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Reader recommendation: Cryptonomicon

Monitor readers share their favorite book picks.

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I am currently slogging through Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. I can't say I'm enjoying it; it was an act of sheer willpower to make it through first 100 pages. The jump between past and present is/was somewhat disconcerting and I am not sure I even "like" the characters. That being said, there are several passages of such sheer, unbridled descriptive brilliance that they stand out like gems.