protect pedestrians from cars often lead to more accidents. He uncovers who is more likely to honk at whom, and why. He explains why traffic jams form, outlines the unintended consequences of our quest for safety, and even identifies the most common mistake drivers…


Book cover of The Capsular Civilization: On the City in the Age of Fear

Anne Lutz Fernandez Author Of Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives

From my list on understanding America’s car system.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been interested in car culture since my anthropologist sister and I first began collaborating on a research and writing project on the topic over fifteen years ago. At that time, I had just moved from a transit-rich city to a car-dependent suburb and she had just moved from a suburb to a walkable city, which got us talking about just how much this singular object—the car—shaped our everyday lives. Carjacked was published in 2010, and since then I’ve continued to read and write about transportation, although I also write a lot about education—another obsession for another list of recommended books.  

Anne's book list on understanding America’s car system

Anne Lutz Fernandez Why did Anne love this book?

This unusual and provocative collection of essays and reflections by a Belgian philosopher contains ideas about car culture I refer to and reflect on often though I first read them over a decade ago. The author led me to understand how cars, though they can close great distances and bring families and friends together, have also contributed to an atomized society in which we move between isolated places in isolation from each other, a separation aided by fear and adding to it.

By Lieven de Cauter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Particularly since September 11, the War on Terrorism and the war in Iraq, it has been almost impossible to dissociate architecture from its social context. Add to this the massive influence of capitalism on architecture, disturbing demographic developments and associated political, social, and ecological catastrophes, and the result is a robotic snapshot of a society dominated by fear, exclusion and simulation. Lieven De Cauter, a leading theoretician on the subject of capsularisation, has worked over the past six years on the essays and articles contained in this book, and has documented and analyzed our changing societies before and after 9/11.…


Book cover of Order without Design: How Markets Shape Cities

Aubrey Fox Author Of Gradual: The Case for Incremental Change in a Radical Age

From my list on how government works in practice – and when it doesn’t.

Why am I passionate about this?

My father advised me that to be a good writer, I should first learn a trade and particular subject matter from the inside out. As a working criminal justice practitioner for the last two decades, I’ve been lucky to work with some of the smartest people and best run organizations in the country. I’ve always been a big reader and someone who likes to link the sometimes brutally practical, day-to-day work of running an organization (I lead New York City’s main pretrial services agency) to larger philosophical issues. My life’s goal is to show how big ideas play themselves out in the day-to-day practice of public policy. 

Aubrey's book list on how government works in practice – and when it doesn’t

Aubrey Fox Why did Aubrey love this book?

This is one of the most handsomely illustrated books I’ve ever purchased – and one of the most eye-opening.

Bertaud sums up a lifetime of work in over 40 cities, showing that the preoccupation of many urban planners and architects with aesthetically pleasing design ignores the reality that cities work best when they give residents the ability to make their own decisions about where they want to live and help them access good economic opportunities.

Bertaud also chronicles how well-meaning but paternalistic land use rules (minimum lot sizes, height restrictions, excessive historic preservation regimes) have harmed cities by making them inaccessible to diverse newcomers. 

By Alain Bertaud,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Order without Design as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An argument that operational urban planning can be improved by the application of the tools of urban economics to the design of regulations and infrastructure.

Urban planning is a craft learned through practice. Planners make rapid decisions that have an immediate impact on the ground—the width of streets, the minimum size of land parcels, the heights of buildings. The language they use to describe their objectives is qualitative—“sustainable,” “livable,” “resilient”—often with no link to measurable outcomes. Urban economics, on the other hand, is a quantitative science, based on theories, models, and empirical evidence largely developed in academic settings. In this…


Book cover of History of Economic Analysis

Panayotis G. Michaelides Author Of History of Economic Ideas: From Adam Smith to Paul Krugman

From my list on the evolution of economics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Full Professor and Lab Director in Economics. My interest in this field began when I traveled abroad and observed the differences in prices, goods, and quality of life. In order to gain a deeper understanding, I decided to switch from my previous academic background in Engineering, Mathematics & Physics to Economics, Finance & Data Science. Today, I am dedicated to expanding my knowledge and sharing my insights through teaching, academic publications, and LinkedIn posts. According to the latest rankings, I am humbled to be among the top 3% most productive economists worldwide (IDEAS-RePec, 2023), as well as being ranked among the top 4% researchers in Financial Economics, and the top 5% in Econometrics (Researchgate, 2023).

Panayotis' book list on the evolution of economics

Panayotis G. Michaelides Why did Panayotis love this book?

Since my PhD was based on Schumpeter's work, I can confidently state that it is well worth exploring the fascinating world of Economics through one of history's greatest economists.

This masterpiece takes the reader on a journey through every corner of the subject, paying particular attention to even the smallest details. A unique and thought-provoking view of Economics is offered by Schumpeter in his over 1000 pages of brilliant insights.

This book distinguishes itself from others through its deep and unconventional interpretation of Economics. It is a must-read for anyone seeking a thorough understanding of Economics as Schumpeter provides fresh insights on various topics.

However, it would be much better if it covered more recent developments. Enjoy this tour of Economics with Schumpeter and you will never get bored!

By Joseph A Schumpeter, Elizabeth Boody Schumpeter (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

At the time of his death in 1950, Joseph Schumpeter--one of the great economists of the first half of the 20th century--was working on his monumental History of Economic Analysis. A complete history of efforts to understand the subject of economics from ancient Greece to the present, this book is an important contribution to the history of ideas as well as to economics. Although never fully completed, it has gained recognition as a modern classic due to its broad scope and original examination of significant historical events. Complete with a new introduction by Mark Perlman, who outlines the structure of…


Book cover of The Routledge Guidebook to Smith's Wealth of Nations

Christopher J. Berry Author Of Adam Smith: A Very Short Introduction

From my list on who Adam Smith was and why he's still important.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve studied Smith and his Scottish contemporaries, off and on, for over fifty years. My whole professional career has been spent at Glasgow University where Smith was both a student and later professor. I thus have a personal affinity to him and his work, all the more so because his published writings were all trailed in his professorial classroom. While I have published extensively on Smith, the particular book of mine that I’ve selected was chosen because I wanted to distill all my scholarship into a volume that would be accessible to non-academics. 

Christopher's book list on who Adam Smith was and why he's still important

Christopher J. Berry Why did Christopher love this book?

The title of this book unambiguously states its purpose. What, above all, impressed me was how Paganelli, an academic economist, fulfilled this purpose so splendidly. The Wealth of Nations is one of the great books in the history of economics, but it is a large and somewhat intimidating volume, which has meant it has usually been cited without ever being read.

This book systematically and carefully explains the book chapter by chapter but never misses ‘the wood for the trees’. While ideal for students, with guides for future reading, for anyone who just wants to discover what this great book says beyond headline summaries, and why it is important, this is the text to read.

By Maria Pia Paganelli,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Routledge Guidebook to Smith's Wealth of Nations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Adam Smith (1723-1790) is famous around the world as the founding father of economics, and his ideas are regularly quoted and invoked by politicians, business leaders, economists, and philosophers. However, considering his fame, few people have actually read the whole of his magnum opus The Wealth of Nations - the first book to describe and lay out many of the concepts that are crucial to modern economic thinking. The Routledge Guidebook to Smith's Wealth of Nations provides an accessible, clear, and concise introduction to the arguments of this most notorious and influential of economic texts. The Guidebook examines:

the historical…


Book cover of The Economic Way of Thinking

Susanne Trimbath Author Of Lessons Not Learned: 10 Steps to Stable Financial Markets

From my list on stock market plumbing.

Why am I passionate about this?

My entire career has been spent in finance. From life insurance to central banks, from stock exchanges to post-trade clearing and settlement, this is all I’ve ever done. My college degrees include BSBA in Business/Marketing, MBA in Management, and PhD in Economics. In addition to knowing what a lot of people know about finance, I also worked inside the “black box” of the Federal Reserve System and depository trust and clearing corporations (in 4 cities, on 2 continents). Therefore, I know more about the plumbing of stock market infrastructure than most people who have careers (and education) as long as mine.

Susanne's book list on stock market plumbing

Susanne Trimbath Why did Susanne love this book?

This was required reading in my MBA program at Golden Gate University. In fact, the economics teacher, Joe Fuhrig, inspired me to go on for my PhD in Economics at New York University. The book explains how economics isn’t just about mathematical models: it is about how people think and behave. Once you learn to think like an economist, you will find investing (and even grocery shopping!) a completely different experience.

By Paul Heyne, Peter Boettke, David Prychitko

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Intended primarily for one semester survey courses in general economics, this text also provides practical content to current and aspiring industry professionals.

Learn how to think like an economist.

The Economic Way of Thinking goes beyond explaining the basic principles of micro- and macroeconomic analysis by showing readers a method of reasoning that teaches them how to apply these principles as tools. The authors expose readers to a method of reasoning that makes them think like an economist through example and application and also shows them how not to think, by exposing errors in popular economic reasoning.

The latest edition…


Book cover of The ABCs of Political Economy: A Modern Approach

Raoul Martinez Author Of Creating Freedom: Power, Control and the Fight for our Future

From my list on critiquing free-market fundamentalism.

Why am I passionate about this?

It has long been claimed that we face a choice between freedom and equality: that advocates of capitalism favour freedom, while critics prioritise equality. Philosopher Raoul Martinez was never persuaded by this claim, yet it took years of research across a number of disciplines to understand not only how problematic it is, but how foundational to our society and its crises it has become. His journey of discovery culminated in the writing of Creating Freedom, which dismantles this misleading narrative while deepening our understanding of human liberty: the many ways it is subverted and the path to its creation.

Raoul's book list on critiquing free-market fundamentalism

Raoul Martinez Why did Raoul love this book?

Hahnel’s work should be more well known. A professor of economics who understands the neoclassical approach inside out, he has spent his career not only critiquing mainstream economics but developing rich alternatives, including a sophisticated economic vision that aims to avoid the pitfalls of both free markets and state planning. I’ve chosen The ABCs of Political Economy as it’s a wonderful introduction to the area, offering a broad scope and a sharp critique of orthodox approaches to the economy.

By Robin Hahnel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This revised edition of ABCs is a lively and accessible introduction to modern political economy. Informed by the work of Marx, Veblen, Kalecki, Robinson, Minsky and other great political economists, Robin Hahnel provides the essential tools needed to understand economic issues today.

Dispelling myths about financial liberalisation, fiscal austerity, globalisation and free markets, ABCs offers a critical perspective on our present system and outlines clear alternatives for the future.

This second edition applies the analytical tools developed to help readers understand the origins of the financial crisis of 2007, the ensuing 'Great Recession', and why government policies in Europe and…


Book cover of Constructing Economic Science: The Invention of a Discipline 1850-1950

Emily Erikson Author Of Trade and Nation: How Companies and Politics Reshaped Economic Thought

From my list on economic theory by non-economists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated by systems of thought and very interested in understanding how we can improve our ability to create a better society for all. I think the past makes a good laboratory for investigating these kinds of questions. I got interested in early modern economic theory while researching the English East India Company for my dissertation in the sociology department of Columbia University, which was a great place for historical and computational sociology. I now teach economic sociology and theory as a professor at Yale University, another institution with amazing strengths in history, data science, and computational methods.

Emily's book list on economic theory by non-economists

Emily Erikson Why did Emily love this book?

Tribe is a master of his subject, and this book has the feel of a magnum opus. It is densely packed and full of interesting tidbits, and you will be amazed at just how recent economics really is. The added bonus is all the insight into the development of the modern research university. I am in the middle of this book as it just came out, but the scale of the contribution (large) is already clear.

By Keith Tribe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Constructing Economic Science as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An accessible account of the role of the modern university in the creation of economics

During the late nineteenth century concerns about international commercial rivalry were often expressed in terms of national provision for training and education, and the role of universities in such provision. It was in this context that the modern university discipline of economics emerged. The first undergraduate economics program was inaugurated in Cambridge in 1903; but this was merely a starting point.

Constructing Economic Science charts the path through commercial education to the discipline of economics and the creation of an economics curriculum that could then…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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