The Fountainhead is probably my all time favorite book. I'm also a sucker for Michael Crichton.. Jurrasic Park and Next being my favorites by him. I also recently read Nanonethics: the ethical and social implications of nanotechnology. It was basically a bunch of essays by preeminent scientists and engineers about nanontechnology. Pretty boring for some, but if you're in to that stuff it is VERY interesting!
mesmerism! presidential assassinations! circuses on fire!