Don't worry, English majors: You don't have to be good with numbers to find statistician Ben Blatt's data-driven analysis of literature fascinating, playful, and informative! More than 1,500 books - from literary classics to popular fiction - were converted into raw text files and analyzed in a variety of revealing and entertaining ways. Did you know, for example, that Vladimir Nabokov had a fondness for color words and used the word mauve forty-four times more often than other authors, or that Jane Austen's top three unique words are civility, fancying, and imprudence? In one chapter, Blatt provides a captivating analysis of the role of gender in literature. (I don't want to spoil it, but I was fascinated by the words female authors use to describe male characters and vice versa.) This book will entertain and enlighten literature- and data-lovers alike - and you will never look at an exclamation point the same way again!
A Reader Review by Benson Wright of Chicago, Illinois