I'm thoroughly absorbed in Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver, the first book of the Baroque Cycle trilogy. All the while I am castigating myself for leaving Cryptonomicon unread on my shelf for over a year. Soon to be remedied.
I marvel at how the author of Snowcrash and The Diamond Age has shifted his attention to 17th and 18th century England. The book is told through the eyes of an aging Massachusetts Puritan, a friend of both Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibnitz. The rivalry between Newton and Leibnitz over the discovery of the calculus is a backdrop to the novel.
Stephenson's research is deep and impeccable. We are introduced to the antics of members the Royal Society -- Hooke, Huygens, Locke, and other luminaries-- presumably the giants on whose shoulders Newton later stated that he'd stood. The political events of the era -- Cromwell and the Puritans, the Restoration of the Monarchy, the Glorious Revolution Continental wars, etc. -- form a rich historical context.
Recommeded to all!