Books to read at the cricket? The Price of Fish by Ian Harris and Michael Mainelli

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Ged Ladd writes:

Disclosure: One of The Price Of Fish’s authors, Ian Harris, is my nom d’actualité.

I had been invited by the London School of Economics for a video interview around some of the subject matter in the award-winning book, The Price of Fish, A New Approach to Wicked Economics and Better Decisions, available through all good book outlets – possibly even through bad outlets.

Needing to mug up a bit, seven or eight years after writing the thing, I took the book with me to Lord’s on a sunny September afternoon. I figured that two or three hours of dipping and skimming at cricket would be enough revision for interview purposes.

I felt a little queasy about being seen reading my own book, so I plonked myself at the front of the despised end of the Grandstand, by the junction with the Compton Stand. The leg room is good on that bend, but few people go there on county days.

As I pondered the consilience between choice, economics, systems and evolution, I also wondered which various subjects might combine to achieve a profound understanding of cricket. Then I decided that I should consign that thought to Pseuds’ Corner.

I also wondered why, when I am batting, my “play or leave” decisions and choice of shots is so awful, given my supposed insights into better decisions.

I then spotted an advertising hoarding for John White clobber and wondered whether my good mate John was moonlighting without telling us.

But despite my mind wandering a bit, I achieved my bookish revision objectives in good time. Then I realised that it was getting darned cold, despite the sun, so I took sanctuary in the pavilion writing room for the last 30 to 40 minutes of play, with my book secreted in my bag.

In summary, The Price Of Fish

  • is a cracking good read (he would say that, wouldn’t he?)
  • works as a “dipping into” book, which can be most useful when attending a cricket match
  • is excellent at helping you make better big, long-term decisions about your life, your work, the planet and everything
  • is utterly useless at helping you decide whether to play or leave a ball when it is hurtling along the corridor of uncertainty, possibly in the direction of your off stump
  • is most certainly suitable as cricket match reading for spectators, but almost certainly not for the cricketers involved in that match

Have you tried to read summat while at a cricket match? Let us know how it went at


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  1. Off topic, but had anyone seen the Oman vs Scotland ODI series scores, currently going on

    ODI 1 : Oman 26 a.o, Scotland chased it down in 3 overs
    ODI 2 (the very next day, on the same pitch): Oman has scored a rather more respectable 248/8 and Scotland seem to be struggling in response. They are 3 down for not much as I write.

    How’s that for unpredictability!

  2. Being a recent convert to The Economist I look forward to reading it and hope for the copy to be signed at some point.

    1. Hope you enjoy the read and of course I’d be delighted to sign your copy or indeed anybody’s.

      I don’t think I have ever shared with you/the King Cricket community the sorry/silly tale of my first ever book signing:

      Clean Business Cuisine is also a thumping good read, btw, though I say so myself.

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