This book was a fantastic overview of (what I think is) basic economic theory, but told in a way that made it incredibly readable. Harford is a great writer and manages to frame his topics in a way that is both highly relevant to real life while being simple enough that anyone can understand. It ranges from the small (the economics of Starbucks and how to prevent traffic jams) to the huge (why poor countries stay poor and how china became rich). I imagine that someone with a serious background in economics might not learn much, and therefore might not be impressed by this book, but for me it was perfect. A grown up Freakonomics for those who care more about the world around them and less about narrow topics like baby names and drug dealers.