A great book I just finished reading is The Secret Financial Life of Food by Kara Newman which presents a broad overview of trading food based commodities in a fun, quick and approachable read. The book is broken down in chapters based upon the history of trading certain products such as soybeans, cattle, corn, etc.... but there are also some chapters based upon non pit-traded commodities such as spices. Most of us are guilty of not putting any thought into how these markets were developed and the book gives a good retrospective on how the markets originated, grew and sometimes failed.
The research she put into her work is really amazing but doesn't beat the reader over the head with unnecessary facts. This book filled in a lot of knowledge gaps for myself and one of the interesting things was to learn a little history on the American Liquor Exchange as seen below. (click to enlarge photos)
I definitely recommend picking up the book which is already available even though the official publishing date is next week, here's the amazon link. It's a reasonably quick read which can be knocked out on a flight or two easily.