I just finished reading Naked Economics by Charlie Wheelan. Excellent read.
If you want to understand how economies work, how money is created, why recessions happen, where does inflation come from, and how governments try to control it, this book will provide an authoritative view in a very easy to digest style.
Wheelan is a former correspondent of the Economist magazine - and it shows. He approaches his subject without any technical jargon and uses everyday examples to drive home his point. He also exhibits the wry sense of humor you often find in the pages of Economist, which keeps the narrative fresh and entertaining.
While the intent of Naked Economics is similar to what books like Freakonomics set out to do, i.e. bring the understanding and fascination of economics to a wide audience - the approach is different. Where Freakonomics starts with a set of questions and uses economics to explain them, Naked Economics starts with a set of economics ideas and uses examples to show their relevance to us. I personally found this style to be more rewarding as you come away with a much deeper understanding of the subject.
Wheelan keeps a balanced view, telling you both why good governance is essential for economic growth and why too much government is bad. He tells you why GDP might not be the perfect measure of a nations's progress, but also manages to convince you that it is the best measure that we can have.
All in all, this is a thoroughly enjoyable book about an important and fascinating science. It is my belief that if more citizens were more familiar with economics, the world would be a better place - and Naked Economics is certainly a great place to start.