"The Discoverers", by Daniel J. Boorstin. It's part of a trilogy and tells the in-depth stories of discoveries made by man, including the invention of the clock. It's a heavy, thick read, written by a man that was the head librarian of the Library of Congress for 12 years. It's a fun book to read with a friend. The other two books that follow it are: "The Creators" (about artists) and "The Seekers".
Favorite author - Salmon Rushdie. I marvel at his book "Ground Beneath Her Feet"...exquisite!! Hard to get into, impossible to put down once you're in his world.