"Information is people in disguise," says computer scientist-digital. He explores the impact of the digital revolution on the economy and individuals, arguing that in this age of big data our personal information should not be controlled and exploited by corporations.
Nate Silver Penguin, pbk £8.99 Statistician and political forecaster Nate Silver made headlines in 2012 by predicting the results of the US presidential election in 50 out of 50 states. His guide to thinking probabilistically will help you spot the elusive signal amid the background noise.
Stephen Grosz Chatto & Windus, £14.99 Described as "modest and profound" by one reviewer, this highly enjoyable book presents a series of case histories, drawn from psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz's 25 years of experience listening to people talk about their lives and problems. He doesn't promise easy solutions. Rather he allows them to feel "alive in the mind of another".
Julian Barnes Jonathan Cape, £10.99 Julian Barnes faces what must be the hardest task for any author: writing about the death of a loved one. His wife, the literary agent Pat Kavanagh, died in 2008 and this attempt to "give sorrow words" has been described by Blake Morrison as a "category-defying book". A moving and characteristically eloquent memoir on love and loss..
John Mullan Bloomsbury, pbk £8.99 In the world of Jane Austen, how much money is enough? What is the right way to propose? Why do we never see the lower classes? These are the questions that John Mullan answers in his crisp, witty study of the minutiae of Austen's universe. But don't assume this is trivial stuff. It's in the fine detail, Mullan says, that we get to understand how Austen's characters think and feel.
Sheryl Sandberg WH Allen, £16.99 Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, urges ambitious professional women to ditch their inner critic and take a risk by asking for a raise or a seat on the board. You know, like men do. It all sounds eminently sensible, but Sandberg's critics have accused her of underestimating the cultural and institutional barriers that stop even the most self-confident of women getting on
Andrew Adonis Biteback Publishing, £12.99 No one knows better what went on during the tense days that followed the general election of May 2010 than Andrew Adonis, Labour's chief negotiator. Here he gives a gripping, West Wing-style account of the wheeling and dealing behind the scenes as both the major parties try to boss and flatter the Lib Dems into a coalition. Knowing the ending doesn't make the story any less gripping.
Hadley Freeman Fourth Estate, £12.99 In this wry take on the self-help format, Hadley Freeman (of this parish) dispenses tips and jokes to youngish women. You'll find advice on dating, fashion and friendship, all delivered with Freeman's native New York brio. Behind the wit there are some hard, smart truths too.
Michael Blastland and David Spiegelhalter Profile Books, £12.99 How dangerous is dangerous? The Norm Chronicles reduces jeopardy to a neat formula and invites you to conduct a risk assessment on yourself. One drink a day is good for you and the first 20 minutes of exercise are the ones that really matter. On the other hand, red meat can shave minutes off your life while cigs will lop it off in half-hour chunks.
Stuart Maconie Ebury Press, £13.99 In this love letter to the post-war pop song, Stuart Maconie argues that commercial music has managed to say more about love, war, death, sex and class than almost any other art form. Here he charts the 50 songs that have provided the soundtrack to our changing lives, from Vera Lynn's "We'll Meet Again" through "She Loves You" to "Radio Gaga". Think Proust, wrapped up in three and a half minutes.
Sarah Churchwell (Virago, £16.99) Sarah Churchwell ventures deep into the heart of the American Dream to explain the enduring fascination of F Scott Fitzgerald's brief but haunting novel. The result is a biography of a book that is also a portrait of an intoxicating era of jazz clubs, speakeasies, and organised crime. She even throws a sensational double murder into the mix to cast new light on Fitzgerald's masterpiece.
Michael Pollan Allen Lane, £20 This is a heartfelt paean to one of the most fundamental human activities: cooking. Pollan celebrates the ancient ways in which we used the elements to transform raw food, and argues that our modern fast-food diets are literally killing us. We would all be much healthier and happier if we spent more time in the kitchen rather than watching celebrity chefs on TV.
Philip Hensher Macromedia, £16.99 In an age when typing threatens to make handwriting redundant, Philip Hensher argues that we should treasure it as a vital expression of human individuality. From Elizabeth I's signature and the invention of copperplate in the 18th century, to the 19th-century pseudo-science of divining character from writing and the modern ballpoint pen, Hensher guides us through the very human history of handwriting.
David Thomson Allen Lane, £25 Praised by John Banville as "probably the best overview of the cinema ever written", this is a passionate and deeply nostalgic love letter to the silver screen. For Thomson, now in his 70s, the cinema is a magical place where dreams come alive, and where people's views of love, identity and desire are shaped. In this hefty history, Thomson travels from "Muybridge to Facebook", and hails the golden age of the movies as one of the great achievements of human civilisation.
Francis Spufford Faber, pbk £8.99 Francis Spufford says he doesn't know if God exists. But nor, he points out, does Richard Dawkins. What Spufford does know, though, is that there are things about Christianity that feel right and good, and can't be got elsewhere. Unapologetic is a sharp, witty defence of faith which proves that, sometimes, the Devil doesn't have the best tunes.
Simon Garfield Profile, £16.99 From the early sketches of Antarctica to today's Google Earth, Simon Garfield explores how maps relate and re-imagine our history. We meet a whole cast of cartographical characters, including guesswork surveyors, unreliable navigators and sticky-fingered fraudsters. It's this wonkiness that fascinates Garfield most, as he reveals how maps are, in fact, another species of fiction. A book in which to get pleasurably lost.