Oh yeah, I’m pleased that you mentioned The Diamond Age. I really like that, and no-one else seems to even have heard of it! The Baroque trilogy is lots of fun too. I really liked all the “industrial alchemy”/mining/metal refining subplots…
For historical fiction, I don’t think you can beat Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin novels. Start with Master and Commander, and just live the Napoleonic Wars at sea for a few months. I inhaled the whole series (21 books, I think) in one spring after I’d broken a collarbone badly enough to do little but sit in a chair reading. They are absolutely marvellous, and have this slow burn to them that only becomes possible with this sort of super-long form serial fiction. They’re also interesting because they have the feel of being books written for contemporaries of the characters in the books, not for a modern reader.
What else? The Girl With All The Gifts, M. R. Carey. Extreme mycology, like The Road with mushrooms… (The Road is only recommendable if you have a strong stomach and don’t normally suffer from nightmares.) Anything by T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon’s pen name for writing for grown-ups). Clockwork Boys, Nine Goblins, Swordheart, all quality.
Totally different, if you like spy stuff, are Mick Herron’s Slow Horses books. Possibly the best approach to the genre since Le Carré, I reckon. And for a different genre, Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad books are too good for me to describe. They start with In the Woods. They’re amazing.
Ooh. Gushing about books is fun.
For more serious stuff, I’ve been reading Alan Cohen’s Prototype to Product, which O’Reilly are giving away free right now. Probably old hat to most people reading this, but I got some ideas from it.