book review

Reading List: The Martian

I just finished reading The Martian by Andy Weir. It's a book about an astronaut, Mark Watney, who gets stranded on Mars after a storm forces the rest of his team to evacuate. They, and everyone on Earth, believes he died in the storm. But he didn't. Watney goes through enormous trials to survive and to contact NASA; we're shown his ingenuity and creativity in his fight for survival. He's a botanist and a mechanical engineer, so his skills are fairly well suited to his predicament.

The book is heavy on science, but it's not a hard read. And Watney has a sense of humor that helps him stay sane through his ordeal, so the reader is entertained by little comments Warney has about his situation and how he reacts to things. I loved reading about Watney, and I wish that there was more to the book. I didn't want it to end!

The book has been made into a movie, currently in theaters. I've heard good things about the movie, though I have not been to see it yet.

The movie trailer is below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej3ioOneTy8]

Have you read the book? What did you think?

Reading List: Gathering Blue

Back in middle school I read The Giver and when the movie came out recently I saw it. While trying to figure out what to read I came across Gathering Blue, the sequel to The Giver, on Kindle Unlimited and got it for my trip to California. I didn't want to set the book down. I wanted to know more about life in the village and why everyone treated each other the way they did. I wanted to know more about the monsters and the governance. I love books that make you think; books that make you consider what your world could be like. And there's no shortage of dystopian novels out there.

(Spoilers ahead)

In the book the government controls the population through fear and ignorance. The common people live in huts while others live in grand buildings with private indoor bathrooms and lots of varied food. It's a world where the weak are cast aside; only the strongest survive. But the main character, Kira, survives with a hurt leg because her mother and grandfather wouldn't let her be put out in the field.

But in this world where only the strongest survive and almost no one has kindness or compassion, a world where the strongest survive, you want the people to be kind, to care for others. You want a world where the people aren't just surviving but thriving, living, and loving. There is a lack of love among the villagers, even among families, demonstrated by one woman (probably) killing her toddler for knocking her over and scarring her. (The child's death could have been an accident but that's up for your to decide.)

Kira and a few others have the creativity valued by the village leaders, the creativity to create things and to help them shape their world (for better or for worse.)

I liked the book and I've just downloaded the sequel Messenger to my Kindle.

Have you read any of this series? What did you think?