If you are interested on the topic of the history of the metric system, check out The Measure of All Things, an absolutely fantastic read
(Note: I haven't actually read it, just got to flip through sections for a few minutes. It seems to be a nice mix of Hofstadter's personal stories and ideas, and I liked the writing, so I intend to read it soon.)
An for "similar to fiction, although I'm generally not into fiction" have you looked into narratives of science? They can be written with the fun aspects of historical fiction, but you come out with knowledge about real events. My favorite that comes to mind is "The Measure of All Things" about the history of the meter: http://www.amazon.com/Measure-All-Things-Seven-Year-Transfor...
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