Book #50: Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon

OK, my 50th book of the year is a re-read, but it had been a few years. But after the Baroque Cycle, I needed to catch all the references between the two. And it was a massive re-read. I’m exhausted after roughly 3600 pages of Stephenson since Labor Day. Re-reading “Cryptonomicon” this time had the effect of underscoring the fact that, while it was a terrific speculative novel, Stephenson’s achievement in the Baroque Cycle is really much more amazing and significant. Cryptonomicon, which once felt like a weighty novel of ideas, now feels lightweight in comparison.

My reading rate, measured in books completed, has necessarily slowed in the last month as I plowed through four massive tomes. My “inbox” pile has grown as the rate of inflow failed to be matched by corresponding outflow. I neglected non-fiction for a temporary foray into fiction. But I’m back, and over the last months of the year, I expect to spend more time focusing on economics, history, some political theory, and a bit of biology.

As for the 50 Book Challenge, next year I think I’m going to bump that up to 75 or more, depending on how my reading goes between now and December. In any case, I’ll set some “stretch” goals for myself.


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