Category: Book Reviews

Some reading highlights from 2016

I’ve written my usual annual roundup of my non fiction reading here. My two favourites were The Undoing Project, by Michael Lewis. Whatever book he turns his hand to he seems to find something interesting to say. In this case, I was sceptical, as I felt the definitive way to read about Daniel Kahneman and Amos…

Book Review: Weapons of Math Destruction

Today’s book review is Weapons of Math Destruction, How big data increases inequality and threatens Democracy, by Cathy O’Neil. Cathy O’Neil is a data scientist, with a PhD in mathematics, who blogs here. She has built models, and also tried to deconstruct them for those affected by them. This book is a thoughtful examination of the uses…

Book Review: Superforecasting

Today’s book review is Superforecasting: The art and science of Prediction, by Philip E Tetlock and Dan Gardner. When I explain my work as an actuary to people not involved in finance, I explain that I work out how much money the insurance company needs to set aside from the premiums it receives to make sure…

Book Review: Lost Enlightenment

Today’s book review is a bit different for this blog – the book is a fairly dense history of a part of the world that doesn’t get much attention these days. It is Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane, by S Frederick Starr. I bought this book after becoming fascinated by the…

What did I read in 2015?

I’ve written up my annual page about what I read in 2015 here. This year there was a lot of history, inspired by my travels. In this post, I’m just mentioning the books that I enjoyed the most. First, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, by Walter Isaacson A very…

What did I read in 2014?

I’ve written up my annual page about what I read in 2014 here. In this post, I’m just mentioning the books that I enjoyed the most. First, The Wife Drought, by Annabel Crabb. I reviewed that one here, and you can see I really enjoyed it. It’s my pick for the year. Second, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by…

Book Review: The Power of Noticing

Today’s book review is The Power of Noticing: What the Best Leaders See, by Max H Bazerman, Harvard Business School Professor. Bazerman is a scholar of decision making, and is Co-Director of the Harvard Kennedy’s School Centre for Public leadership. His thesis is that fundamentally that if you become better at noticing the unexpected, the surprising,…