After the run of economic doomsday books of the last two or three years, it's a relief to see some ''good news'' books for a change. Certainly, it is more cheering to read the writings of optimists than pessimists. But more importantly, the optimists are more likely right at the moment.
The prophets of gloom and doom last year were predicting currency collapse, hyperinflation, and great depression. What we are actually experiencing is a strong United States dollar, rapidly declining inflation, and a moderate recession that most economists expect to end this spring or summer.
Unfortunately, both of these books attempt to use in some degree the same publishing format and formula (though reversed in theme) that helped put Douglas R. Casey's ''Crisis Investing: Opportunities and Profits in the Coming Great Depression'' (Stratford Press, distributed by Harper & Row) and Jerome F. Smith's ''The Coming Currency Collapse, and What You Can Do About It'' (Books in Focus) into the top 10 best-seller lists early last year. It reminds one of sequels to a popular movie; from the standpoint of quality, most of them are flops.
In this case, the Williams book is poorly executed and over-priced. The Kandel volume is well-written, sensible in content, and so probably useful to those who want to invest in the stock market. But this ''boom'' book has the strengths and weaknesses of financial journalism; it is not a comprehensive manual for investors.
Larry R. Williams is an investment-letter writer -- and apparently a successful investor; he wrote an earlier book called ''How I Made a Million Dollars Trading Commodities.'' This latest book, though, is sloppy. It includes several factual or printing mistakes that should have been caught by editors. It is poorly organized. The last chapters have the feel of someone trying to pad out the writing to meet a specified length. And, like some of the authors of the doomsday books, Mr. Williams unabashedly recommends his own investment letter and his previous book.