Book: The Atlas of the Real World
You don't have to be a geography buff or a closet statistician to find this new cartographical tome thoroughly fascinating. It's a snapshot (or 366 spreads, to be precise) of the world's countries and landmasses colourfully mapped according to demographic importance rather than mere size, lending a strikingly different perspective on the ways in which our familiar planet is actually constituted.
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The broad, eye-opening analysis took three experts years to develop and spans everything from HIV prevalence (where Africa, unsurprisingly, rules the globe) to royalty and licence fee exports (imagine a world with only North America), wealth in the year 1 AD (Bangladesh, ironically, and India top the list), and mineral depletion (where Australia and South America dominate the stage). Light but utterly thought provoking, this might be the closest a statistics book has ever come to the coffee table.