A friend (whose opinion means a lot to me) recently recommended I read The Brothers Karamazov. I was never that interested in Russian literature and maybe slogging my way through War and Peace didn't help.
I stumbled across this marvelous article about Apostolos Gerasoulis, the mathematician behind the search engine "Ask Jeeves." It tells a great deal about the creation of and ideas behind the search engine, but the one part that stood out for me was the following quote:
"At first, he was a pretty bad student, until he discovered the principle of abstraction in the stories by Dostoyevsky."
A nice thing to hear about for those of us with a mathematical and literary bent.