Book Review – Naked Statistics

In Naked Statistics, Charles Whelan does a great, and often very funny, job of not only explaining statistics in very simple terms, but also explaining why you should understand statistics. Statistics can be used to simplify complex situations to a small set of indexes or metrics, many of which are meaningful only for relative comparisons.… Read More »

Book Review – Mind Wide Open

I like the first hand, get involved, stick my head into a large object style of science writing that characterizes Mind Wide Open. While perhaps not as personal as when Mary Roach had sex with her husband during a functional MRI in Bonk: the Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, I think Johnson deserves some… Read More »

Book Review – The Brewmaster’s Table

Although it took two attempts separated by over a year for me to read the entirety of The Brewmaster’s Table, it was time very well spent. Garrett Oliver has written the best book I’ve read on beer and food pairing. In addition, it’s a fantastic introduction to how beer is made, including in depth discussions… Read More »

Book Review – How Not to Be Wrong

How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg is a very funny and beautiful book about math and is my favorite book of the year so far. It’s very rare that when I finish a book, I have the urge to read it again. But, that’s how I felt after finishing How Not to Be Wrong,… Read More »

Book Review – Krewe

Despite celebrating Mardi Gras as the most important holiday for most of my life, I knew very little about the origin of New Orleans Carnival. Krewe filled in a lot of blanks, while still leaving some open, and creating even more. One big surprise for me is that the founders of New Orleans Carnival were mostly… Read More »

Book Review – Data Science for Business

Provost and Fawcett do a fantastic job of describing the main techniques used in data mining – classification, clustering and regression – along with high level explanations of the algorithms most commonly used for each. In addition, they present an expected value framework that is very useful for choosing the right balance between true positives,… Read More »

Book Review – Zero to One

I enjoyed Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future, by Peter Thiel, more than I expected. It’s a good complement to The Hard Thing about Hard Things. Zero to One provides more guidance on what makes a startup idea more likely to be viable, while THTAHT focuses more on how… Read More »

Book Review – The Hard Thing about Hard Things

Ben Horowitz has assembled a great collection of hard fought knowledge for future founding CEOs. I took away a lot from this book, despite neither being a CEO nor planning to be one. Anyone who intends to take a leadership role in a company, especially in high tech, should read it. The advice on hiring… Read More »

Book Review – Creativity, Inc.

Creativity, Inc. is both a great insider’s look at the history of Pixar and a primer on how to nurture and manage a creative culture. An added bonus is new insight, at least for me, into the complex intellectual force that was Steve Jobs. It’s now hard to imagine that Pixar struggled as a company,… Read More »

Book Review – Complications

Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande is a very engaging and enjoyable book about Gawande’s experiences as a medical resident, grouped by chapters on fallibility, mystery and uncertainty. In many of the cases, mystery and fear of fallibility contribute greatly to the uncertainty. As with some other specialized fields, outsiders… Read More »