A few years ago, my friend Joe said, "Jer, you've got to read this book Cryptonomicon."
He gave it to me. It was over 1000 pages long and, try as I might, after about 50 pages, I said to myself, "this isn't for me."
Then, it sat on my shelf...for 3-4 years.
Recently, I was doing a bit of cleaning and I figured I should return the book to Joe and I left it on his doorstep. That weekend, I saw him and he chided me, essentially saying, "you don't know what you are missing."
I accepted that and moved on.
Then, in a twist of fate, about 20 minutes later, I was engaged in a conversation about technology, Bitcoin, and more, and another friend, Michael said, "you know, you really need to read a book called Cryptonomicon."
I almost hit the floor.
I found Joe, told him the story, and that night, the book was on my doorstep.
I gave it another shot...and I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN.
I kicked myself for not appreciating it before (maybe a "when the student is ready, the teacher appears" moment?).
The author's overall depth and breadth of knowledge is simply astounding.
The story has multiple stories within it covering World War II, the advent of the Internet era, a history of cryptology and a whole lot more. His understanding of the human condition (well, at least how men think) is not only deep, but articulated in a way that I had never experienced before.
If you like technology, history, thrillers, or just good stories...this book is a fantastic combination of all of them.
Joe--sorry I didn't appreciate your wisdom.