If you are not already an economist, what are the best economics books to get started? Don Boudreaux has a list of his 10 favorite economics books.
I confess that I'm at a bit of a loss when someone asks me to recommend a general introduction to economics, because I haven't read many in the last 30 years. However, Don's list includes several books that I found very, very useful when I was just starting out in economics:
Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt, started my interest in economics back when I was 16. It's fair to say that one thin book changed my life. Some of the examples in the book seemed dated–back in 1968! But the principles are still valid.
Capitalism and Freedom, by Milton Friedman, is a good book on a variety of economic topics.
The Machinery of Freedom, by David Friedman (Milton's son), takes free market economics to the ultimate degree. It's funny and thought provoking both.
The other books on Don's list I have not read, but I trust his judgment.
Let me add one other: if you are a business owner or executive, looking to understand how economics connects to your most important decisions, you'll want to read Businomics: From the Headlines to Your Bottom Line: How to Profit in Any Economic Cycle. Learn more here.