After reading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet I really wanted to read more by David Mitchell. I picked Cloud Atlas because it was just sitting there looking all lonely on my bookshelf.
The book is a collection of six interconnected stories; each story is cut in half and interrupted by the next story. They are all set in diverse time periods, two of which are in the future. They all deal with the same sort of characters, with strong hints that they are reincarnations of each other (I envision Quantum Leap, the TV show starring Scott Bakula). I liked the stories and the way they tied together.