After a freak accident, astronaut Mark Watney is stranded on planet Mars. His shipmates have left him, not knowing he is still alive, and Mark has two choices: either succumb and die a lonely death or put his engineering and botany skills to good use and figure out how to live on Mars. He chooses the latter and becomes the sole living being on the planet. After months of solitary existence, Mark is able to harness his ingenuity to get back in touch with his teammates. Now planet earth must do everything in her power to bring The Martian back home.
What a fantastic, entertaining novel. Do not expect literary nuggets, but if you’re in for an emotional planetary ride, this is your book. I was always at the edge of my seat and found myself laughing out loud more than once. The geek in me is pleased and my interest in sci-fi is deepened.
The Girl on the Train
Psychological Thriller, Fiction
Riverhead Books (Hardcover)
January 13, 2015
Every day, alcoholic divorcee Rachel takes the train from the suburbs into London, pretending to go to a job that she's been long fired from. The train always stops at the same signal, one that lets her take a peek into the old life she once had with ex-husband Tom. She fools herself into avoiding staring at Tom's new life with Anna, the woman he had left her for and began a new family with, by letting her eyes drift to a couple a few houses down, who exhibit the perfect hopeful image of true love. She affectionately calls them Jess and Jason, though those aren't their names. When Meghan, Jess's real identity, goes missing, Rachel thinks she might have seen something, but she can't put the pieces of her memory together. For the first time, she sees her alcoholism as the crutch it really is, costing her not only her sanity but also the clarity around Meghan's disappearance as well.
It’s not enough to be a gripping and jumpy novel. Often, the most successful stories are the ones that remind us of our darkest selves or make us revisit moments in our lives that we thought we had safely left in the past. Good novels make us regurgitate our experiences. We project the nadirs of our existence onto works of art, from a distance at first. If the writing is good and doesn’t distract, we will feel the narrative with every fiber of our bodies.