I thoroughly enjoyed reading Guy Sorman's Economics Does Not Lie. It is very readable and very smart. The author brings us up to date on the state of development economics as well as the status of various developing economies. The book can be enjoyed by any intelligent layman. You can even try giving it to the intellectuals on your gift list.
Institutions matter and a growing body of research elaborates this important idea. But I did not know that World Bank researchers had been at work defining and measuring intangible capital for the various countries.
This index will surely be refined over the years, but the fact that it is out there was a nice find for me.