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20 books on scientific, analytical or quantitative topics

Here at JMP, we love a good nonfiction book. And if it involves data, numbers, statistics or science, then all the better.

I asked my colleagues to share the names of nonfiction books that are quantitative, analytical or scientific that they have enjoyed. Perhaps their ideas will help you find a gift for a friend, co-worker or family member. Or maybe you can add some of these suggestions to your own reading list. And please share, in comments, your favorite nonfiction books of this kind.

Here's our collective list (presented alphabetically by author's last name):

  1. Against The Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter L. Bernstein
  2. An Accidental Statistician: The Life and Memories of George E.P. Box by George E.P. Box
  3. Thinking: The New Science of Decision-Makin​g, Problem-Solvin​g, and Prediction by John Brockman
  4. At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson
  5. Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction by Frank Close
  6. Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot by Peter Crane
  7. Numbersense: How to Use Big Data to Your Advantage by Kaiser Fung
  8. Optimal Design of Experiments by Peter Goos and Bradley Jones
  9. The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day by David Hand (to be published in February 2014; a colleague got an advance copy)
  10. The Elements of Statistical Learning: Data Mining, Inference, and Prediction by Trevor Hastie, Robert Tibshirani and Jerome Friedman
  11. The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic and How It Changed Science, Cities, an... by Steven Johnson
  12. The Eighth Day of Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Biology by Horace Freeland Judson
  13. In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Stephen Levy
  14. The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes' Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarin... by Sharon Bertsch McGrayne
  15. Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? The Surprising Science of Pregnancy by Jena Pincott
  16. Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach
  17. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  18. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  19. Weird Life: The Search for Life That Is Very, Very Different from Our Own by David Toomey
  20. Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity by David Foster Wallace
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    Mark wrote:

    Solid list. I've added several books to my 'to-read' list on Goodreads. Thanks for sharing.


    Arati Mejdal wrote:

    Thank you, Mark! Glad to hear that. Let us know if you have any to add.