Sunday, January 6, 2013

2013 reading, books 1-3

I decided this year to post to my reading journal every time I've read three books, so here goes:

1) The Signal and the Noise, by Nate Silver.

I've been a fan of Nate Silver's since the early days of back in 2008, and I value his commitment to looking at what the data says rather than what he wants to spin it into saying. It's so refreshing in the world of political journalism, and you can't argue with his results.

That said, I expected to find this book mathy and daunting. But it wasn't at all. OK, my eyes may have glazed over a little during the stock market and poker sections, but Silver has a knack for including clarifying charts and analogies, and I found it fascinating to see how predictions succeed and fail across a variety of fields and how we can find commonalities between them.

2) Monsoon Wedding Fever, by Shoma Narayanan.

I chose this for my first book in Wendy the Superlibrarian's 2013 romance reading challenge, and I will post about it in more detail on the 16th.

3) The Fiddler on Pantico Run, by Joe Mozingo.

A memoir/family history about the LA Times journalist author's discovery that his supposedly Italian last name was actually African and had somehow survived all the way from the 17th century even after most of the original American Mozingo's descendants had passed into the white community. A rambling but intriguing journey through the author's family tree, with visits to his distant cousins and excursions to Jamestown, Cameroon, and Angola.

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