33 books like The Cartoon Guide to Statistics

By Larry Gonick, Woollcott Smith,

Here are 33 books that The Cartoon Guide to Statistics fans have personally recommended if you like The Cartoon Guide to Statistics. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

Martin Sternstein Author Of Barron's AP Statistics

From my list on statistical insights into social issues.

Why am I passionate about this?

I taught for 45 years at Ithaca College broken by two years as Fulbright Professor in West Africa at the University of Liberia. During my years in academia, I developed several new courses including a popular “Math in Africa” class and the first U.S. course for college credit in chess theory. I’ve always had a passion for and continue to have strong interests in (1) national educational and social issues concerning equal access to math education for all and (2) teaching others about the power of mathematics and statistics to help one more deeply understand social issues.

Martin's book list on statistical insights into social issues

Martin Sternstein Why did Martin love this book?

Steven Levitt, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, has written a thoughtful book at the layperson level to help one understand how mathematical and economic tools provide insights into sensitive social issues from racism to abortion.

He delves into predicting the long-term consequences of short-term decisions. This book is not intended for the college classroom, and it is controversial, but I found it to be a fascinating read.

By Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Freakonomics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The legendary bestseller that made millions look at the world in a radically different way returns in a new edition, now including an exclusive discussion between the authors and bestselling professor of psychology Angela Duckworth.

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? Which should be feared more: snakes or french fries? Why do sumo wrestlers cheat? In this groundbreaking book, leading economist Steven Levitt—Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and winner of the American Economic Association’s John Bates Clark medal for the economist under 40 who has made the greatest contribution to the discipline—reveals that…


Book cover of How to Lie with Statistics

Bastiaan C. van Fraassen Author Of Philosophy and Science of Risk: An Introduction

From my list on exploring the meaning of probability and risk.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve wanted to be a philosopher since I read Plato’s Phaedo when I was 17, a new immigrant in Canada. Since then, I’ve been fascinated with time, space, and quantum mechanics and involved in the great debates about their mysteries. I saw probability coming into play more and more in curious roles both in the sciences and in practical life. These five books led me on an exciting journey into the history of probability, the meaning of risk, and the use of probability to assess the possibility of harm. I was gripped, entertained, illuminated, and often amazed at what I was discovering. 

Bastiaan's book list on exploring the meaning of probability and risk

Bastiaan C. van Fraassen Why did Bastiaan love this book?

I am laughing out loud, even now that I am rereading this book for the umpteenth time. Fraudsters are so clever, and so is advertising. And then there is sloppy journalism with its “wow” statistics.

I like his book enormously, not least because of its witty illustrations. It is subversive, comic, and provocative, and it makes me wise to seductive, misleading practices–and it does so with a light touch.

By Darrell Huff, Irving Geis (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked How to Lie with Statistics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From distorted graphs and biased samples to misleading averages, there are countless statistical dodges that lend cover to anyone with an ax to grind or a product to sell. With abundant examples and illustrations, Darrell Huff's lively and engaging primer clarifies the basic principles of statistics and explains how they're used to present information in honest and not-so-honest ways. Now even more indispensable in our data-driven world than it was when first published, How to Lie with Statistics is the book that generations of readers have relied on to keep from being fooled.


Book cover of Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data

Martin Sternstein Author Of Barron's AP Statistics

From my list on statistical insights into social issues.

Why am I passionate about this?

I taught for 45 years at Ithaca College broken by two years as Fulbright Professor in West Africa at the University of Liberia. During my years in academia, I developed several new courses including a popular “Math in Africa” class and the first U.S. course for college credit in chess theory. I’ve always had a passion for and continue to have strong interests in (1) national educational and social issues concerning equal access to math education for all and (2) teaching others about the power of mathematics and statistics to help one more deeply understand social issues.

Martin's book list on statistical insights into social issues

Martin Sternstein Why did Martin love this book?

Statistics is shown to be anything but dry in this book, as using wit, intuition, and clarity, the author shows how statistical concepts relate to everyday life.

He is able to separate important ideas from overly technical details, hence the title, Naked Statistics. I took many of his approaches to heart in my teaching. Wheelan gives many examples of how using readily available data yields deep inferences about the world we live in.

By Charles Wheelan,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Naked Statistics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Once considered tedious, the field of statistics is rapidly evolving into a discipline Hal Varian, chief economist at Google, has actually called "sexy." From batting averages and political polls to game shows and medical research, the real-world application of statistics continues to grow by leaps and bounds. How can we catch schools that cheat on standardized tests? How does Netflix know which movies you'll like? What is causing the rising incidence of autism? As best-selling author Charles Wheelan shows us in Naked Statistics, the right data and a few well-chosen statistical tools can help us answer these questions and more.…


Book cover of Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences

Martin Sternstein Author Of Barron's AP Statistics

From my list on statistical insights into social issues.

Why am I passionate about this?

I taught for 45 years at Ithaca College broken by two years as Fulbright Professor in West Africa at the University of Liberia. During my years in academia, I developed several new courses including a popular “Math in Africa” class and the first U.S. course for college credit in chess theory. I’ve always had a passion for and continue to have strong interests in (1) national educational and social issues concerning equal access to math education for all and (2) teaching others about the power of mathematics and statistics to help one more deeply understand social issues.

Martin's book list on statistical insights into social issues

Martin Sternstein Why did Martin love this book?

The author shows how our inability to deal rationally with data results in misinformed governmental policies, muddled personal decisions, and a heightened vulnerability to accepting baseless conclusions.

With examples from drug testing and sex discrimination to law and relative risk, and everything in between, the reader is shown how understanding numbers can improve society as a whole as well as better individual lives. I’ve handed out copies of this book to my students, friends, and academic associates.

By John Allen Paulos,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Innumeracy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why do even well-educated people often understand so little about maths - or take a perverse pride in not being a 'numbers person'?

In his now-classic book Innumeracy, John Allen Paulos answers questions such as: Why is following the stock market exactly like flipping a coin? How big is a trillion? How fast does human hair grow in mph? Can you calculate the chances that a party includes two people who have the same birthday? Paulos shows us that by arming yourself with some simple maths, you don't have to let numbers get the better of you.


Book cover of The Art of Statistics: How to Learn from Data

Valliappa Lakshmanan Author Of Data Science on the Google Cloud Platform: Implementing End-To-End Real-Time Data Pipelines: From Ingest to Machine Learning

From my list on if you want to become a data scientist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started my career as a research scientist building machine learning algorithms for weather forecasting. Twenty years later, I found myself at a precision agriculture startup creating models that provided guidance to farmers on when to plant, what to plant, etc. So, I am part of the movement from academia to industry. Now, at Google Cloud, my team builds cross-industry solutions and I see firsthand what our customers need in their data science teams. This set of books is what I suggest when a CTO asks how to upskill their workforce, or when a graduate student asks me how to break into the industry.

Valliappa's book list on if you want to become a data scientist

Valliappa Lakshmanan Why did Valliappa love this book?

What if you are faced with a problem for which a standard approach doesn’t yet exist? In such a case, you will need to be able to figure out the approach from the first principles. This book will help you learn how to derive insights starting from raw data.

By David Spiegelhalter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Art of Statistics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A statistical national treasure' Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2

'Required reading for all politicians, journalists, medics and anyone who tries to influence people (or is influenced) by statistics. A tour de force' Popular Science

Do busier hospitals have higher survival rates? How many trees are there on the planet? Why do old men have big ears? David Spiegelhalter reveals the answers to these and many other questions - questions that can only be addressed using statistical science.

Statistics has played a leading role in our scientific understanding of the world for centuries, yet we are all familiar with the way…


Book cover of The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics

Donald Barclay Author Of Disinformation: The Nature of Facts and Lies in the Post-Truth Era

From my list on understanding, untangling, and coping with problematic information.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my career as an academic librarian, I was often asked to teach students to think about the credibility of the information they incorporate into their academic, professional, personal, and civic lives. In my teaching and writing, I have struggled to make sense of the complex and nuanced factors that make some information more credible and other information less so. I don’t have all the answers for dealing with problematic information, but I try hard to convince people to think carefully about the information they encounter before accepting any of it as credible or dismissing any of it as non-credible.

Donald's book list on understanding, untangling, and coping with problematic information

Donald Barclay Why did Donald love this book?

I constantly recommend The Data Detective because it serves as an unmatched handbook for making sense of the statistical data to which we are constantly exposed.

What I like about it, besides its lively, readable style, is that the book convincingly and clearly explains 1) why we need statistical data to make informed decisions, 2) the factors that go into producing reliable statistics, 3) the factors that can produce unreliable statistics, and 4) how any statistics, reliable or not, can be misused to deceive us.

The author, Tim Harford, is an economist who writes for the Financial Times and hosts the brilliant podcast Cautionary Tales.

By Tim Harford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Data Detective as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From “one of the great (greatest?) contemporary popular writers on economics” (Tyler Cowen) comes a smart, lively, and encouraging rethinking of how to use statistics.

Today we think statistics are the enemy, numbers used to mislead and confuse us. That’s a mistake, Tim Harford says in The Data Detective. We shouldn’t be suspicious of statistics—we need to understand what they mean and how they can improve our lives: they are, at heart, human behavior seen through the prism of numbers and are often “the only way of grasping much of what is going on around us.” If we can toss…


Book cover of Counting: How We Use Numbers to Decide What Matters

Carolyn Purnell Author Of The Sensational Past: How the Enlightenment Changed the Way We Use Our Senses

From my list on everyday things we take for granted.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a historian who’s spent far too much time thinking about how the color magenta contributed to climate change and why eighteenth-century humanitarians were obsessed with tobacco enemas. My favorite historical topics—like sensation, color, and truth—don’t initially seem historical, but that’s exactly why they need to be explored. I’ve learned that the things that seem like second nature are where our deepest cultural assumptions and unconscious biases hide. In addition to writing nonfiction, I’ve been lucky enough to grow up on a ranch, live in Paris, work as an interior design writer, teach high school and college, and help stray dogs get adopted.

Carolyn's book list on everyday things we take for granted

Carolyn Purnell Why did Carolyn love this book?

I had never really given much thought to counting until I read this book, but in the very first chapter, Stone made me rethink everything I thought I knew about “one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.” She shows that every time we count, we’re making cultural assumptions. For example, what counts as a fish? And what makes the color of the fish more relevant than other features? Counting reveals that while these choices may seem intuitive, basic, and meaningless, they have very real impacts on people’s lives. Especially when we use numbers to measure things like merit, poverty, race, and productivity, those fundamental assumptions matter more than we care to admit.  

By Deborah Stone,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Counting as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Early in her extraordinary career, Deborah Stone wrote Policy Paradox, a landmark work on politics. Now, in Counting, she revolutionises how we approach numbers and shows how counting shapes the way we see the world. Most of us think of counting as a skill so basic that we see numbers as objective, indisputable facts. Not so, says Stone. In this playful-yet-probing work, Stone reveals the inescapable link between quantifying and classifying, and explains how counting determines almost every facet of our lives-from how we are evaluated at work to how our political opinions are polled to whether we get into…


Book cover of Statistics and Data Analysis for Financial Engineering: With R Examples

Ernest P. Chan Author Of Quantitative Trading: How to Build Your Own Algorithmic Trading Business

From my list on quantitative trading for beginners.

Why am I passionate about this?

A noted quantitative hedge fund manager and quant finance author, Ernie is the founder of QTS Capital Management and Predictnow.ai. Previously he has applied his expertise in machine learning at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center’s Human Language Technologies group, at Morgan Stanley’s Data Mining and Artificial Intelligence Group, and at Credit Suisse’s Horizon Trading Group. Ernie was quoted by Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, and the CIO magazine, and interviewed on CNBC’s Closing Bell program. He is an adjunct faculty at Northwestern University’s Master’s in Data Science program and supervises student theses there. Ernie holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cornell University.

Ernest's book list on quantitative trading for beginners

Ernest P. Chan Why did Ernest love this book?

I have used this book to teach my Financial Risk Analytics course at Northwestern University for many years. As a textbook, it is surprisingly easy to read, and the abundant exercises are great. This would be a foundational text to read after you have read my own books. It puts you on solid ground to understand all the financial babble that you may read elsewhere. It includes extensive coverage of most basic topics important to a serious quantitative trader, while not being overly mathematical. Easily understandable if you have basic programming and math background from first year of university.

Everything is practical in this book, which isn’t what you would expect from a textbook! There is no math for math’s sake. I have used the techniques discussed in this book for real trading, and for creating features at my machine learning SaaS predictnow.ai. Examples: What’s the difference between net…

By David Ruppert, David S. Matteson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Statistics and Data Analysis for Financial Engineering as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The new edition of this influential textbook, geared towards graduate or advanced undergraduate students, teaches the statistics necessary for financial engineering. In doing so, it illustrates concepts using financial markets and economic data, R Labs with real-data exercises, and graphical and analytic methods for modeling and diagnosing modeling errors. These methods are critical because financial engineers now have access to enormous quantities of data. To make use of this data, the powerful methods in this book for working with quantitative information, particularly about volatility and risks, are essential. Strengths of this fully-revised edition include major additions to the R code…


Book cover of Modern Mathematical Statistics with Applications

Chris Conlan Author Of Algorithmic Trading with Python: Quantitative Methods and Strategy Development

From my list on mathematics for quant finance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a financial data scientist. I think it is important that data scientists are highly specialized if they want to be effective in their careers. I run a business called Conlan Scientific out of Charlotte, NC where me and my team of financial data scientists tackle complicated machine learning problems for our clients. Quant trading is a gladiator’s arena of financial data science. Anyone can try it, but few succeed at it. I am sharing my top five list of math books that are essential to success in this field. I hope you enjoy.

Chris' book list on mathematics for quant finance

Chris Conlan Why did Chris love this book?

One of my favorite professors, Gretchen Martinet, used this to teach a course called “Mathematical Statistics” when I was at the University of Virginia. It is an extremely profound course full of dense but fundamental mathematical proofs in classical statistics. 

You will learn why the formula for the normal distribution is the way it is, why the sum of squares appears everywhere in statistics, and how to fit a linear regression by hand. In the same way calculus elevates our understanding of rates of changes, the book elevates your understanding of samples, averages, and distributions. Quant trading requires an intuitive sense of how data, models, and aggregates work, making this content essential for your success.

By Jay L. DeVore, Kenneth N. Berk,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Modern Mathematical Statistics with Applications as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Modern Mathematical Statistics with Applications, Second Edition strikes a balance between mathematical foundations and statistical practice. In keeping with the recommendation that every math student should study statistics and probability with an emphasis on data analysis, accomplished authors Jay Devore and Kenneth Berk make statistical concepts and methods clear and relevant through careful explanations and a broad range of applications involving real data.

The main focus of the book is on presenting and illustrating methods of inferential statistics that are useful in research. It begins with a chapter on descriptive statistics that immediately exposes the reader to real data. The…


Book cover of R in Action: Data Analysis and Graphics with R

Tilman M. Davies Author Of The Book of R: A First Course in Programming and Statistics

From my list on intro to programming and data science with R.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an applied statistician and academic researcher/lecturer at New Zealand’s oldest university – the University of Otago. R facilitates everything I do – research, academic publication, and teaching. It’s the latter part of my job that motivated my own book on R. From first-year statistics students who have never seen R to my own Ph.D. students using R to implement novel and highly complex statistical methods and models, my experience is that all ultimately love the ease with which the R language permits exploration, visualisation, analysis, and inference of one’s data. The ever-growing need in today’s society for skilled statisticians and data scientists means there's never been a better time to learn this essential language.

Tilman's book list on intro to programming and data science with R

Tilman M. Davies Why did Tilman love this book?

This provides a superb balance between technical aspects of R coding and the statistical methods that motivate its use. It's rare to find a book on topics like this that are written with Kabacoff's easygoing yet precise style, which makes it ideal for beginners. From my own experience, it is obvious the author has spent many years teaching this type of content, knowing where things deserve extra explanation up front and where other more technical details can be relegated to more advanced texts.

By Robert I. Kabacoff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked R in Action as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

DESCRIPTION

R is a powerful language for statistical computing and graphics that can handle virtually any data-crunching task. It runs on all important platforms and provides thousands of useful specialized modules and utilities. This makes R a great way to get meaningful information from mountains of raw data.



R in Action, Second Edition is language tutorial focused on practical problems. Written by a research methodologist, it takes a direct and modular approach to quickly give readers the information they need to produce useful results. Focusing on realistic data analyses and a comprehensive integration of graphics, it follows the steps that…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in statistics, economics, and data science?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about statistics, economics, and data science.

Statistics Explore 29 books about statistics
Economics Explore 384 books about economics
Data Science Explore 24 books about data science