Sorry Liz, not really up to date with contempory Science Fiction, other than the trilogy Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars and I think they may be 10 years old at least.
Here are some other ideas, presently reading "Empire of the Clouds", it tells the history of British Aviation innovation for the 10 years after the War. The copy I have has got painting of a Vulcan flight over an aerodrome.
I've just finished "Stormfront" which details our efforts in Oman in the early 70's by the same guy who did the Vulcan 607 book.
There is a wonderful book called "Rocket Boys", semi autobiographical story of a group of boys growing up in the early 60's learning how to put rockets together, the author went on to work at NASA.
Heavyish but worth the effort, Catch 22, The World According to Garp, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Any book by Bill Bryson, I almost caused an accident by suddenly bursting with laughter while on a coach to Amsterdam !
I'm assuming you and Eben have read all of the Foundation, Dune, Rama books.
How about the Tom Sharp books, "Blot on the Landscape", "Porterhouse Blues".
Sadly I'm away from my library so these are the ones that come off the top of my head.