EDIT: Consensus seems to be that general books don’t belong here, but that soylent-related ones are worth discussing on this forum. I’ve left what I wrote first below for posterity.
Continuing the discussion from Frustrated in Australia:
It looks like there might be demand for a book recommendations thread. Here it is, to avoid dragging the previous one off-topic
I propose a convention: when recommending a book, give its title, author, and “when should I stop reading it if I don’t like it”, as well as anything else interesting you want to say. When reviewing a book, try to avoid spoilers if you possibly can; if you must include spoilers, use spoiler tags as invoked by wrapping text in [spoiler ] [/ spoiler] without spaces, and warn at the top of the post.
My own short list of book recommendations is here. To this I would add “anything written by Douglas Hofstadter, not just Gödel, Escher, Bach” - in particular, Le Ton beau de Marot is a brilliant book about translation (stop reading it after the first chapter if you don’t like it). In my opinion, it is worth dropping whatever you are currently reading to read these, unless your current book(s) is/are really fascinating/absorbing. Your mileage may vary - I am one of those people who loves Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (stop reading it after the first five chapters if you don’t like it), so make of that what you will.
I also enjoyed The Debt to Pleasure, by John Lanchester (part cookery book, part fictional biography, lots of unusual words; stop reading after the first ten pages if you don’t like it).