If you just have no idea about what I am talking about, and have never head of either one of these books, let me explain. Both books are about the economics behind life.They try and explain all types of events and patterns using economic principles. And while it might help if you knew something about economics, its not necessary as they do not write this in a scholarly, filled with economic principles and definitions, manner. This is an easy read for anybody, no matter what educational level or how much they know about economics.
The chaper titles in Freakonomics gives you a good idea of the kinds of things they discuss:
- Chapter 1: Discovering cheating as applied to teachers and sumo wrestlers
- Chapter 2: Information control as applied to the ku klux klan and real-estate agents
- Chapter 3: The economics of drug dealing, including the surprisingly low earnings and abject working conditions of crack cockaine dealers.
- Chapter 4: The role legalized abortion has played in reducing crime.
- Chapter 5: The negligible effects of good parenting on education
- Chapter 6: The socioeconomic patterns of naming children
Super Freakonomics includes such topics as prostitution, suicide bombers, hospital cleanliness, global warming, and child safety.
Though these books may sound weird, I find them extremely entertaining, educational, and funny. They talk about all types of topics, from those I love (like terrorism) to those I would normally care less about (such as patterns of naming children). And they have a way of making boring topics interesting.
I personally think Freakonomics is a bit better. I found a chapter or two in Super Freakonomics to be a tiny bit boring and lengthy. But overall the book was almost as interesting as the first, and I am finding myself telling bits of it to anybody who will listen (My poor Dad. Had to tell me to stop telling him about Prostitutes. I just couldn't help it.).
As with any book on such topics, I would be cautious about believing everything they say. These topics and the conclusions they have come up with aren't necessarily believed by everybody and are sometimes debatable. Also, some people would say these books were written more for entertainment purposes than for their educational value.
But either way, I recommend picking up either one of the books and given them a whirl.
P.S. The authors have a blog if your are interested.