spughy, I just read Diamond Age! Wow. That guy has a seriously intricate imagination. I loved how immersive the world felt. I did have to give up keeping track of some of what was going on - I'm not sure if that was pregnancy brain, or just how the book worked. But it was easier for me to just read through and let it unfold rather than trying to make complete sense of all the different political factions. But I liked how all the character paths slowly came together and built into this thing that was so much bigger than it seemed like it was going to be at the beginning.
Thanks for the recommendation!
(also, based on yours and my cousin's suggestions, I have stockpiled the first three Temeraire books for post-baby )