I read a lot. As in, I have about 1500 to 2000 books at home, with another 150 or so in my office. I often write blog posts reviewing books and how they relate to data. But I often find myself stuck. I struggle with the idea of spending only an hour or two reviewing something the author spent months, if not years, writing. Who am I to judge? It seems a little crazy. (And it perhaps invokes unhappy flashbacks of my short time in history graduate school. But that’s another story.)
I still think book reviews can be a valuable part of this blog. But rather than sit in judgment, I’m going to do two things:
1. I’m not going to review books I don’t like (taking a cue from Nassim Taleb via the Farnam Street blog).
2. I’m going to ask myself a few set questions:
- Did the author relate something new?
- Did the author relate something I already knew, but in a new way?
- Who would most benefit from this book?
- Tech people
- Business users
- General data interest
- All of the above
- Who would I recommend this book to?
- Beginners with data
- Experts with data
- Technical experts
- What are the key points most worth emphasizing/discussing (especially for those who haven’t read it)?
Can you think of any other points essential to a book review?