Reviews of nontechnical books relating to Probability
These reviews were originally created for my course
Probability and the Real World
(STAT157)
but may be of wider interest.
Suggestions for additional books are welcome.
Of course there are many books on "mathematics in general" or
"statistics in general", but the list concentrates more specifically on probability.
Many of these reviews
can be seen here on amazon.
Here is a quite separate list of my published
reviews of technical monographs.
I have a copy of each book (see the picture), except those marked (*),
many of
which someone has borrowed and not returned. Grrrrrrrrr
The links at the category names go to my reviews of the books.
Within each category, books are ordered according to
some combination of suitability for STAT 157 students, suitability for the general
reader, and my personal preferences.
A few good books are listed in two categories.
Here is
a short article (from 2010) giving some reflections on all this material, and here are some similar thoughts
from the editor of
MAA Reviews.
Note that a partly overlapping set of reviews, but more focused on introductory textbooks,
can be found at
MAA Reviews.
 Silver, Nate.
The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail  but Some Don't.
Penguin Press, 2012.
 Senn, Stephen.
Dicing With Death.
Chance, risk and health.
Cambridge University Press, 2003.
 Elliott, Andrew C. A.
What are the Chances of That?: How to Think About Uncertainty.
Oxford University Press, 2021.
 Spiegelhalter, David.
The Art of Statistics: How to Learn from Data.
Basic Books, 2019.
 Pinker, Steven.
Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters.
Viking, 2021.
 Bernstein, Peter L.
Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk.
Wiley, 1996.
 Haigh, John.
Probability: A Very Short Introduction.
Oxford University Press, 2012.
 (*) Rosenthal, Jeffrey S.
Struck by Lightning: the curious world of probabilities.
Joseph Henry Press, 2006.
 Holland, Bart K.
What are the Chances?
Voodoo deaths, office gossip and other adventures in probability.
Johns Hopkins, 2002.
 Everitt, Brian S.
Chance Rules: An informal guide to probability, risk and statistics.
Springer; 2nd edition, 2008.
 Stewart, Ian.
Do Dice Play God? The Mathematics of Uncertainty.
Basic Books, 2019.
 Matthews, Robert.
Chancing it.
Profile books, 2017.
 Ellenberg, Jordan.
How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking.
Penguin Press, 2014.
 Kaplan, Michael and Kaplan, Ellen.
Chances Are: Adventures in Probability.
Viking, 2006.
 Peterson, Ivars.
The Jungles of Randomness.
Wiley, 1998.

Mlodinow, Leonard.
The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives.
Pantheon, 2008.
 Clegg, Brian.
Dice World: Science and Life in a Random Universe.
Icon Books, 2013.
 Ekeland, Ivar.
The Broken Dice, and other mathematical tales of chance.
University of Chicago Press, 1993.
 Tsonis, Anastasios A.
Randomnicity: Rules and randomness in the realm of the infinite.
Imperial College Press, 2008.
 (*) Bennett, Deborah J.
Randomness.
Harvard University Press, 1999.
 Aczel, Amir D.
Chance. A guide to gambling, love, the stock market, and just about everything else.
Thunder's Mouth Press, 2004.
 Haigh, John.
Taking Chances.
Oxford University Press, 1999.
 Reifman, Alan.
Hot Hand: The Statistics Behind Sports' Greatest Streaks.
Potomac Books, 2011.
 Miller, Ed and Davidow, Matthew: The Logic Of Sports Betting.
Independently published, 2019.

Winston, Wayne L.
Mathletics: How gamblers, managers, and sports enthusiasts use mathematics in baseball, basketball, and football.
Princeton University Press, 2009.
 (*)
Kucharski, Adam.
The Perfect Bet: How Science and Math Are Taking the Luck Out of Gambling.
Basic Books, 2016.
 (*) Albert, Jim and Bennett, Jay.
Curve Ball: Baseball, Statistics and the Role of Chance in
the Game.
Copernicus Books, 2001.
 (*) Werthamer N. Richard.
Risk and Reward: The Science of Casino Blackjack.
Springer, 2009.

(*) Mark Bollman.
Basic Gambling Mathematics: The Numbers Behind the Neon.
Chapman & Hall/CRC, 2014.
 Henze, Norbert and Riedwyl, Hans.
How to Win More: strategies for increasing a lottery win.
A.K. Peters, 1998.
 (*) Skiena, Steven S.
Calculated Bets.
Cambridge University Press, 2001.
 Ross, Ken.
A Mathematician at the Ballpark.
Odds and probabilities for baseball fans.
Pi Press, 2004.
 Orkin, Mike.
What Are The Odds?
Chance in everyday life.
W.H. Freeman, 2000.
 Packel, Edward W.
The Mathematics of Games and Gambling.
Mathematical Assoc. America, 1981.
 (*) Barboianu, Catalin.
Probability Guide to Gambling: The Mathematics of Dice, Slots, Roulette,
Baccarat, Blackjack, Poker, Lottery and Sport Bets.
INFAROM, 2006.
 (*) Malkiel, Burton Gordon.
A Random Walk Down Wall Street.
Norton, 2003 (original 1975).
 Wilmott, Paul and Orrell, David.
The Money Formula: Dodgy Finance, Pseudo Science, and How Mathematicians Took Over the Markets.
Wiley, 2017.
 Brown, Aaron.
RedBlooded Risk: The Secret History of Wall Street.
Wiley, 2011.
 Brown, Aaron.
Financial Risk Management for Dummies .
For Dummies, 2015.
 (*) Shiller, Robert J.
Irrational Exuberance.
Princeton University Press, 2005 (original 2001).
 (*) Shiller, Robert J.
The New Financial Order.
Princeton University Press, 2003.
 Poundstone, William.
Fortune's Formula.
Hill and Wang, 2005.
 Zuckerman, Gregory.
The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution.
Portfolio, 2019.
 Swensen, David F.
Unconventional Success: a fundamental approach to personal investment.
Free Press, 2005.
 Bookstaber, Richard.
The End of Theory: Financial Crises, the Failure of Economics, and the Sweep of Human Interaction.
Princeton University Press, 2017.
 Taleb, Nassim Nicholas.
Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in the Markets and in
Life.
Texere, 2001.
 (*) Weatherall, James Owen.
The Physics of Wall Street: A Brief History of Predicting the Unpredictable .
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
 Paulos, John A.
A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market.
Basic Books, 2003.
 Blastland, Michael and Spiegelhalter, David.
The Norm Chronicles: Stories and Numbers About Danger.
Basic Books, 2014.
 Gigerenzer, Gerd.
Risk Savvy: How to Make Good Decisions.
Viking Penguin, 2014.

Ropeik, David and Gray, George.
Risk.
A practical guide for deciding what's really safe and what's really
dangerous in the world around you.
Houghton Mifflin, 2002.
 Ropeik, David.
How Risky Is It, Really?. Why our fears don't always match the facts.
McGrawHill, 2010.

Walsh, James.
True Odds. How risk affects your everyday life.
Silver Lake, 1998.
 Fischhoff, Baruch and Kadvany, John.
Risk: A Very Short Introduction .
Oxford University Press, 2011.

Gardner, Dan.
Risk. The science and politics of fear.
Virgin, 2008.

Ip, Greg.
Foolproof: Why Safety Can Be Dangerous and How Danger Makes Us Safe.
Little, Brown and Company, 2015.
 Bostrom, N. and Cirkovic. M. (Editors).
Global Catastrophic Risks.
Oxford University Press, 2008.
 Walsh, Bryan.
End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World.
Hachette Books, 2019.
 MacAskill, William.
What We Owe the Future.
Basic Books, 2022.
 Haggstrom, Olle.
Here Be Dragons: Science, Technology and the Future of Humanity.
Oxford University Press, 2016.
 Brockman, John (Editor).
What Should We Be Worried About?: Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up at Night.
Harper Perennial, 2014.
 Randers, Jorgen.
2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years.
Chelsea Green Publishing, 2012.
 Wells, Willard.
Apocalypse When?: Calculating How Long the Human Race Will Survive.
Springer Praxis, 2009.

Frank, Robert H.
Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy.
Princeton University Press, 2016.
 Mauboussin, Michael J.
The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing.
Harvard Business Review Press, 2012.

Christian, Brian and Griffiths, Tom.
Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions.
Henry Holt and Co., 2016.

Duke, Annie.
Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts.
Portfolio, 2018.
 (*) Hand, David J.
The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day.
Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014.
 (*) Makridakis, Spyros and Hogarth, Robin and Gaba, Anil.
Dance with Chance: Making luck work for you.
Oneworld, 2009.
 Mazur, Joseph.
Fluke: The Math and Myth of Coincidence.
Basic Books, 2016.
 Mero, Laszlo.
The Logic of Miracles: Making Sense of Rare, Really Rare, and Impossibly Rare Events.
Yale University Press, 2018.
 Shapiro, Amram et al.
The Book of Odds: From Lightning Strikes to Love at First Sight, the Odds of Everyday Life.
William Morrow, 2014.
 Rescher, Nicholas.
Luck: the brilliant randomness of everyday life.
University of Pittsburg Press, 1995.
 (*) Wiseman, Richard.
The Luck Factor.
Hyperion, 2003.

GlynneJones, Tim.
What are the Odds?
Chartwell Books, 2011.

(*)
Siskin, Bernard et al.
What Are The Chances?
Risks, odds and likelihoods in everyday life.
Plume, 1990.

Weaver, Jefferson H.
What are the Odds?
The chances of extraordinary events in everyday life.
Promethius, 2001.

Johnson, Curtis.
Darwin's Dice: The Idea of Chance in the Thought of Charles Darwin.
Oxford University Press, 2014.
 Dawkins, Richard.
Climbing Mount Improbable.
Norton, 1997.
 Sean B. Carrolli.
A Series of Fortunate Events: Chance and the Making of the Planet, Life, and You.
Princeton University Press, 2020.
 Kauffman, Stuart A.
The Origins of Order: SelfOrganization and Selection in
Evolution.
Oxford University Press, 1993.
 Cirkovic, Milan M.
The Great Silence: Science and Philosophy of Fermi's Paradox.
Oxford University Press, 2018.

Webb, Stephen.
If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... WHERE IS EVERYBODY?:
SeventyFive Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life.
Springer, 2015.

Davies, Paul.
The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence.
Mariner Books, 2011.
 Ward, Peter Douglas and Brownlee, Donald.
Rare Earth: why complex life is uncommon in the universe.
Copernicus 2000.

Aczel, Amir D.
Probability 1.
Harvest Books, 2000.
 Tetlock, Philip E.
Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?
Princeton University Press, 2007.
 Tetlock, Philip E. and Gardner, Dan.
Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction.
Crown, 2015.
 Kucharski, Adam.
The Rules of Contagion: Why Things SpreadAnd Why They Stop.
Basic Books, 2020.
 Gladwell, Malcolm.
The Tipping Point: How little things can make a big difference.
Little, Brown 2000.
 Taleb, Nassim Nicholas.
The Black Swan: The impact of the highly improbable.
Random House, 2007.
 (*) Brenner, Reuven and Brenner, Gabrielle and Brown, Aaron.
A World of Chance: Betting on religion, games, Wall Street.
Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Sandel, Miachael J.
The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good?
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020.
 Ball, Philip.
Critical Mass: How one thing leads to another.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004.
 Miller, John H. and Page, Scott E.
Complex Adaptive Systems: An introduction to computational models of social life.
Princeton University Press, 2007.
 Watts, Duncan J.
Six Degrees.
The science of a connected age.
W.W. Norton, 2003.
 Kahneman, Daniel.
Thinking, Fast and Slow.
Penguin, 2011.
 Kahneman, Daniel, Sibony, Olivier, and Sunstein, Cass R.
Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment.
Little, Brown Spark, 2021.
 Blatchley, Barbara.
What Are the Chances?: Why We Believe in Luck.
Columbia University Press, 2021.
 Ariely, Dan.
Predictably Irrational.
HarperCollins, 2008.
 Nickerson, Raymond S.
Cognition and Chance.
The psychology of probabilistic reasoning.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004.
 Mazur, Joesph.
What's Luck Got to Do with It?: The history, mathematics, and psychology of the
gambler's illusion,
Princeton University Press, 2010.
 Diaconis, Persi and Skyrms, Brian.
Ten Great Ideas about Chance.
Princeton University Press, 2018.

Hacking, Ian.
An Introduction to Probability and Inductive Logic.
Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Floridi, Luciano.
Information: A Very Short Introduction.
Oxford University Press, 2010.
 (*)
Lindley, Dennis V.
Understanding Uncertainty.
Wiley, 2006.
 Burdzy, Krzystof.
The Search for Certainty: On the clash of science and philosophy of probability.
World Scientific, 2009.

Hoang, Le Nguyen.
The Equation of Knowledge.
Chapman and Hall/CRC, 2020.

Kyburg, Henry E. and Thalos, Mariam (Eds.)
Probability Is the Very Guide of Life: the philosophical uses of chance.
Open Court, 2003.
 Haigh, John.
Taking Chances.
Oxford University Press, 1999.
 Grinstead, Charles M., Peterson, William P. and Snell, J. Laurie.
Probability Tales.
American Mathematical Society, 2011.
 (*) Marques de Sa, J.P.
Chance: the life of games and the game of life.
Springer, 2008.

Bogomolny, Alexander.
Cut the Knot: Probability Riddles.
Wolfram Media, 2020.

Tijms, Henk.
Surprises in Probability: Seventeen Short Stories.
CRC Press, 2019.

Lewis, H.W.
Why Flip a Coin: The Art and Science of Good Decisions.
Wiley, 1998.
 (*) Rosenthal, Jeffrey S.
Struck by Lightning: the curious world of probabilities.
Joseph Henry Press, 2006.
 Starbird, Michael.
What are the Chances? Probability made clear.
The Teaching Company, Chantilly VA, 2006.
 Dworsky, Lawrence.
Probably Not: Future prediction Using probability and statistical inference.
Wiley, 2008.
 Stein, James D.
The Fate of Schrodinger's Cat: Using Math and Computers to Explore the Counterintuitive.
WSPC, 2020.
 Olofsson, Peter.
Probabilities: the little numbers that rule our lives.
Wiley, 2007.
 Wapner, Leonard M.
Unexpected Expectations: The Curiosities of a Mathematical Crystal Ball.
 Weaver, Warren.
Lady Luck.
The theory of probability.
Dover, 1982 (original 1963).
 Woolfson, Michael M.
Everyday Probability and Statistics: Health, elections, gambling and war.
World Scientific, 2008.
 Nahin, Paul J.
Will You Be Alive 10 Years from Now?: And Numerous Other Curious Questions in Probability.
Princeton University Press, 2013.
 Frey, Bruce.
Statistics Hacks: Tips & tools for measuring the world and beating the odds.
O'Reilly, 2006.
 Levinson, Horace C.
Chance, Luck and Statistics.
Dover, 1963 (original 1939).
 (*) Ruhla, Charles. The Physics of Chance. Oxford University Press, 1992.
 Coles, Peter.
From Cosmos to Chaos: The science of unpredictability.
Oxford University Press, 2006.
 Palmer, Tim.
The Primacy of Doubt.
Basic Books, 2022.
 Ruelle, David.
Chance and Chaos.
Princeton University Press, 1991.
 Parisi, Giorgio.
In a Flight of Starlings: The Wonders of Complex Systems.
Penguin Press, 2023.
 Eigen, Manfred and Winkler, Ruthild.
Laws of the Game: How the principles of nature govern chance.
Princeton University Press, 1993 (original 1975).
 (*) Morris, S. Brent.
Magic Tricks, Card Shuffling and Dynamic Computer memories.
Mathematical Association of America, 1998.
 (*) Rastrigin, Leonard.
This Chancy, Chancy, Chancy World.
Mir, Moscow, 1986.
 (*) Strevens, Michael.
Bigger than Chaos: Understanding complexity through Probability.
Harvard University Press, 2003.
 (*) Puente, Carlos E.
Treasures inside the Bell: Hidden order in chance.
World Scientific, 2003.
 Beltrami, Edward.
What is Random?
Chance and Order in Mathematics and Life.
Copernicus, 2020, second edition.
 Shapira, Haim.
Gladiators, Pirates and Games of Trust: How Game Theory, Strategy and Probability Rule Our Lives
Watkins, 2017.
 (*) Fisher, Len.
Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life.
Basic Books, 2008.
 (*)
Bewersdorff, Jorg.
Luck, Logic, and White Lies: The Mathematics of Games.
A.K. Peters, 2005
 Poundstone, William.
Rock Breaks Scissors: A Practical Guide to Outguessing and Outwitting Almost Everybody.
Little, Brown, 2014
 Bartholomew, David J.
God, Chance and Purpose: Can God Have It Both Ways?
Cambridge University Press, 2008.
 Schoenborn, Cardinal Christoph.
Chance or Purpose? Creation, evolution and a rational faith.
Ignatius Press, 2007.
 Unwin, Stephen D.
The Probability of God.
Crown Forum, 2003.
 Wright, Wister C.
Consciousness and the Probability of Being.
Stochastic Books, 2005.
 (*) Diaconis, Persi and Skyrms, Brian.
Ten Great Ideas about Chance.
Princeton University Press, 2018.
 David, F.N.
Games, Gods and Gambling: a history of probability and statistical ideas.
Dover, 1998 (original 1962).
 Devlin, K.
The Unfinished Game: Pascal, Fermat, and the SeventeenthCentury Letter
that Made the World Modern.
Basic Books, 2008.
 Szpiro, George P.
Pricing the Future: Finance, Physics, and the 300year Journey to the BlackScholes Equation.
Basic Books, 2011.
 Gorroochurn, Prakash.
Classic Problems of Probability.
Wiley, 2012.
 McGrayne, Sharon Bertsch.
The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes' rule cracked the Enigma Code,
hunted down Russian submarines, and emerged triumphant from two centuries
of controversy.
Yale University Press, 2011.
 and list of more scholarly works.
 Ziliak, Stephen and McCloskey, Deirdre.
The Cult of Statistical Significance.
Unversity of Michigan Press, 2008.
 Savage, Sam L.
The Flaw of Averages: Why we underestimate risk in the face of uncertainty.
Wiley, 2009.
 Nolan, Deborah and Stoudt, Sara.
Communicating with Data: The Art of Writing for Data Science.
Oxford University Press, 2021.
 (*) Langville, Amy and Meyer, Carl.
Who's #1?: The Science of Rating and Ranking.
Princeton University Press, 2012.
 Skiena, Steven and Ward, Charles B.
Who's Bigger?: Where Historical Figures Really Rank.
Cambridge University Press, 2014.
 Puskar, Jason.
Accident Society: Fiction, Collectivity, and the Production of Chance.
Stanford University Press, 2012.
 Bruce, Colin.
Conned Again, Watson.
Perseus, Cambridge MA, 2002.
 Rosenhouse, Jason.
The Monty Hall Problem.
Oxford University Press, 2009.
 (*) Stewart, Ian.
Letters to a Young Mathematician.
Perseus, 2006.
 (*)
Schoenberg, Frederic Paik.
Introduction to Probability with Texas Hold'em Examples.
Chapman and Hall, 2011.
 Eckhardt, William.
Paradoxes in Probability Theory.
Springer, 2012.
 (*) Simon, Marc T.
Your Intuition is Wrong!
Dorrance, 1996.