The list of top-selling books is rather paltry this time around, as we hit the middle of May. It’s comprised of a mix of older books still showing a bit of stamina (Rumsfeld & Bush memoirs) and newbies from strong, respected writers sure to forge a track record of their own (Fukuyama & Wilber).

And then, bringing up the rear, is a book drawn from the contributions of two highly regarded economists and professors at a recent public policy symposium. The topic is an overhaul of the U.S. financial markets — Krosnzer focuses on regulatory issues while Shiller tackles the more human side of the equation. Both are sure to be authoritative voices in the ongoing debate on financial reform now engrossing Washington.


Political Bestsellers — May 15, 2011

[click on author’s name to be routed to Book World’s review]

1. The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution

(FSG, $35). By Francis Fukuyama

2. Known and Unknown: A Memoir

(Sentinel, $36). By Donald Rumsfeld

3. Decision Points (Crown, $35)

By George W. Bush

4. Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan

REFILE - CORRECTING YEAR U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta 2011 Financial Markets Conference in Stone Mountain, Georgia, April 4, 2011. Bernanke said on Monday he expects the recent spike in inflation to be "transitory." REUTERS/Tami Chappell (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS) (TAMI CHAPPELL/REUTERS)

5. Reforming U.S. Financial Markets: Reflections Before and Beyond Dodd-Frank (Alvin Hansen Symposium on Public Policy at Harvard University)

(MIT, $19.95). By Randall S. Kroszner & Robert J. Shiller

Drawn from Book World’s bestseller data supplied by Nielsen BookScan for the week ending May 8, 2011 (culled from the top 50 titles sold). The chart may not be reproduced without permission from Nielsen BookScan. Copyright © 2011