Book Thread 2018^H9


Thanks as I was thinking I would have to figure out which one to read next. It looks like he has a trilogy or at least a series of books that are connected, any idea how those are?


This was my favorite as well.


Assuming you’re talking about the System of the World trilogy (Quicksilver, etc.), they’re fascinating until they’re not. It’s kind of about the rivalry between Newton and Liebnitz over who created calculus, but really ranges all over Europe (and the world) from the mid 1600’s to the early 1700’s. I felt like it got pretty bogged down in the third novel. Expect disquisitions on math, banking, piracy, the tangled family trees of European monarchs, coffee, kidney stones, baroque thought, art, and culture, etc etc etc.

A couple of the characters are intended to be ancestors of some of the Crytonomicon characters.

I’d recommend Anathem actually if you’re looking for your next Stephenson.


Some of that sounds interesting and some of it I would fast forward thru. :)

Just a side thing but I always thought baroque was pronounced ba-roke, as though if it ain’t baroken don’t fix it. But I have been watching a PBS show (Globe Trekkers) based out of England probably and they pronounce it entirely different.


The Baroque Cycle is indeed a great set of novels. It can be a bit of a slog in places, and confusing, with a lot of characters. Unlike @Matt_W, I felt the first of the trilogy was the hardest to get through. If you finish that, you’re home free! It is basically a longer, more detailed and confusing version of Cryptonomicon (set a few hundred years earlier), so if that appeals to you, go for it.

Anathem is also great, of course. And shorter!


Anathem or Diamond Age are my personal reccomendarions.

Stylistically Diamond Age is closest to Snow Crash. Anathem has a really cool idea that unfolds part way trough the book that transforms the genre.


They never stopped being fascinating for me. Also, too, there are pirates! So there’s that.


In addition to my sci-fi wheelhouse, I also enjoy good quality crime/detective/legal novels. For example, I’ve enjoyed a lot of John Sandford, Michael Connelly, and Robert Crais books.

I’m curious about the Dismas Hardy series by John Lescroart - looks like it might be interesting to me. Any impressions on the series?


I like them a lot, especially when read in order. In the early books Hardy is a cop or recent ex-cop, and the stories are more like straight detective stories. Hardy become a lawyer and, over time, they become more like legal thrillers; or at least that element of the story comes more to the front.

He’s a good writer and well-versed in the genre. He’s written several books about the detective Auguste Lupin, which are an obvious homage to Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe.


I have a Michael Connelly I purchased at used book store. I will look for the Dismas Hardy series by Lescoart.


I liked Diamond Age (a young lady’s illustrated primer) a lot.


Changed thread subject for the new year.

Diamond Age is a classic!


Indeed. Great story.


@wisefool @stusser @RichVR you are all gentlemen/women and scholars of good taste.


Yesterday I took a couple boxes of books to the local used book store and managed to find the first two books in the second Uplift Trilogy by Brin, in good shape. The only Stephenson they had was one nobody has mentioned and it was pretty worn.


Just finished Andrew Sean Greer’s ‘Less’, which is a very well-written comedic romp through the life of a man about to turn 50, whose longtime lover is getting married to someone else. He is invited to the wedding, and of course, can’t bring himself to go, so he invents a worldwide tour of work to be his excuse to not attend. The tour is hilarious. It’s nice to read something so well crafted and funny, while still hitting a lot of salient points about mid-life.

The Times wrote a better review than I ever could, so let me just leave a link:

Highly recommended.


Well then it wasn’t Readme or Interface! Curious which one it was though. I’m guessing Seveneves.


Well. I’m a man. And I know that wisefool is. What is stusser hiding? Not that there is anything wrong with that. :)


post withdrawn? I don’t know how to do that?


It was Odalisque, which I guess is the first book in the Baroque Trilogy.