"Pirate Latitudes" by Michael Crichton. It wasn't "The Pyrates" by any means. I think I tend to read more challenging books than this. It connectss interestingly (to me anyway) to the discussion Justine Larbalestier started about "crap" books. I don't think "Twilight" is any worse than "The Davinci Code" or this. I don't think it's a YA problem. It's that easy-to-digest books might sell better than harder ones sometimes. The flap said that this completed manuscript was found in Crichton's files after he died. I think it had been in there a long time, and needed a good copy-edit. Though the section about navigation into an island surrounded by a reef, directly into the sun, was really interesting and cool.
"Starfish" by Peter Watts. The boy says it should be called "Sea Star", because starfish aren't fish. And then he calls "Bill 157" because fish swim in schools, and therefore bill 157 applies. Bill 157 is an Ontario (I think) law that says that students can complain when other students offend them (or more accurately, I think, teachers can complain when students ought to be offended). I read it because I came across the author's blog due to his recent "situation" and I guess personal debacles are good marketing after all. The book was good. I read it in two days. I didn't find it overly depressing, and the characters were interesting. I liked the multiple POVs, especially where the psychologist has his breakdown. Funny.
"The Genius in all of us" by David Shenk. Ties in nicely with the "if you want it, you'll find time to write" theme that I got from Ad Astra. Also, deliberate practice: need to get me some of that. It's full of the 10,000 hours meme.
"Bitten" by Kelley Armstrong. Saw her on two panels at Ad Astra. This book totally sucked me in. By the time I was in chapter 2, I was totally interested in the main character and how she was going to handle the complex situation she found herself in. Also, the prologue has the main character running as a werewolf through the ravines of Toronto, and those same ravines are a big part of my life and my novel Apocryphal, so that made me happy.
The boy took it with him on a school trip. I wonder if I'm going to get questions from the staff advisors when he gets back...