Happy New Year!
Man, it’s 2016. Where does the time go? As we head in to 12 fresh and beautiful new months, I thought I’d take a moment to share the stats/math/science books I plan on reading in the coming year1. Some of these are books I’ve bought and been letting sit, and some are books I plan to get in the near future with the awesome Amazon gift cards I got for Christmas. If I get really ambitious, I may even put up book reviews of some of these when I’m done. I’ve also been toying with doing some sort of master stats/critical thinking book list like the Personal MBA2 list, so please add any suggestions.
January: The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World
I’m taking a Epidemiology stats class in January, and this book has been highly recommended by my science teacher brother as a compelling story of how the field got started.
February:The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdos and the Search for Mathematical Truth
How better to recognize Valentine’s Day than to read a book about a man who loved nothing but numbers? I’ve been a little obsessed with Erdos for a while now (I even got my three year old this book for Christmas), but I haven’t yet read this one.
March: Guesstimation: Solving the World’s Problems on the Back of a Cocktail Napkin
I’ve had this one half finished on my bookshelf for so long they came out with a second edition. I’ll probably just finish the one I have.
April: Understanding Sabermetrics: An Introduction to the Science of Baseball Statistics
Another one that’s been sitting on my shelf for a while….and what better month to read about stats and baseball?
May: What is a p-value anyway? 34 Stories to Help You Actually Understand Statistics
I’m always looking for new ways of explaining stats, and there’s some very cool narrative textbooks out there I’ve got my eye on to improve my repertoire. This is one of them.
June: Beautiful Data: The Stories Behind Elegant Data Solutions
Another one I’ve half finished, but June seems like a good time to read a book about beautiful things.
July: The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t
A Christmas gift from a few years back I’ve severely neglected, but need to read before we actually get to the next election.
August: Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks
I’ve admired Gelman’s work for a while (he has a great website here), and I’d be interested to see how he approaches teaching statistics to students.
September: In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World
I started this one, but I put this one down because of a busy semester, so I’ll try to get it in right at the beginning. It gives the history of some of the world’s most interesting and useful equations, their development, and how they’ve influenced the world. An interesting historical take on mathematical development.
October: Statistics Done Wrong: The Woefully Complete Guide
Just in time for Halloween, something scary.
November: The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity
Another interesting looking narrative about math book.
December: The Lady Tasting Tea: How Statistics Revolutionized Science in the Twentieth Century
Looks like a fun read for the end of a semester.
Any others you’d recommend?
1. All book links are Amazon affiliate links. Glad we had this talk. See ya out there.↩
2. I love that site, because I really like the idea of getting a somewhat functional education just from books. Obviously no one can become a statistician just from reading books, but most people can get a really good grasp on most of what they need to know. This may be my real resolution for 2016…to get a 99 book list of statistics and math books from different subcategories. So, um, recommendations welcome.↩