November’s challenge was to read a non-fiction book. The Nerds are both fiction readers by far, so something true can be a stretch. Here’s how we did.
Bethany: I picked Midnight in Siberia by David Greene. I’m not done with it yet because I’m listening to it on audio, but it’s great. David Greene is a host of NPR’s Morning Edition and was their former Moscow Bureau Chief. Ever since I went to Russia in 1997, I’ve been fascinated by that country. This book chronicles his journey on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. It’s about the train, but woven through with discussions of Russian culture, politics and history.
Stacie’s Selection: I picked out The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, a non-fiction book that’s been on my to read list since it was released in 2012. I instantly developed a love-hate relationship with this title. I love the modeling and explanations of how predictions work. I especially loved the examples that show how bias works.
And I hate that I am not also a math nerd (alas, there is all sorts of nerdy-ness in the world that I wish I could claim for myself.) However, my lack of math skills doesn’t make the book inaccessible. In fact, the opposite is true. Silver explains how the models work to someone who doesn’t (or can’t) understand the math behind them. And that’s really cool. I am walking away from this book smarter. And when (ehm. Yes. When.) I finish, it’s going on the Lists this year.
Up next in December: a book by a 2015 debut author.