I really liked the whole Aubrey-Maturin series by O'Brian. Should give you plenty of good excuses not to work
I would also recommend Ashes, ashes and The Ice People by Barjavel, although I don't know if the translation from french is any good. Those are old SF books and maybe a bit dated but the underlying themes are still relevant today.
The Island, Behind the Glass and Malevil by Robert Merle are also very good (Behind the Glass might not make a lot of sense if you don't know anything about the events of May 1968 in France and the history of all the crazy fringe political groups of the days).