Aye. I’d be keen to join some sort of book club for smart people, where you could see others’ bookshelves a la LibraryThing, but on top of that also have very short reviews letting you know what to expect from each book.
Most books tend to fall into two broad categories: things you already mostly know, and things you care little about. The rare high-value book is one that has just enough connection to what you already know, and makes you care about a whole new domain. (An exceptional book, like GEB, will make you care about many new domains at once.)
One recently read book that was very high value because it covered ground that was totally new to me: Abbott’s System of Professions. Typically books in the sociology of professions had focused on the “trappings”, professional societies, regulation and so on. Abbott pointed out that professions were the emergent result of a complex system of jurisdictional disputes, and the only way you can understand a profession is by looking at the others that compete with it for dominion over its topics. Abbot’s analysis is so wide-ranging that it connects in several places with topics I care about; for instance when he analyzes “the construction of the ‘personal problems’ jurisdiction”, a tug-of-war between the clergy, the (early) “neurologists”, and psychiatry; or when he sketches the early history of the information professions—I hadn’t realized that librarians were among the first such.