today i sat down in the new york public library and finshed part 3 of the Baroque Trilogy by Neal Stephenson. best. books. ever. these books are "about" a lot of things: global politics, the nature of money, physics, technology, et al. so it is pretty hard to encapsulate a particular subject. one of my favorite aspects, however, is the historical fiction involved. Real people, world-changing people, populate these pages and add a weight to the fiction that i enjoy very much. Isaac Newton is perhaps the foremost "real" character in the book, and i learned much from this book about his life (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_newton). he was a deeply religious man, but with a critical eye, which led him to some unorthodox notions on christianity, god, and god's role in the universe. ach. i could go on forever about my love of these books, but my best efforts would not come close to your experience of reading them. go get them from the library. or perhaps better yet, read Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, which is the single volume descendant/antecedent (written before the Baroque Trilogy/ takes place after, with many ancestors from BT characters). the should be a good indicator of your level of interest! i hope you enjoy them like i did!