I recently read The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy. It was a really interesting book, written by an economist, about how the global economy works. Why does it feel like everything we can buy here is made in China? How does "Free Trade" really work? How much of our economy is based on the market and how much is based on politics? (answer--almost none and almost all.) Where does our stuff come from? Who makes it? What happens to it when we're done with it?
It was really interesting. It was also, at times, horribly depressing. There was a lot of really good historical info about things like the cotton-growing business, technological advances, and the industrial revolution. It wasn't exactly the fastest-paced book of my year so far, but it wasn't textbook boring either. There were real people, real places, and real disturbing info about how things work around here and the impact that has on both our market and the rest of the world.