“I would encourage anyone interested in understanding the Great Depression or mid-19th century Britain to turn to Steinbeck or Dickens,” says Joseph E. Stiglitz, whose book “People, Power, and Profits” will be out in paperback soon.

by Joseph Stiglitz – April 9, 2020

What books are on your nightstand?

Like everyone, I have a large and aspirational pile on my nightstand. In fact, my wife recently bought me a bigger nightstand so we’d have more room for the books I want to read. Right now I’ve got “A Moveable Feast,” by Ernest Hemingway, to remind me of Paris, which I fell even more in love with during my term teaching there. “The Ratline,” because the author, Philippe Sands, is married to my wife’s sister and he sent it to us. Jill Lepore’s “These Truths” and “The Light That Failed,” by Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes, because everywhere I go people are talking about those two books. Ian McEwan’s “The Cockroach,” because the person who runs the renowned bookstore in Schloss Elmau (Germany) thought I would like this Kafkaesque parable of Brexit, in which a cockroach becomes prime minister. A book that was on my nightstand, but I have since read, is Hannah Lillith Assadi’s beautiful “Sonora,” a novel about the Arizona desert, New York City and the coming-of-age of a young woman whose parents are Palestinian and Israeli Jewish.

What’s the last great book you read?

“The In-Between World of Vikram Lall,” by M. G. Vassanji, in which a corrupt official now in hiding in Canada looks back on his life and the independence movement in Kenya. Particularly unforgettable are his memories of young love and the student movement in Dar es Salaam. The book was especially meaningful to me because of the time I spent working in Kenya between 1969 and 1971.

Originally Published in The New York Times. Read the entire story here