I'm reading (or trying to read) the Neal Stephenson book "Quicksilver" right now.
I've read two of his other books before ("Snow Crash" and "Cryptonomicron") and enjoyed them both, but I'm about to give up on Quicksilver. It's set in the past and he seems intent of focusing more on historical details than telling a story.
It's rare that I don't finish a book that I start, but I think it's about to happen. Oh well.
Update: Nov. 2021
Indeed. I did drop Quicksilver. However, I went on to read "The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer" and it's one of my favorite books. The idea of the primer is also totally in my head for something we can create.