I've just finished reading "The healthy country? A history of life and death in New Zealand" by Alistair Woodward. I found it well worth the read. The issues of health and death are central to the role of insurers of people. This book is a treasure trove of information about the history of those things, and also provides some interesting ways of looking at the future of them too. There are reminders of the kinds of things that you realise are obvious after you read them, but which one obviously was not continually conscious of. For example, for a public policy to affect mortality much, its effects must be widespread. Another example, that causes of death at the individual level are not the same as the causes of incidence at the population level. Another: that mortality changes can be large - witness the massive reduction in heart disease-related deaths, and the reduction in lung cancer deaths currently being experienced. It also make awkward reading when faced with evidence of the impact of European colonisation on Maori. Thanks to Jeremy Bernstein for the recommendation. As a consequence of reading this one of my New Years' resolutions is to revise my stats knowledge. Link to Amazon page, summary, and reviews.