Books Of Interest: February 10, 2014

I have run across these recently and thought they might spark some interest.

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Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread—The Lessons From A New Science      Alex Pentland

The author, who is an MIT professor brings to the reader an understanding of networked data by using methods for measuring and modeling social contacts and “idea flow”. Data such as social networking sites and cell phone metadata are used quantitatively in helping to determine this understanding. I don’t know if physics can be called social but the book looks pretty thought-provoking.

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The Sabermetric Revolution: Assessing The Growth Of Analytics In Baseball     Benjamin Baumer and Andrew Zimbalist

Sabermetrics is being used now in baseball to level the playing field from the top tier teams with the largest payrolls to the teams with the lowest payrolls. The authors give the reader the basics of sabermetrics and also its limitations. If you are any type of baseball fan, this looks to be a good read.

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Our America: A Hispanic History Of The United States     Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

The author discusses the cultural evolution of Hispanic America in addition to the integration of their culture with Anglos, Native Americans, and African Americans.  Also, the author discusses the anti-immigration legislation in American had his perception of this. Looks to be a good read on history , that I am unfamiliar with.

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Jonathan Swift: His Life And His World     Leo Damrosch

I love biographies on famous people in which I have little knowledge. The author uses past biographies of Swift, allowing him to give the reader a broad cross-section of knowledge about Swift. I am definitely putting this in my pile.

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