There seems to be a bit of a trend over on ScienceBlogsTM. First Razib decides that it's finally time to read The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, then John Lynch figures he should too. And now Laelaps gets into the act.
I have long maintained that you can't have a serious discussion about evolutionary theory until you've read Gould's tome. You don't have to agree with him but at the very least you have to understand the arguments and there's no better way to do it than by reading all 1432 pages. Take lots of notes. Write in the margins. Use a highlighter.
There are several things you need to get out of this book. First, Charles Darwin Was a Gradualist. Second, try to understand punctuated equilibria. Don't just assume that you know what it is. Listen to Gould explain it in his own words. An open mind helps. Third, understand what Gould means when he talks about hierarchical theory. Fourth, pay attention to the description of species sorting. Don't read your own biases into the concept.
Enjoy. It's worth the effort.
Warning: The Structure of Evolutionary Theory is written at a very high level. It's not for high school students. If the language and style turns you off then maybe it's not for you. Try Dawkins or Dennett. Their version of evolutionary theory can be understood by 5th graders.