BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Page last updated at 11:01 GMT, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 12:01 UK

Found a treasure of a book?

Adam and his books
Send in your book suggestions and email reviews by emailing me.

Shelves now groan under the weight of a pick and mix of personal finance books.

Paul McKenna says 'I can make you rich.' Peter Jones from Dragon's Den tries to do one better with his 'How to Be REALLY Rich' and Warren Buffett has his essays on how to invest.

There are loads of these guides to money and so I thought it would be useful for me to have my own guide to the guides.

It will be a summary of the main books and my own personal thoughts on what they provide.

Get in touch if you have any good or bad reviews of personal finance books. I look forward to receiving them! Email me by clicking here. Or drop me a line at working.lunch@bbc.co.uk

ADAM'S REVIEW
Shares Made Simple by Rodney Hobson

Shares Made Simply by Rodney Hobson, Harriman House

There are lots of beginner guides to the stock market.

Whilst they are all different, they are also very similar.

This one goes through the main issues from what shares are, how the stock exchange works, how to invest and detail of how takeovers work.

One of the more useful sections is on how to analyse the results.

I think this is a good introduction to the subject for the absolute beginner but in its later chapters it also provides some useful tips for those who know a bit about the markets and want to know more or use it as a reference tool.

ADAM'S REVIEW
Understanding Accounting by Derek Stone

Understanding Accounting by Derek Stone, In Your Own Words Ltd, design by  Raymond Mack

There is no getting away from it - accountancy is not the stuff of boyhood dreams.

Ask a group of kids what they want to do and pop star, pilot and footballer might rank highly - accountant will not often be there.

We used to have a sign on the programme which flashed on the main screen reading "Boring But Important." We used it when we felt there was something we really thought would make a difference to our viewers but were worried that they would not find it something worth watching.

That's the sign that flashed in my head when I got a copy of "Understanding Accounting!" Why understanding accountancy needs an exclamation mark is not clear but this book has done its best to make the dry subject come to life.

It's not a summer read but as a reference manual for someone setting up their business this does introduce some key concepts in as easy as possible manner.

There is a small glossary of terms which is good to have at hand and attempts an explanation of why accountancy can help you understand how a business is doing.

As a result, it may also be useful to investors trying to analyse companies as well as those running them.

ADAM'S REVIEW
A History of The London Stock Market by George G Blakey

A History of The London Stock Market by George G Blakey, Harriman House

This is an incredibly methodical and detailed analysis of the stock market.

It begins when the second world war was starting and the Financial Times Ordinary Index plunged to a low of 49.4. The modern version of the index is now hovering around 6,000 which shows you how far things have changed since then.

In 1947 the main stock market index of leading shares had such companies as Dunlop, Harrods and Morris Motors - names which have long since left the stock market listings.

It's not a book to be read in one sitting but it is well written, to the point and a great reference source. It's also surprisingly relevant to some of the stories of today and helps set what look like new topics into their proper context.

Whilst I might pass other books onto my colleagues once I've read them, this one is going to remain firmly on my desktop.

ADAM'S REVIEW
The Best Book On The Market by Eamonn Butler

The Best Book On The Market by Eamonn Butler, John Wiley & Sons Ltd 2008

Judging a book by its cover

Its just the right size which is the thing I like best.

As a journalists who has to write everything in three minute chunks, which is about 540 words, I do get angry at authors who can't say what they have to get off their chests in less than 350 pages. A book that long really better have something important to say. So this wins on being shortish at 160 pages and a small enough format to fit in my pocket to read on the way home.

Review

Few books can have so many famous endorsements. This book has won plaudits from inventors Sir Clive Sinclair, and Trevor Baylis. It's endorsed by the former Prime Minister of Estonia, The President of the Czech republic, the former Prime Minister of Estonia abnd the former Finance Minister of New Zealand. If these are his book endorsements, what on earth are Eamonn Butler's dinner party guests like?

It's written in a nice easy style. Eamonn has personalised his tale so the economics of the market place are told via a fun tale about visit a Chinese market to have his trousers shortened. But this is not a book of tip on how to invest in the market. Rather it's a book about economics and what the market in general is meant to do.

At first I did wonder who this was aimed at. In a lot of ways it is a bit basic and so I thought most likely to be read by an A-Level economics student eager to do some background reading. It explains how the price of a product sends messages throughout the economy which makes the economy work.

It talks about subjective pricing - why we value things differently and as a result why both buyers and sellers can feel they have got a good bargain. There are also some fascinating facts, like the fact that government price controls were not just a thing of the 1970s. It goes back to Hammurabi of Baylon in 1760 BC.

But the more I read the more interesting it became. I don't know whether it really is the "Best Book On The Market" but it is a jolly good and very interesting read and a great introduction for anyone who wants an insight into the market economy.




FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

banner watch listen bbc sport Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific