Growing up, one of my favorite series of books to read was about Tom Swift, and his friends. Tom always invented cool gadgets that would get him out of scrapes, was always chasing Communist-sounding bad guys, was hyper patriotic, didn't see much need for girls ("Bye Tom, oh please be careful," they were known to murmur), while they stayed at home.
Nevertheless, they were great fun, and launched me on my science fiction reading interest. I love the internet, for I recently came across a great essay on Tom Swift. Enjoy.