Biostatistics book recommendations?

The group of biostatisticians in my department is looking for a new book to read and discuss for our book club.

Does any one have suggestions that are somewhat related to research/statistics and preferably more of a narrative feel than a textbook?


Deep Medicine by Eric Topol might be a good choice

The art of statistics by David Spiegelhalter would be a good choice.


If you’re open to a challenging and heartbreaking read, I would suggest Darcy Olsen’s The Right to Try. For a sense of its relevance to biostats, please see this CrossValidated answer.

Dicing with Death by Stephen Senn is highly recommended.


Infinite Vision: How Aravind Became the World’s Greatest Business Case for Compassion, a biography of eye surgeon afflicted by Rheumatoid arthritis

Its about history of statistics rather than biostatistics, but it worths to consider for a book club:
Disciplining Statistics” by Libby Schweber
Comparative history of perception/function of statistics between France and England (19th century)

Can you please share the link to Amazon or any other site?

Chapter 7, titled “The Peirces”, in Louis Menand’s The Metaphysical Club would also make good reading for your own ‘biostatistical club’. It gives an account of an early application of statistics in a celebrated trial, by the brilliant father & son team of Benjamin and Charles Peirce. The subsequent chapter, “The Law of Errors”, then builds on this vignette to expand on the emergence of probability as a feature in 19th-century physical and social sciences.

My suggestion is:
The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes’ Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy, from Sharon McGrayne
I enjoyed reading it.


I also recommend “The Theory That Would Not Die”. It is a great reading.


These are all great suggestions! Thanks everyone! I will share them with my group. Has anyone read The Book of Why? I’m wondering if it reads like a text book.

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I read the Book of Why three times - can’t remember the last book I did that for. Highly recommended and it certainly has the narrative feel you are looking for. Judea Pearl’s Causality is more of a textbook for causal inference.