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The Book of Odds: From Lightning Strikes to Love at First Sight, the Odds of Everyday Life Paperback – January 7, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (January 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062060856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062060853
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #561,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Book of Odds is filled with good news (you have a relatively good chance of experiencing love at first sight), mixed news (you are less likely to be killed by a co-worker than by a sibling), and bad news (don’t even ask). (Barnes & Noble, Editor's Recommendation)

The Book of Odds…shows the surprising probabilities governing everyday life, including how your sex life stacks up. (Salon.com)

An enticing read from cover to cover, the odds are great that you will enjoy this book. (Library Journal)

About the Author

Amram Shapiro is the founder and president of the Book of Odds. He is coauthor of Product Development, Success Through Product and Cycle-Time Excellence and has contributed to numerous journals including Research Technology Management and CFO magazine.

Louise Firth Campbell is the chief operating officer of the Book of Odds. She has more than twenty-five years' experience advising companies, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations on strategic business, technology, and marketing issues, as well as on public policy.

Rosalind Wright is the founding editor of the Book of Odds. She has published two novels: Rocking, which received an award from PEN International, and Veracruz, which received the top fiction prize from the Texas Institute of Letters.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
This is done in an entertaining and very accessible style.
Jim
The Book of Odds offers unique insights into human nature and our interaction with the world around us.
William Struse
For anyone who loves trivia and fun things, this book is a must!
F. Michael Peacock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Carrier on January 22, 2014
Format: Paperback
"The odds a man has lied about the number of sex partners he's had in order to protect his ego: 1 in 17." "When it comes to sex, most people think experience is a good thing--but they also think there can be too much of a good thing." But this book is not all about sex. Some of the other chapter headings include "Accidents and Death," "High School and College," and "Mind, Psyche, and Addiction." The graphics in this book are crisp and helpful. "The Book of Odds" is not intended for use as a required textbook at any collegiate level, but it is very well conceived and presented. It would probably be checked out of a college library more than any other non-required publication. If you're a fan of Guinness World Records, you will like this book. Oh, to answer my initial question: What are the chances you'll like this book? My totally unscientific answer is 1 in 1. --Michael Carrier
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Superfluous Man on January 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I happened to have the chance to attend the book's launch event at the Harvard Coop in January, where the authors spoke at length on their motivations and methodology. Quite a fascinating read and a handsome conversation starter for one's living room. It may just provoke a revaluation of your probabilistic values: I go about in (slightly elevated) fear of a lightning strike now, but am unperturbed at the thought of being bitten by a venomous snake!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By William Struse TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pythagoras, the mystic philosopher and mathematician, is quoted as saying, "All is number". Six centuries later Philo, that first century eccentric historian, opined that numbers are a reflection of a divine creative genius. No matter who you agree with, at least in terms of how we define ourselves in the modern age, Pythagoras' statement is closer to being true than at any point in the past twenty five hundred years.

I must say, I think Pythagoras would be thrilled because today we have a new way to see our lives through numbers, it's called the Book of Odds. The Book of Odds offers unique insights into human nature and our interaction with the world around us.

Did you know that 1 in 1.3 people (age 18-29) would "endure all things" for the person they loved or that 1 in 1.4 people believe in a personal God? Have you ever wondered about the odds of being struck by lighting or having a daughter who is left handed? What are the odds your next child will be boy or your husband thinks about his weight? You'll find the answer to these questions and many more in the fascinating Book of Odds.

Sometimes humorous, often sobering, always enlightening, the Book of Odds enumerates the age in which we live. If numbers are a means by which we choose to order and define ourselves in the modern age, then the Book of Odds is an epic which tells our story.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John R. Moore, Jr. on January 20, 2014
Format: Paperback
I would recommend this book to anyone with some curiosity, particularly whose without a STEM background, e.g., liberal arts majors and high school students of all stripes. I used to teach statistics, probability theory, and other stuff like that at Purdue and Stanford. I wish this book had been available then, and I have recommended it to professors in several fields. [And particularly to HS teachers.] The book is brand new, and already I have been thanked for suggesting it.

For those WITH curiosity and afraid this might be too academic, download a sample read an excerpt and judge for yourself. You will find, as my wife has, that it is VERY approachable. In particular, it's not for Big Bang Theory characters. The Mensa crowd probably will criticize the book, while wishing secretly they had written it themselves.

Finally, I bought a Kindle version for my 12-year old grandson. Just did that, so I look forward to his review. [I would have done the same if he were a granddaughter. My 9-year granddaughter in the same family WILL read it if her brother likes it, so stay tuned for her take on the book.]
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By elizabeth hagan on January 29, 2014
Format: Paperback
The book is a beautifully arranged, easy to read, compilation of facts on every imaginable subject. It is great for solo reading, or for sharing with a group. While some compilations would venture to explain and contextualize every tidbit, this is really a 'just the facts, M'am' compilation. It is not a book that seeks to interpret all of these facts for you, which I find to be very refreshing. If I ran any kind of office, I would absolutely buy it for my waiting room. Likewise, it's a very choice book to have visible in your house for guests ~ it has already served as an excellent icebreaker at a recent gathering. Venturing into The Book of Odds has really informed my understanding of how frequently we all make decisions based on assumptions that are inaccurate, or at least relatively haphazard. More than just a collection of a facts, this book is a tool for gaining some perspective on the relative likelihood that your habits of conclusion need a tweak.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joel Schwartz on February 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Book of Odds is a blast. Nowhere else will you find so much data, so beautifully and strikingly laid out, telling readers so many interesting things about everyday American life. It’s full of surprising facts: to give two examples, whites are more than twice as likely as blacks to believe that traffic patrols use racial profiling; ten out of eleven people struck by lightning survive. The book also points suggestively to major changes in American beliefs over time: in 1990, only 8 percent of Americans reported no religious affiliation; by 2008, the figure rose to 15 percent. It’s carefully researched (citing reputable sources for all of its statistical claims), and it’s written clearly and cleverly. It’s a great read, perfect for leisurely examination, and maybe even better for settling barroom bets.

Joel Schwartz, co-author of It Ain’t Necessarily So: How Media Make and Unmake the Scientific Picture of Reality
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The Book of Odds: From Lightning Strikes to Love at First Sight, the Odds of Everyday Life
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