The official publication date was Monday, but as it was out of stock at Amazon.co.uk
for the first couple days of the week, it seemed pointless to post
about it. Right now it says there are only four copies left in
stock, so it may be pointless again soon enough. This is not because the book's a big best-seller (it's currently at 8,865 in the Amazon.co.uk ranking).
But I am not going to whine about it. After having lost my first UK publisher because I took so long to finish, I am thrilled that the nice people at Harriman House have seen fit to print the thing. And eventually I'm sure anybody who wants a copy will get one.
Update: Harriman House is not even remotely to blame for the stocking problems. Amazon.co.uk just runs an insanely lean operation. As best I can tell, they don't like to go into double digits. Right now (Feb. 5) they are again trumpeting that there's "only 1 left in stock." Seriously, Amazon.co.uk, I think I can guarantee sales at least in the dozens. Just order a few more!
Back when USA Today ran a review of Myth of the Rational Market last summer, it was "yawn-inducing." Now, though, the paper's Money Bookshelf editor, Gary Rawlins (not the author of the original review), has listed it as one of the "Year's best business books to make sense of financial crisis." Not sure if that's the same as calling it one of the year's best business books, but I'll take it.
Meanwhile, at Bloomberg, James Pressley puts Myth on his list of ten Top Crisis Books. And Washington Examiner books editor Marcela Valdes put it at No. 2 on her list of the year's 10 best books. Let me just state here that there is no way Myth was the really one of the two best books published in the United States last year (I'm also pretty sure there's no way that Frank Bruni's Born Round, Valdes's first choice, was the best). But again, I'll take it.
Oh, and one other thing: I've got this new job.
Update: Made some more best-of lists. New York Times columnist Floyd Norris included Myth in his list of "six books I recommend with enthusiasm." In the East Hampton Star, Kurt Wenzel called it one of the top 10 books of the year. Bookseller 800ceoread put it on its extended list of the best business books of the year. And finally, Time put Myth on its list of the five best business books of the year, which seems kind of suspect. I didn't know about it beforehand, if that's any consolation. I guess it was a going-away present.
Update 2: Also on the Library Journal list of the best business books of 2009 and The Epicurean Dealmaker's list of books he's planning to read one of these days.
Myth made it on the New York Times Book Review's list of the 100 Notable Books of 2009, which will be published this weekend. It's in alphabetic order, by title, so I'm right ahead of Andre Agassi's Open: An Autobiography.
I hadn't realized that my appearance on Consuelo Mack WealthTrack in October was available in embeddable form. Thanks to Prieur du Plessis for showing me the way:
There's also a transcript where you can read semi-coherent utterances such as this one (it's better on TV):
JUSTIN FOX: It's funny, even though my book is critical of this whole idea coming out of academic finance, I spent enough time talking to all these finance professors that I immediately think to myself, "yeah, but do those guys really know where these stocks are headed?" But my thought is yeah, I should hope some people do because that's what makes, it's the work of Jerry and Robert that makes markets more efficient over time. My thinking is more power to them because I'm no good at that.
As part of its big end-of-year (even though it's only early November) best-of rankings, the book editors at Amazon.com have determined that Myth of the Rational Market is the best business book of 2009. I think the ranking is a little dubious because … aw, I'd better shut up about that now. Thanks, Amazonians!
Also, the great Gene Fama has chosen to promote the book, with a blog post criticizing it. Thanks, Gene! Here's my response.
Finally, I'll be "debating" economic policy with Bruce Bartlett and Robert Samuelson at the Lincoln Triangle Barnes & Noble on Monday night (Nov. 9). Our views run the gamut from, uh, center to center-right. So I'm sure fireworks will ensue.
That's the verdict of the editors at Amazon.com, who put The Myth of the Rational Market just ahead of Audrey Niffeneger's Her Fearful Symmetry and just behind Seth's George Sprott: 1894-1975 on their 100 Best Books of 2009 list. Hey, I beat Thomas Pynchon (Inherent Vice is #94) and William Vollmann (Imperial is #97)! Which says something about the absurdity of such rankings. Although you can't think a best-of list is absurd if your book is on it, right?
In other book-related news, the nice people at the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. gave me yet another chance to flog Myth on the radio, in an 80th-anniversary-of-the-1929 crash segment on The Current Thursday with economist Ken Rogoff. Also, my first review for the New York Times Book Review appeared on Sunday.
I just updated my upcoming events page for the first time in a while, and realized that I have enough stuff coming up in the next couple of months to merit a post. First, I'll be on the Consuelo Mack WealthTrack show on PBS this coming weekend. (Check your local listings!) Then there's this New-York-centric line-up of speaking events:
Columbia Business School, 6:30-8:30, William & June Warren Hall, 1125 Amsterdam Avenue, Feldberg Space. Register online.
Museum of American Finance, Oct. 29, 2009, 5:30-7, 48 Wall Street, New York ($15 for non-members).
New York Salon,
Nov. 9, 2009, 7-8:30, Barnes & Noble Lincoln Triangle, Broadway and
66th, New York. Tickets required (but they're free); e-mail
Drucker Business Forum, Dec. 3, 2009, Los Angeles. Details to come.
New York Society of Security Analysts, Dec. 9, 2009, 5:30-7:45, 1177 Avenue of the Americas, 2nd Floor, New York ($25 for non-members).
This was a segment of an interview I did a while back with Big Think, an very cool online endeavor created by former Charlie Rose producer Victoria Brown.
As I left Diane Rehm’s radio studio in Washington after doing her show in July, her parting words were, “Watch your Amazon ranking.” I did, and the Rehm effect was impressive, driving Myth of the Rational Market from somewhere in the 200s to as high as 112. The Daily Show effect was similar (on the Amazon rankings, at least—the Rehm show appearance also landed the book on the NYT extended bestseller list, which going on Jon Stewart did not do). I’ve already written here about the Nocera effect and the new Laffer curve.
Turns out the Krugman effect may be the most powerful of all (for my book, at least; we’re not talking Oprah material here). When Paul Krugman’s review of Myth went online the afternoon of Friday, Aug. 7, the book was in the 500s. Here’s how high it got the following Monday: