We are huge fans of Neal Stephenson's works, from Snow Crash to Cryptonomicon, he's one of the best science fiction writers we've ever come across, and we've read quite a bit of science fiction. We were obviously excited to hear about his highly anticipated huge new book, Anathem.
Anathem is about a world, different from our own, in which a portion of the society seperates themselves into monastaries, that study math, geometry, physics, and other hard sciences; instead of religion. These monastaries are known as Maths, and it's in one of these, that life on Arbe will change forever.
Quick vote: If you love Neal Stephenson, pick up this book. If you've never read anything of his, we recommend that you start on something a bit more smaller and more palatable before diving in.
Aunt Kenya's Philosophy: Some complain that Stephenson is a tad too obtuse, and that he tends to obfuscate his reasoning in mundane and extemporaneous descriptions. I would juxtapose this with the position that he is one of the most intelligent and inventive authors of our time, and this book, with it's 960 pages, it worth your effort.