"Now any dogma, based primarily on faith and emotionalism, is a dangerous weapon to use on others, since it is almost impossible to guarantee that the weapon will never be turned on the user." - The Foundation Trilogy
I've been tardy on updating my "Off the Shelf" sidebar. These days I have moved onto the Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov. Of course, since I am tardy, I have actually already finished Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and am probably going to finish Second Foundation tomorrow.
The trilogy is one of the penultimate classics of the intellectual science fiction genre. As a reader, you rip through these stories fast, simply because the plot is fascinating. What are they about? Without giving away any plot: The books describe trends in civilizations, how they progress over time, how they change and how they adapt. If you don't like science fiction, I would still recommend these books. The story is truly fascinating, the trends completely relevant.
Following the trilogy, there are two more books which I will move onto as well: Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth.
I know a lot of people who read these books when they were younger, high school or prior. This is actually my second go around as I do not remember the stories at all. My ER doctor saw me reading it and stopped to have a 15 minute conversation about it at around 3:15 am on Saturday morning...all around, no one I have ever met did not enjoy these books. Highly recommended, by me, and ER doctors everywhere.