The Martian

Movel of the Month

The MartianThis book will not only appeal to the male population but also to those who have that desire to read about someone who is isolated on a planet, other than Earth.  It kind of reminded me of the movie Gravity because it situates a person in Space with just their own wits to depend on.  It is a story based on survival skills; man against the elements.  Mark Watney is a botanist and mechanical engineer who gets stranded on Mars, after his colleagues escape a dust storm and take off without him (believing he has died).  When he realizes his desperate situation, he quickly uses his knowledge to find creative ways in which to survive.  His problem seems more bleak after all his calculations: he may have to wait for the next NASA project to pick him up—which is a few years away—or hope that Earth will discover the grave mistake and try to rescue him.  Despite his predicament, Watney also relies on his humor to attack challenges and remain positive.  The book is fascinating and entertaining, which will keep you turning the pages.  This is realistic Science Fiction, as we know that soon Mars One is getting ready to send a few people on a one-way trip to the Red Planet, in the hopes that humans may some day be able to live there.  If you want more information about that project, click here.

HisLit title read-alikes:
If you were a fan of Weir’s first book, maybe you would also be interested in these titles:
The Martian Race by Gregory Benford
Mars Crossing by Geoffrey A. Landis
The Explorer by James Smythe

HisLit author read-alikes:
This may be a debut novel, but other authors have written in Weir’s style before: 
-Jack London (Just as Weir, London draws complex characters caught in battles for survival under the most forbidding conditions.  For Weir that’s often on the surface of Mars; for London it’s the frozen Arctic or the always-unpredictable ocean.  Both are fast-paced and suspenseful in their compelling celebrations of the human spirit.  If you have never read London, start with his classic, The Call of the Wild.)
-Dave Eggers (He can glide from silly to ironic to tragic in one book.  It is safe to say, however, that Eggers reliably delivers pathos and passion, whether his subject is serious, fanciful, or somewhere in between.  Start with: What Is the What.)
-James Dickey (Dickey incisively dissects his protagonists’ inner lives even as he chronicles their unquenchable desire for transcendence through adventure.  When you finish one of his novels, you’re left feeling that you had a terrifying dream and that it’s somehow changed you in innumerable ways.  Start with: Deliverance.) 

It definitely takes brains and guts to survive in the Martian climate, which is why I prefer to read about it instead of physically experiencing it!  Maybe witnessing Watney’s journey will be enough to inspire you to become an astronaut.  Good luck, if it does 🙂

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