Moving through October, I’m putting together what I plan to read the rest of the year. I’ve torn through a fair number of books, novellas, and short stories so far this year, and there are some exciting books coming in the last part of 2012 I’ve been looking forward to.
First on my list is The Signal and the Noise, Nate Silver’s new book on predictive analysis. Silver became very famous when, in 2008 he predicted the outcome of the Presidential election within a hair’s breath of the final numbers, correctly predicted the outcome of all 35 Senate races, and his baseball predictive models were the basis for the Baseball Prospectus while he managed them from 2003 to 2009. What I’m looking forward to in this book is, instead of being a political treatise, he’s looking at how we build statistical models, why they work, and why they fail when they don’t. It may seem dry, but there’s something fascinating about how this process works, and I can’t wait to see behind the curtain of how he comes to his results.
Since that’s going to bend my brain into all sorts of interesting shapes, I’ve also got This Book is Full of Spiders, by David Wong. I loved John Dies at the End, it’s full of madness of all kinds, and if this is close to John Dies… I know I’m going to have a lot of fun reading it.
The third I’m planning to read is Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan. When I read about this book, which follows a Silicon Valley tech addict as he takes a job at a strange bookstore, I was intrigued by it because it sort of reverses my personal trajectory. I’ve worked in libraries and bookstores, and have now drifted to working for a start-up with a tech bent. Also, following Year Zero (which I reviewed a while back), I’m really into authors using fiction to discuss some of the cultural issues we’re dealing with daily. It’s a trend that used to be more prevalent, but getting a perspective on the divide between eBooks and physical books via fiction feels more palatable. I can digest the author’s perspective in the frame of the story they’ve constructed, and decide for myself if it’s applicable to my own experience or not.
One I don’t think I’m going to get to is Justin Cronin’s The Twelve. I’m looking forward to reading this, but I didn’t make the time to finish The Passage. Hopefully, I’ll get that finished by the end of the month, and can move right on to The Twelve.
I have plenty of others to get to, but I’m always looking for recommendations. Are there other new titles I should add to this list?