I just finished reading The Numerati, by Stephen Baker. Baker, a former Business Week technology columnist, describes a new breed of companies seeking to gather and analyze the massive amount of data we create through work, shopping, voting, communicating, and even seeking love. He breaks the book up into chapters titled Worker, Shopper, Voter, Blogger, Terrorist, Patient, Lover. In some cases, you might be excited and encouraged by what can and will be accomplished by the math wizards that sift through our data. In other cases, it might be a bit frightening. Either way, I would recommend this book to anyone that might fit in to the above categories (that is, everyone), but certainly to anyone in our industry that has or will be involved in building applications that generate and/or process user data. It's fascinating.
Here's a short video interview with the author, discussing The Numerati:
You can also listen to an interview with Stephen Baker on the CBC podcast, The Spark.
There is also a website and blog for the book at TheNumerati.net.