Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson — I finished this some time ago, but realised I forgot to rate it. A multi-stranded adventure through modern technology and WW2, following numerous related characters. Obviously codes and cyphers and other geeky sciences form an important part of the plot, but it doesn’t get too bogged down in mathematical detail, though one lengthy “email” printed in a tiresome font wasn’t a bit longwinded. One of those books I would pick up at every opportunity to find out what would happen next. Terrific stuff.
Freakonomics by Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner — A fascinating journey through the tidbits of western (okay, American mostly) life, via statistics. It doesn’t set out to comprehensively study anything in particular, but hits a number of partially-related topics. If you’ve ever wondered if kids lumbered with “Moe” names have problems progressing in life, this answers the American equivalent.
Now, who was it that wanted to borrow these next?