The last title in my i09 challenge is in fact one of my favorite books, and so was a little surprising to me that it had ended up in the list in the first place. However I do have to acknowledge that it can be a daunting undertaken. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson compares in size to things like the Stand, or maybe even War and Peace. Especially if you consider that the book is also extensively footnoted which add a great deal of richness to the overall narrative. The novel shifts between the events experienced by WWII code-breakers and the story of a tech firm looking to establish a secure offshore data haven. Even if at first there seems to be little connection between the two periods spanned by the book, the stories are interesting enough in-themselves that you don’t mind it might take some time for the intersection to occur as you follow the stories of the four main characters. However along the way there is a whole host of enjoyable supporting characters, not to mention a lush backdrop as Stephenson takes his reader around the world to a number of exotic locales. That said it is fair to point out that there are few very well developed female characters, and that the story can feel like it abruptly ends. Of course you tend to find that with things you’re enjoying. All in all I ended up having actually read 4/10 books on i09’s roundup so not the best, but not too bad. Once I’ve had a chance to look the other 6 over I’ll follow up and let you know if I think some of the other books that come to mind should still be on the list instead.