So I stayed up waaaay too late last night finishing Little Brother, and it is definitely among the best books I've read in the past year, perhaps years. And I definitely have an even bigger, dorkier, crush on Doctorow now. There are too many best bits to even try to mention, but the clincher for me were the last two sections, after the novel itself wraps up, featuring friends of Doctorow pitching real-world computer security-type jobs to kids (it is, after all, a young adult novel). I just love the idea of selling smart, slightly anti-authoritarian-type kids on the importance of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civil liberties, and how to grow up to be the kind of adult who values and protects those things. Huzzah!
You can download Little Brother for free here, and watch Cory talk about his book below (though he doesn't reveal any spoilers, I sort of liked going into the book knowing very little about the structure of the plot).
Despite being without a new book for 12 hours (oh noes!) I did manage to get my hands on a copy of Anathem at the library today, along with A Canticle for Liebowitz. The latter is such a nicely sized and shaped book, I imagine it will be a real pleasure after lugging around the Neal Stephenson behemoth. Good thing I already know I like the guy else I might consider the weight a bit too much of a commitment!