In yesterday's column, a rerun from early this year, I wrote about the importance of finding an investing center. Before putting a nickel into stocks you've picked on your own, you need to know what kind of investor you want to be, whether you're someone who focuses on intrinsic value or daily market moves. If you're reading this you're probably the former.

The books listed at the end of the column were geared towards beginning investors. Books like Peter Lynch's One Up on Wall Street give you a way to think about stocks. Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor provides rule of thumb valuation metrics and introduces investors to the margin of safety concept.

In today's column, I wanted to provide an updated list of investing books. The focus here isn't finding an investing center -- I'm assuming at this point you know a little about what kind of investor you are. The focus is on books that provide good business and economic history, essential for thinking about the business future, and books that burrow in on crucial topics, like risk or valuation.

If you don't know what happened to Sears (NYSE: S) in the late 1960s and 1970s, how can you understand the basic trends in discount retail today? If you don't understand the reach and power of John Rockefeller's Standard Oil empire, it's harder to put Microsoft (NYSE: MSFT) and AT&T (NYSE: T) in perspective. If you don't know anything about the way investors deal with risk, what do you have to compare your own methods of dealing with risk against?

So, here they are. A sampling of the best business and investing perspective books I've read in 2001. Enjoy.

Latticework, Robert Hagstrom

Made In America, Sam Walton

In Sam We Trust, Bob Ortega

When Genius Failed, Roger Lowenstein

Capital Ideas, Peter Bernstein

Against the Gods, Peter Bernstein

The Business of America, John Steele Gordon

Titan, Ron Chernow

New Ideas from Dead Economists, Todd Buchholz

Irrational Exuberance, Robert Shiller

Peddling Prosperity, Paul Krugman

The Accidental Theorist, Paul Krugman

Nuts, Freiberg & Freiberg

Valuation, Mckinsey & Co.

Have a great day.

Richard McCaffery doesn't own shares in any company mentioned in this report. The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.