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A Remarkable Read: Freakonomics

It's been a while since I've read an entire book in just one day. That's mainly due the fact that rarely do I have a day devoted solely to reading. But, when coming back from Orlando last Thursday, I had a bus ride, time in the airport, a plane ride, and some time at a coffee shop to fly through Freakonomics.

I'm a late adapter on this book. It's been out for a while - so long in fact, that the version I picked up before my trip was the revised and expanded edition.

There's been a lot written about this book. Some people don't agree with these guys' interpretation of the stats. Some folks think it's too sensationalist. Some people don't quite understand why what they talk about even matters. But for me, I think this is a remarkable read for three reasons:

  1. It's readable. The Tipping Point is as equally a fascinating look at numbers, stats, and trends, but the Freakonomics boys really know how to write. Granted, Dubner is a professional journalist, and is therefore a writer by trade, but this book easily flows from one page to the next. You've read thirty pages before you know it.
  2. It's refreshing. Levitt and Dubner take a new perspective on a lot of ideas. I like that. They throw their opinions and conclusions out there in a way that is easy to follow and incredibly fresh. Even if you never have an application for any of their research, you know you're looking at something through new eyes.
  3. It's reigning champion. As Seth Godin points out, it was not just the first book about this, but it's still the best. Sure, they're are lots of copycat products out there, but this one is so well done that its remarkability sets it apart in the marketplace.

And, the authors blog. Their thoughts over there are just as fresh and remarkable as what's in the book. Add it to your feed if you want to stay ahead of the pack.

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