Douglas Hofstadter is an outstanding American academic. He is interested in a great deal of subjects, ranging from the most abstract mathematical ideas to poetry translation. In his books you will find the harmonious blend of artificial intelligence, aesthetics, philosophy of mind, mathematical logic, theories of consciousness and whatever else. What is more, the writing style of D. Hofstadter is clear and beautiful. His books are definitely not "easy reading", they require thought and time to anticipate insights, but still are quite accessible.