# Thread: Book recommendations for distributions?

1. ## Book recommendations for distributions?

Hi everyone,

I'm relatively new to stats (have done two beginner courses on it), and I feel like I learn best when I have an engaging book by my side. I'm pretty curious about the properties/histories of different distributions (in particular, theory on the exponential function, and why so many things seem to conform to a normal distribution), and was wondering if there were any books that gave a gentle introduction to this topic?

Preferably one with either minimal math, or explanations beside the math.

Thanks muchly!

Cheers,
Hayley

2. ## Re: Book recommendations for distributions?

Originally Posted by curious_notes
Hi everyone,

I'm relatively new to stats (have done two beginner courses on it), and I feel like I learn best when I have an engaging book by my side. I'm pretty curious about the properties/histories of different distributions (in particular, theory on the exponential function, and why so many things seem to conform to a normal distribution), and was wondering if there were any books that gave a gentle introduction to this topic?

Preferably one with either minimal math, or explanations beside the math.

Thanks muchly!

Cheers,
Hayley
this book may not be specifically about distributions but for anyone who's interested in Statistics and where many of its results come from (including various important distributions like the normal, F, t, etc.) i recommend The Lady Tasting Tea by David Salsburg:

it tells you about the lives of many important statisticians and their discoveries, including the problems they were tackling before they found many probability distributions we use today. the book has no math and i feel it's written in a very accessible language for people with little to no statistical knowledge.

sadly, the books i know that do talk about distributions specifically are heavy on the math and their uses for monte carlo simulations. if you maybe want to try and have a look at it, there's this very old book that's a favourite of mine:

Patel, J. K., Kapadia, C. H., & Owen, D. B. (1976). Handbook of statistical distributions. New York: Maroel Dekker

that covers the characterization of many important univariate distributions.

3. ## Re: Book recommendations for distributions?

Thanks very much! I'd heard about The Lady Tasting Tea a while back, but had forgotten. It's great to get another recommendation for that.

I'll take a look at the other book too. I do eventually want to learn the math behind distributions, so may as well start sooner than later

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