Here are some books I've really enjoyed...

Shadow Syndromes (Ratey & Johnson). Makes the case that traditional "mental illnesses" (manic depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, autism, etc) are in fact personality traits which each of us have to varying degrees. Also points out situations in which some of these mental "defects" can be of value, making them less of a cause for embarrassment.

The Elegant Universe (Greene). A discussion of "string theory" for the layman. Not easy to follow, it does, however, offer the only chance that most of us have had to understand the basis for the theories which may, some day, link gravity in with the three other forces in the universe.

The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition (Alexander). The situations which Shackleton and his crew endured are beyond belief, and the accompanying photographs are wonderful. If you think you are a tough guy, you need to read this, so you can get a grip.

Blind Man's Bluff (Sontag & Drew). The untold story of American submarine espionage. Some of the stuff we did is hard to believe. The "truth" behind "The Hunt For Red October".

Secrets and Lies (Bruce Schneier). A MUST READ. Schneier explains computer security so that any computer user can understand it. Every person in today’s society has an obligation to read this book. No kidding. Read it.

The Botany of Desire (Michael Pollan). Pollan describes four plants view of the world. The first two chapters (apples and tulips) show Pollan at his worst. He seems overly pleased with his own voice, repeating ideas until you are bored, and making unsubstantiated claims. He attempts to describe pictures rather than providing them. Very frustrating. The second two chapters (marijuana and potatoes) are excellent. The marijuana chapter discusses many issues underlying the psychopharmacology of THC and the War on Drugs, and the potato chapter discusses genetic engineering issues. You should borrow this book from a library and read the last two chapters: you won't be disappointed. This book needed an editor.