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Topic: Books for 17 year old male

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Subject: Books for 17 year old male
Date Posted: 7/16/2008 2:27 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2005
Posts: 25,728
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He loves the Harry Potters, but no other SciFi/Fantasy.  He refuses to read Eragon (its been on his bookshelf since it was released )or the Redwall Series (his older brother loved them).

He loves DaVinci Code. He's read everything by Michael Crichton and almost all John Grishams.

He'd rather be playing guitar than reading but we said he has to read an hour every weekday this summer.  He has 2 months left.  He finished the first book, can't remember the name, but it was a political thriller.  He didn't particularly care for it but made it through.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. 

Date Posted: 7/16/2008 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2008
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How about Douglas Adams - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series?

I have a 17 yr old. He has recently read some books called "I Luv Halloween". they are written like comic strips. But, hey, it's still reading! There are at least 3 of those. He also likes to read the Anime books. I think he has read a Stephen King book or two. He read Fahrenheit 451 for school a couple of years ago and seemed to enjoy it.


Date Posted: 7/16/2008 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2005
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Thanks for the idea.  I'll have to dig out my Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.  Hmm, may be time for a reread myself!

Last Edited on: 7/16/08 3:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/16/2008 3:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
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What about The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy?  DS is reading Clear and Present Danger right now...he's 15.

Also, if you go to this http://www.renlearn.com/whatkidsarereading/  ans click on where it says "click here to download...."  then go to page 29 and you will see what boy in grades 9-12 are reading right now. Actually you can click on where it says "What Kids are reading...."  to see the same report.

Last Edited on: 7/16/08 3:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/16/2008 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,494
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If he likes mysteries I'd recommend the James Patterson books. The Beach House and Lifeguard have younger main characters if I remember correctly.

Date Posted: 7/16/2008 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
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I second James Patterson for him too.

Date Posted: 7/16/2008 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
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If he likes John Grisham, he might enjoy Scot Turrow. His books also deal with lawyers.

Date Posted: 7/16/2008 6:26 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
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This is my go-to book for everyone:  Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.  His true-life tale of his disasterous Mount Everest climb, that gets right to the excitement and wastes no time on the boring stats.  I can't believe a 17 year old (or anyone) would not be absolutely hooked from page 1.....

Date Posted: 7/16/2008 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2005
Posts: 25,728
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Oh that reminds me of another book I wanted him to read. 

Thanks so much for all these suggestions!

Date Posted: 7/16/2008 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2006
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Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. This is the best book I've read all year and it's just perfect for teen boys. It's fantatstic!

Date Posted: 7/16/2008 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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It's not fiction, but Homer Hickam's memoir about his West Virginia boyhood might get your boy's attention.  Homer had some interesting experiences with his friends, building and launching rockets and eventually going to a big Science Fair and  emerging a winner.  Hickam became a rocket scientist in real life.  The book was called Rocket Boys, though the film made from it was called October Sky.

Date Posted: 7/16/2008 9:26 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2005
Posts: 25,728
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Actually, both my sons have read Rocket Boys.

I picked up Into Thin Air and Dove (Robin Lee Graham) at the library tonight.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions.

Date Posted: 7/17/2008 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,761
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The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak if you think he can tolerate that the main character is a girl.

David Rain's Dragons series by Chris D'Lacey - the first book is The Fire Within and there are several copies available here. Like the HP books, it is set on a alternate earth, not another world. Dragons, humans, and polar bears team up to help fight global warming. They are very well written.

The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer - again there are many copies here. Same here with the alternate earth setting. I know some people prefer that to other world fantasy. And the Artemis Fowl books are FUNNY!

If he's holding off on reading Eragon b/c he saw the movie and didn't like it, tell him the book is 100X better!

Date Posted: 7/17/2008 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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If he likes military, what about Starship Troopers? Nothing like the movie.


Going on the asumption by the list you allow him to read books that have some sex in them:

Or John Birmingham Weapons of Choice trilogy?

Robert Graves' I, Claudius?

John Maddox Roberts' Hannibal's Children?

S M Stirling's Peshawar Lancers, Nantucket Trilogy, and.or Conquistador?

Eric Flint's 1632 or 1812?

Any particular reason why it has to be fiction? Why not some good science writing? Matt Riddley's Genome, for example. If he liked the DaVinci Code, bunches of books exist on the theory behind it. Or  good history books like A World Lit Only By Fire?

The Skeptic's Dictionary is really good, too.


Date Posted: 7/17/2008 10:54 PM ET
Member Since: 4/10/2008
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Well, I'm an 18 yo female and I also liked the Da Vinci Code, along with Grisham.. so maybe he'd like the Myron Bolitar series from Harlen Coben.  I like all of Coben's stuff but that series is some of his best, along with his most recent, which I think is called Drop Shot Hold Tight.  I have thoroughly enjoyed all of those.  Has he read any of Dan Brown's other books?  He may also enjoy them. 

edited name of book

Last Edited on: 7/19/08 1:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/18/2008 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2008
Posts: 664
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I asked my 17 year old son. He also recommended "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" if you are okay with the subject matter for your son. The main character in that story is from the same small town where I grew up. He went to elementary school with my uncles.


Subject: 17yr old
Date Posted: 7/18/2008 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 167
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How about Kurt Vonnegut or Richard Brautigan? I liked them as a teenager, Some imaginative stuff going on there. I second the Coben and Bradbury and the Grisham.  Classics: Catcher in the Rye  or Outsiders,  Moby Dick.Hmmm that's all I got at the moment.

Subject: When I was 17 I read...
Date Posted: 7/18/2008 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2008
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The Aubrey/ Maturin series by Patrick O'Brien  (did he like the film Master and Commander) ?

Run With the Horsemen by Ferrol Sams

The Lost World  by Arthur Conan Doyle (my favorite at around that age)

anything by Douglas Adams


Date Posted: 7/25/2008 3:03 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
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Look, I don't want to p**s anybody off, or anything, but I was a 17-year old male, once, so I'd suggest anything with "Play" or "boy" in the title; possibly "Pent" or "house", or anything with large illustrations, on any subject, as long as it's naked women. ;-)
Date Posted: 7/25/2008 7:51 AM ET
Member Since: 9/1/2007
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What about Dean Koontz. His newer stuff is closer to suspense, then "horror" which his earlier books are labeled as. The newer books read fast and are entertaining stories. When I was in high school I was a huge fan of King and my friend told me if I liked King I would love Koontz. I started reading Koontz and now he is my favorite author and I devour everything he puts out.

Date Posted: 7/25/2008 8:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
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Does manga count?  If so, the Beck series is great - it is about a teenage boy, his guitar, and a dog.

Date Posted: 7/25/2008 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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One of my kids likes Terry Pratchett and the other doesn't.  I really thought my son would be the one who liked them but although he's read a couple, he's just so-so for him.  DD had male friends who enjoyed him in college.

I think they both liked American Gods - I know DD recommended it.

Would a biography or autobiography of someone be a possibility?  It's not my genre, but perhaps there's someone whose story is in line with his interests.

My son is older but I'll ask him for some book recs since this comes up from time to time.  Unfortunately, he's not around this weekend.  He's been reading classics for a year or so although I think he reads other things too.  He was tracking down a copy of Gulliver's Travels!  He read the Mists of Avalon a few years ago too and that thing is too long for me to tackle.  He also just read my copy of Neil Gaiman's Stardust.  That's a short, easy read and there's a movie too.

(DD has been the one who read more sci-fi and DS is more fantasy, although they both read other genres.)

Date Posted: 7/25/2008 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2007
Posts: 175
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As Brooke mentioned, if he liked The DaVinci Code, he should read the other Dan Brown books.  I'd go for Angels & Demons next, because it's the same main character.  (And in my opinion, it's a better book.)  Plus, there are many copies available on PBS for most of them.  (Update: MANY many copies.  It looks like there are close to 2,000 of each of his four well-known novels, if you count all editions.)  In fact, I have a couple, and if your son wants them, I'll do a 2 for 1 on Angels & Demons and Deception Point.  (If you want, I'll even throw in the hardcover of The DaVinci Code and make it 3 for 1.  But since he's already read that, I'm guessing you don't need a copy.)

Last Edited on: 7/25/08 3:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/25/2008 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/30/2008
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Bravo on the reading encouragement.  Memorable reads from my late teens/early twenties (albeit 15+ years ago):

Orson Scott Card - Ender's Game et al (sci fi)

David James Duncan - The River Why (hilarious)

John Knowles - A Separate Peace

Frank Schaeffer - Portofino

Richard Adams - Watership Down

Ernest Hemingway - For Whom the Bell Tolls, Sun Also Rises, short stories

Jack Kerouac - On the Road

Franz Kafka - The Metamorphosis

Depending on maturity level, these authors also might be of interest:  Ken Kesey, Chuck Palahnuik, Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, Jerzy Kosinski, Cormac McCarthy

Date Posted: 7/25/2008 8:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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Second the Aubrey and Maturin series (Patrick O'Brian). Master and Commander is 1st. If he liikes the first one, he'll have a bunch more to go.

I am just re-reading S M Stirling's Island in the Sea of Time. I think I would try that.