I guess I should mention what I'm reading.
I recently signed up for Scribd, and I've gotten a lot of mileage out of it so far. In the last month, I've read:
2001: A Space Odyssey
2010: Odyssey Two
Eureka Man: The Life and Legacy of Archimedes
The Wire: Truth Be Told
What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins
A Ball, a Dog, and a Monkey: 1957 - The Space Race Begins
A Dirty Job - Christopher Moore
Cryptonimicon - Neal Stephenson
I was surprised to see how well the Arthur C. Clarke books hold up to today, and I'm looking forward to finishing the series. I've never seen the movie, and this was the first time reading the books, but I really loved it, and haven't had much hard sci fi in my diet for a while
The book about Archimedes was alright, but spent too much time actually explaining his theories for a book called "The life and legacy of".
The book about The Wire was a crass marketing ploy; there were some interesting behind the scenes stories and explanations about inspirations and such, but the majority of the book was actually a step by step synopsis of each episode of the first two seasons. Glad I didn't pay for this, it was included in the unlimited selections for the month.
What a Fish Knows was excellent. Learned quite a lot, and wish I could find more books like this so I can have a better understanding of what I'm seeing below the sea when I go diving. I've been looking for a readable primer on corals in particular, no luck so far.
A Ball, A Dog and A Monkey was a decently researched anecdotal history of the beginning of the space race. Not a lot of really new information for me here, but plenty of stories added more character to the events and development of this little bit of history.
A Dirty Job is the first Christopher Moore book I've read, and it was wacky and fun. I'll be on the look out for more of his work in the future.
Cryptonimicon was a weird experience, as I myself have at times pursued an amateur interest in cryptology, am from America, have lived in Shanghai, and was a short boat ride away from where the majority of the events of this book take place when I was reading it, and the descriptions of Manila hold a lot in common with Bangkok. I mistakenly believed this was a sci-fi book, but was happy enough with what it actually turned out to be, which I didn't expect to relate to so many parts of my life. The final third of the book, however, and the conclusion in particular, were quite unsatisfying, as it felt like it was just going through the motions for the inevitable end and the use of a final villain that you never got to know very well and who is only mentioned in passing in a couple of chapters. It also seemed at many times like Stephenson was just showing off his knowledge (or research) of cryptology, not unlike an Umberto Eco book, and at times I really felt like screaming "I GET IT ALREADY, YOU KNOW A FAIR AMOUNT ABOUT MODERN CRYPTOLOGY, GET ON WITH IT ALREADY!".
Currently reading a book about food philosophy, with a book about octopi, a biography of Leonard Cohen, and Jerusalem as the next contenders.