Read: Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science by Charles Wheelan
Drinking: China Royal Jasmine Curls, TeaGschwendner
I first read Naked Economics after graduating with my Economics degree. I found it to be a funny, useful overview of all the economic theories and ideas I had learned over the years. About a month ago, I discovered that Wheelan had published a new edition after the financial crisis of 2007-2008. I was rather curious to read his analysis of the principles behind the meltdown and how economics dictates we should move forward. I found his discussion, once again, to be fantastic, simple, and thorough.
Wheelan covers topics ranging from basic supply and demand theory to poverty in the developing world with pertinent and timely examples. He pares economic down to the essentials: supply, demand, and utility, and explains how each of these building blocks explain everything from why you buy what you do to why the housing bubble burst. Want to know what, exactly, the Federal Reserve does? It's in here. Is globalization a good thing? That's in here too. To a certain extent, Wheelan even predicts the current Occupy Wall Street protests. The only thing this book doesn't have are charts, graphs and equations. It's the perfect neophyte's guide to economics.
I highly recommend this book. It is well written, easy to read, and absolutely fascinating. In my opinion (as an economist), economics is fundamental to everything people do. Even if you think economics is in no way related to your work or desires, I can assure you it is. Read this book - you won't regret it. Your whole way of thinking will be changed.