An introduction to the normal distribution and to our incompetence in dealing with probability. Since it covers a different type of probability than “Fooled by randomness”, and only skims the heuristics and biases discussed at length in “Thinking, fast and slow”, it works well as a prologue to both books. This trio should be mandatory reading for premeds, by the way, with the rest of Taleb’s Incerto rounding out an advanced curriculum. They would for sure have served me better than the anemic statistics textbooks I had to plough through in the early ‘00s.

Written by Leonard Mlodinow, 2009