Wednesday , December 1 2021
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Interesting books arriving on my pile

Summary:
The books I’m actually reading this week are: Mastermind by Maria Konnikova – drawing on the life of Arthur Conan Doyle and the adventures of Sherlock Holmes as inspiration to riff on creativity, rationality and memory. A pleasure to read and full of good ideas. Rationality: What it is, Why it seems scarce, Why it matters by Steven Pinker. Lots of ideas in logic, behavioural science and statistics, explained with wit and clarity. It’s worth the cover price just to read his explanation of how a best-fit line works. What else? I’ve enjoyed watching Climate Change by Numbers (two weeks left to watch), although goodness me it takes a long time to say anything on the telly, doesn’t it? Still, my friends Hannah Fry and David Spiegelhalter are in fine form and I learned

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The books I’m actually reading this week are:

Mastermind by Maria Konnikova – drawing on the life of Arthur Conan Doyle and the adventures of Sherlock Holmes as inspiration to riff on creativity, rationality and memory. A pleasure to read and full of good ideas.

Rationality: What it is, Why it seems scarce, Why it matters by Steven Pinker. Lots of ideas in logic, behavioural science and statistics, explained with wit and clarity. It’s worth the cover price just to read his explanation of how a best-fit line works.

What else? I’ve enjoyed watching Climate Change by Numbers (two weeks left to watch), although goodness me it takes a long time to say anything on the telly, doesn’t it? Still, my friends Hannah Fry and David Spiegelhalter are in fine form and I learned some interesting things about the history of temperature measurement.

Also on the pile:

Pete Dyson and Rory Sutherland, Transport for Humans – fizzing with counterintuitions about transport. So much fun.

An Answer For Everything: 200 Infographics To Explain the World – there seem to be a lot of these books about these days, but this looks vivid and an interesting choice of topics. I will try to take a proper look…

Life is Simple by Johnjoe McFadden – an intellectual history of Occam’s Razor? Sounds good to me, and getting good reviews, but alas I have not yet read it.

The paperback of “How To Make The World Add Up” is now out. US title: “The Data Detective”.

“One of the most wonderful collections of stories that I have read in a long time… fascinating.”- Steve Levitt (Freakonomics)

“If you aren’t in love with stats before reading this book, you will be by the time you’re done.”- Caroline Criado Perez (Invisible Women)

I’ve set up a storefront on Bookshop in the United States and the United Kingdom – have a look and see all my recommendations; Bookshop is set up to support local independent retailers. Links to Bookshop and Amazon may generate referral fees.

Tim Harford
Tim is an economist, journalist and broadcaster. He is author of “Messy” and the million-selling “The Undercover Economist”, a senior columnist at the Financial Times, and the presenter of Radio 4’s “More or Less” and the iTunes-topping series “Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy”. Tim has spoken at TED, PopTech and the Sydney Opera House and is a visiting fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford.

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