Books you look at but don’t buy

A little while ago I was curious about the books people looked at through my links which they nevertheless did not buy. More precisely I was looking at a 90 day interval. The top book people clicked but did not buy was Introduction to Quantitative Genetics. I know this is an expensive book, but if you can afford it you should buy and it read it. The reasoning is that quantitative genetics is no longer an abstruse topic, as I’m seeing economists conflate correlation of traits between relatives and narrow sense heritability. People have opinions on this topic. Loads.

If you talk about regression to the mean, but barely understand how it works, perhaps you should read Introduction to Quantitative Genetics.

Here the remaining of the top 15 (in order from most clicked to least):

The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey
The Harlot by the Side of the Road: Forbidden Tales of the Bible
Defenders of the Truth: The Sociobiology Debate. This is a good book. I’ve read it three times.
The History and Geography of Human Genes
George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones 5-Book Boxed Set
Principles of Population Genetics. Really readers? This is why more of you are not HWE aware….
Adaptation and Natural Selection
The Nurture Assumption
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
In Gods We Trust
Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology

Also, I can go back to 2014. Looking over 90 days from 2014, 2015 and 2016, here are the top 15:

Principles of Population GeneticsFreedom at MidnightThe Great Ordeal
In Gods We TrustPower and PlentySex Segregation in Sports
The Bible with Sources RevealedWhy Sex MattersThe Dialectical Imagination
Why Sex MattersThe Origins of Theoretical Population GeneticsThe History and Geography of Human Genes
The Transparent SocietyThe Mating MindPython for Data Analysis
The First Man in RomeMutantsPlagues and Peoples
The Barbarian ConversionIn Gods We TrustGrooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language
Nature’s God1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
Introduction to Quantitative GeneticsA History of the Byzantine State and SocietyWhy Sex Matters
The Rise of Western ChristendomPrinciples of Population GeneticsTaboo
The Great Arab ConquestsThe Journey of Man: A Genetic OdysseyDesign Patterns
Religion ExplainedA Concise Economic History of the WorldA Beautiful Math 
The Nurture AssumptionThe Man Who Would Be King and Other StoriesThe Great Human Diasporas
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before ColumbusThe Genetics of Human PopulationsThe Seven Daughters of Eve
The Invisible GorillaA Beautiful Math  Calculus Made Easy

Why Sex Matters has always been a book that gets a lot of clicks. I think it is the title. But it’s rather old now, and on an old fashioned topic: sex differences. Totally milquetoast in the 2000s, but probably very problematic today….


5 thoughts on “Books you look at but don’t buy

  1. Price of book on Amazon: $137.66.

    Price of book on Amazon-owned company The Book Depository (with free worldwide shipping): ~$68.19 (converted back from my local currency)

    Basically you can save a little over 50% off the cost by buying from an Amazon-owned company instead of directly from Amazon (and non-US readers will probably save a fair bit on shipping costs as well). There may be a reason that people aren’t buying this.

  2. I like to wait for blog posts on some of those subjects because the amount of information is overwhelming and a more brief outline makes it easier to understand and remember the concepts.

  3. It makes me sad that people are clicking through on to 1491 and not buying it. It’s a good book, and an interesting read (same for 1493). The only downsides is that they’re 12 and 6 years old now, respectively – I have no idea if anything serious has changed to invalidate either of them in the time since.

  4. Brett, I own a paperback copy of Charles Mann’s 1491 book and agree with your assessment. The discussions are good for the time and, as you probably know, do introduce readers to several genetic concepts like the HLA region of chromosome 6 which had limited variation among Amerindians and was part of the reason for the level of decimation some tribes faced after European diseases arrived. Mann’s discussion of such subtopics as the drastic decline of the Massachusetts tribes in the 1610s had much that was news to me. For the latest on Amerindian DNA haplogroup branches there is a lot said in Roberta Estes’ blog.

  5. Perhaps part of the reason why people are clicking and not buying, as suggested above, is because so many of your readers are outside the USA (and thus can’t or won’t order from


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