Entertaining Statistics Books for Your Summer Reading List

You have finally made it to summer! Whether you are enjoying a quiet break from school or heading out on a well-deserved holiday, there is no better time to pick up a book.

If thinking about statistics reading gives you flashes of giant textbooks, you’re not alone. But in fact, there are many books about statistics that are as engaging and creative as they are helpful. Explore this list to discover some of the most entertaining statistics books for your summer reading list.

How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter about Visual Information by Alberto Cairo

Today, data visualizations are everywhere. They present emerging trends and patterns surrounding current events to inform our understanding–but they can be misused in the public discourse. How Charts Lie uses engaging examples of charts and infographics, accompanied with plain language to teach readers how to separate the deceptive charts from the accurate ones. With a focus on the importance of data literacy for everyone, this book equips readers to analyze and question the data visualizations presented to them.

If you want more from this writer, check out this recent episode of Stats + Stories in which Alberto Cairo with fellow journalist and author Simon Rogers discuss the qualities of good data journalism.

The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics by Tim Harford

Rethink everything you think you know about statistics. In this book, Tim Harford reveals how we can reframe numbers and understand what they reveal about human behaviors. It all starts, he says, with a set of scientific and psychological practices that can help us become well-tuned data detectives to check our natural assumptions and explore new ideas—through data, of course.

Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Fans Use Mathematics in Sports, Second Edition by Wayne L. Winston, Scott Nestler, and Konstantinos Pelechrinis

For those days that are too hot for running around a field or court, don’t miss your opportunity to become an expert on sports analytics. Mathletics gives the insider mathematical methods that professional coaches and team managers use to evaluate their players and team performance. Don’t let the technical terms like “Bayesian inference” and “ridge regression” intimidate you. If the idea of working in professional sports excites you (or being able to bring some stats smarts to following your favorite teams), this book offers a beginner-friendly introduction to the field.

The Cartoon Guide to Statistics by Larry Gonick and Woollcott Smith

No matter the length of time you have been working with statistical methods, there’s always a new pun, brain twister or joke to be told. For the statistician or student who finds joy in toying with the technical terms of the practice, this classic graphic novel is a zany, playful lark. Pick this one up for a comical view of the statistician’s mind! A perfect way to stay in touch with statistics over the summer without getting too heavy.

Protecting Your Privacy in a Data-Driven World by Claire McKay Bowen

Do you wonder about organizations’ accessibility to your personal information? Privacy is an important but often misunderstood topic. For example, the insights of personal data could help inform better decisions that impact our lives, such as the COVID-19 vaccine distribution. In this book, Claire McKay Bowen explores the complexity of contemporary data privacy issues and its relation to informed policy-making decisions, and posits the question of whether some of the potential of private data is worth the tradeoff. By the end of the summer, you’ll be well-informed on current concerns about the balance between protecting personal data and serving the public good.

R Programming for Data Science by Roger D. Peng

If you’re feeling hungry to sharpen your skills this summer, challenge yourself to learn R language! This open source programming language has become an invaluable tool for statisticians and data scientists across the globe.

Ready to program and code like a pro? By the time you’re done with R Programming for Data Science, you’ll be equipped with the basics of the language, and be able to manipulate datasets, write functions, optimize code, and more.

Achieving Product Reliability: A Key to Business Success by Necip Doganaksoy, William Q. Meeker and Gerald J. Hahn

The term “statistics in practice” may not initially prompt an exciting response. However, Achieving Product Reliability combats the notion with its use of non-technical language to illustrate the vital role statistics play in modern product reliability insurance.

Whether you are a STEM student or a professional in the engineering or statistical fields, this book provides valuable industry insight that will inspire you to learn more about how statistics is used in different fields.

Want even more statistics reads? Keep reading with our previous recommendations. 

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