# Recommend an enjoyable / introductory book on Statistics [duplicate]

I am interested in learning more about Statistics and when I ran a Google / Amazon search that brought up way too many options.

I am hoping to get a recommendation of a statistic book that is beginner's oriented and fun to read / learn.

• I've always thought there ought to be book discussing all of the paradoxes, counterintuitive results and plain weird findings from the field statistics. For example: - Simpson's Paradox - Stein's Paradox - St. Petersburg Paradox - Ecological fallacy - Prosecutor's fallacy - Cauchy distribution (mean and variance are undefined!) Don't know if such a book exists, however. – RobertF Sep 2 '12 at 0:43
• How much probability/math do you already know, Daniel? – Zen Sep 2 '12 at 0:49
• It's been a while since I actively studied math, the furthest I got to was Cal, Linear Algebra. – Daniel Sep 2 '12 at 1:11
• One thing I would do is first studying a lot of probability for a while. There are many good probability books. Ross (A First Course in Probability) is well written. You won't learn much without solving $\textbf{a lot}$ of the problems. – Zen Sep 2 '12 at 1:55
• I feel like this question should just be closed. We have collected several recommendations on various related threads, see e.g. this query: books +introduction +statistics. – chl Sep 2 '12 at 11:39

Here are two nice books that I enjoyed

Update: A similar query at Quora

Slightly OT, but The Lady Tasting Tea is a really fun book about the history of statistics and some of the people who practised it. There's some actual stats in their too, and some of it is really useful in terms of learning stats, e.g. what are parametric statistics?

Oh yeah, and Red State Blue State, by Andrew Gelman, about voter behaviour in the US, is another great one for catching your interest and learning stuff (e.g. the ecological fallacy) along the way. Awesome graphs too. Mmm... graphs (as Homer Simpson never said)

I suggest the Statistics 101 course at Udacity

http://www.udacity.com/overview/Course/st101/CourseRev/1

This is not technically a book, but I have found it to be a more useful way to learn statistics, when you are learning on your own. It is definitely more fun than a book.

It is free, and it starts with the assumption of no previous knowledge of statistics.

There is a statistics one course starting up tomorrow at coursera. I guess it's much like the one at udacity, though I haven't followed that one. It will be with small assignments throughout the course. 75,000 have already signed up.

It's not a book, but it takes you directly back to the classroom again :-) Here's the link: https://www.coursera.org/course/stats1

I really enjoyed Intuitive Biostatistics. It covers lots of material, is easy to read, and has very good explanations. At the end of each topic is a question and answer section for the common (and not so common) problems/concerns for the discussed statistical procedures. Of course all the examples deal with biology but is still applicable to any field.

I got on well with Statistics for Terrified Biologists, though this may be a little focused on biology if you're looking for a more in depth introduction. It covers the absolute basics, which are often overlooked - the importance of standard deviation, and what things really mean.