by Arthur C. Clarke
One of my favorite science fiction novels. An object is discovered hurtling towards our solar system from deep space. As it gets closer astronomers discover that its shape is perfectly cylindrical - a kilometer in diameter and ten kilometers long. Thus begins the most unusual oddysey's of realistically told, and in believale in classic Clarke style.
This book offers an unusually compelling escape from reality. The story is so out of the realm of usual experience, and yet so vividly told, that reading it for only a half-hour is enough to trasport you completely - enough to make a lunch hour seem like a decade.