Close, A Very Short Introduction to Nothing – a neat and fascinating summary of contemporary thought about vacua. Turns out we can’t find nothing anywhere – there’s always something going on.
Menand, The Marketplace of Ideas – an intelligent summary of the history general education in American universities, including thoughtful suggestions and some incisive criticisms of professorial complacency.
Hofstadter, I am a Strange Loop – or, “I am a Self-Involved Mathematician.”
Stephenson, Anathem – wow. An adventure in a parallel universe where philosopher/scientists live in monasteries, walled off from a world of consumerism and fanatic religions, and are visited by a huge spaceship piloted by denizens of four other possible worlds. Really interesting and creative … but 900 pages?!
Barbour, The End of Time – “After 35 years of thinking about it, I now believe that time and motion are illusions.”