The best bookshops in the world (and some good books too)

1st November, 2021

What if you took a “Miss Manners” agony aunt column but set it in an alternate Britain at the end of the Victorian era in which strange supernatural happenings are unfolding with increasing regularity. If a minotaur demanded admission to the Savoy, what is the correct etiquette? A Minotaur At the Savoy is a delightful book by my friend Dave Morris.

I’ve just been alerted to the existence of Chris Blattman’s Why We Fight. Self-recommending; order early, order often.

Fourteen more sleeps until I interview Steven Pinker about his new book Rationality. (Online event)

This Wednesday I’m chairing a conversation between Professor Andrew Pollard, one of the creators of the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine, and portrait artist Fran Monks, featuring Dr Helen Salisbury and the director of the History of Science museum Dr Silke Ackerman. It should be a great conversation about the science, art and human side of vaccine trials. (Online event.)

I’ve also been reading Nick Chater’s new and yet-to-be-published The Language Game, which is excellent. If you can’t wait, buy The Mind Is Flat, which will turn your world upside-down in the very best way.

I was tickled by the FT’s list of the world’s best bookshops (including the incomparable Blackwell’s on Broad Street, which never ran out of copies of How To Make The World Add Up).

Dujiangyan Zhongshuge bookstore in Sichuan, southwest China

Dujiangyan, Sichuan

Speaking of good bookshops on Broad Street, we are spoiled in Oxford – Waterstone’s is also excellent and I am particularly well-disposed towards them because they’ve named How To Make The World Add Up one of their books of the year. Thanks!

The paperback of “How To Make The World Add Up” is now out. US title: “The Data Detective”.

“One of the most wonderful collections of stories that I have read in a long time… fascinating.”- Steve Levitt (Freakonomics)

“If you aren’t in love with stats before reading this book, you will be by the time you’re done.”- Caroline Criado Perez (Invisible Women)

I’ve set up a storefront on Bookshop in the United States and the United Kingdom – have a look and see all my recommendations; Bookshop is set up to support local independent retailers. Links to Bookshop and Amazon may generate referral fees.

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