Review: The Martian

The Martian

  • Author: Andy Weir
  • ISBN: 9781101905005
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Pages: 435

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills — and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit — he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him? – Goodreads synopsis

The Boyfriend bought a copy of this book for me back when we first saw the movie trailer.  I had heard of The Martian long before that but it hadn’t piqued my interest enough to get it at the time.  After seeing the trailer, I definitely wanted to read it before I saw the movie.  Now that I’ve finally gotten around to reading it, I still want to see it.

The Martian is a story in which we already assume the outcome.  We know Mark Watney is going to survive.  What kept me reading despite knowing that?  One, it’s hilarious.  As you can imagine, Watney has some spectacularly bad days, beginning with the day he gets stranded on Mars.  He handles it all with the kind of sarcastic humor required for impossible situations.  Two, I didn’t know HOW he was going to survive.  Every moment of uncertainty on his part had me on the edge of my seat, rapidly getting through the pages until I knew whether or not one of his plans worked.  I cheered for him when they did, and I felt frustrated for him when they didn’t.  Three, the book is organized into chapters that are broken down into short sections, which made it extremely easy for me to say, “just a couple more pages.”

This was supposed to be my “work” book, and while I mostly read it during my lunch breaks, I also took it home with me to read after dinner and during the weekend instead of the other books I was reading at the time.  I sincerely hope Weir has plans to write more books.

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Review: Time Lord Fairy Tales

Time Lord

Doctor Who: Time Lord Fairy Tales read by Tom Baker, Paul McGann, Joanna Page, Michelle Gomez, Adjoa Andoh, Ingrid Oliver, Anne Reid, Dan Starkey, Sophie Aldred, Rachael Stirling, Samuel Anderson, Nicholas Briggs, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Yasmin Paige & Andrew Brooke.

A collection of dark and ancient fairy tales from the world of Doctor Who, these captivating stories include mysterious myths and legends about heroes and monsters of all kinds, from every corner of the universe. Originally told to young Time Lords at bedtime, these twisted tales are enchanting for Doctor Who fans of all ages. – Goodreads synopsis

I had an Audible credit and no idea what I wanted to listen to next.  I had already gone through my wishlist and didn’t find any of the samples of the audiobook editions appealing.  I also knew I wanted something in the Sci-Fi genre, but no idea what, so I did a search to see what Doctor Who books were available.  Most of them were far lower in price than what I paid for the credit, but then I saw Doctor Who: Time Lord Fairy Tales and that Michelle Gomez, the actor who plays Missy, was one of the narrators.  The sample sounded wonderful, and really, what could be better than uniting Doctor Who and classic fairy tales?

I don’t think I could have made a better choice than to use my credit to purchase this gem of an audiobook.  I loved every minute of every story.  I wasn’t always sure what fairy tale a story was based on, but that didn’t matter to me, because they all had the feel and sound of a fairy tale, and that was exactly what I wanted.  The first is a wonderfully creepy tale involving the Angels, and while it felt familiar to me, I couldn’t quite place its origin in the fairy tale canon.  However, most of the other stories were immediately obvious, even if you’re not paying attention to the titles, including one that was an interesting version of Sleeping Beauty and another equally interesting version of Hansel and Gretel.  There are also versions of Cinderella (which is one of my absolute favorites), Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, Red Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast, and several other well-known stories.

Normally, I’m not one to re-listen to an audiobook, but I think Doctor Who: Time Lord Fairy Tales might be the exception.  I also want to add the hardcover edition, which is supposedly beautifully illustrated like a children’s storybook, to my collection.  This is definitely one of the books every Doctor Who fan should have.

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Monday’s Minutes

“Monday’s Minutes” is a weekly post in which I track my bookish life.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

Finished:

  • Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro
  • Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Feed by Mira Grant
  • How to Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  • Chapter and Hearse by Lorna Barrett
  • The Communication Room by Adam Aresty

Primary Fellowship Feed

Heroine Princess Bride 2 Chapter

Communication

Challenges:

Total pages read: 1119

Total # of books for the year: 57.  For Bout of Books, I concentrated on finishing my current reads instead of starting new books.  Not only did I finish all of my current reads, I also finished The Communication Room.  I don’t have any new books started because I finished The Communication Room right before I went to sleep last night and didn’t feel like trying to decide on what I would read next.  I’m fairly certain that’s the first time this has ever happened!

What are you reading this week?

Bout of Books 17: Day 7 Progress and Wrap-Up

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I managed to finish both of the last of my “current reads”, Chapter and Hearse by Lorna Barrett and The Princess Bride by William Goldman.  After that, I started and finished The Communication Room by Adam Aresty.
I did much better during this Bout of Books than I thought I would.  I think this is the first time ever that I haven’t had been in the middle of at least one book, and though it won’t last more than a day, I feel like I’ve accomplished something.  The only drawback is that I have so many reviews to write now, and I already had several before this week!
  • Total Time Read: 24 Hours 31 Minutes
  • Total Pages Read: 1119
  • Books Finished: Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro, The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, Feed by Mira Grant, How to Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis, The Princess Bride by William Goldman, Chapter and Hearse by Lorna Barrett and The Communication Room by Adam Aresty.
  • Total Number of Books Read: 7

Bout of Books 17: Day 6 Progress

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I listened to some of Chapter and Hearse by Lorna Barrett while I did my weekend chores and ran errands.  Once everything was done, I dipped into The Princess Bride by William Goldman.  I finished the book itself, but the edition I’m reading has another section afterward which includes “Buttercup’s Baby.”  I’m hoping to finish it and Chapter and Hearse before tonight.
  • Time Read: 4 Hours 9 Minutes
  • Pages Read: 180
  • Books Finished: None
  • Total Number of Books Read: 4

Bout of Books 17: Day 5 Progress

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I listened to some of Chapter and Hearse by Lorna Barrett during my commute to and from work and I finished How to Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis.  I also decided to use my Friday night (when the Boyfriend has his game night) to go through my shelves and read/skim through a whole stack of books that were very important to me during my 20s but were probably no longer useful to me now.  As a result, I have no idea how long I read, but there are now ten more books in the box that will go to the used bookstore when it’s full.  I think I’m done with culling my shelves in large chunks, and I’ll only be adding to the box as I finish books from my TBR that I don’t want to keep.  At least for a couple more years.  I wonder how many more books will I outgrow during my life?
  • Time Read: ?
  • Pages Read: 115
  • Books Finished: How to Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis

Heroine

  • Total Number of Books Read: 4

#FitReaders Check-In

FitReaders2016
  • This check-in is for August 19th – 25th.
  • My goal for this week was 8K steps per day.  This was yet another bad week thanks to not feeling well.  However, I’ve signed up for a free health and fitness program offered through my job’s health insurance.  I’ve got an appointment on Monday and I should be able to start the program shortly after that.  I’m hoping it works better than the one I was on through the VA.
  • My best day was Thursday when the Boyfriend and I went for a walk together after dinner.  Even though I didn’t meet my step goal, I did meet my active minutes goal for the day.  I also walked up more flights of stairs than on any other day, and that’s the only reason I met my stairs goal for the week.
  • I’m going to try for 8K steps per day again, but my goal(s) might change depending on how the program works.
  • If you’d like to add me as a friend on FitBit, you can find me HERE.
  • Steps: 24,415/49,000
  • Miles: 10.04/17.5
  • Flights of stairs: 80/70
  • Active Minutes: 69/175
  • Monthly 5K Races Completed: 3/10
  • Monthly 1 Mile Fun “Runs” Completed: 2/10
  • Total Money Donated: $21.58/$25.00

Bout of Books 17: Day 4 Progress

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

The Princess Bride by William Goldman is much easier to read during my breaks at work, so I focused on that instead of How to Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis.  I’m hoping to finish both this weekend and maybe listen to the rest of Chapter and Hearse by Lorna Barrett while I do my weekly cleaning.
  • Time Read: 2 hours 55 minutes
  • Pages Read: 104
  • Books Finished: None
  • Total Number of Books Read: 3

Bout of Books 17: Day 3 Progress

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I wasn’t feeling well, so I called in sick from work.  After I finally got out of bed, I finished The Fellowship of the Ring and then Feed by Mira Grant.  I also read quite a bit of How to Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis.
  • Time Read: 6 hours 44 minutes
  • Pages Read: 365
  • Books Finished: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien and Feed by Mira Grant

Fellowship Feed

Bout of Books 17: Day 2 Progress

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I listened to more of Chapter and Hearse by Lorna Barrett during my commute to and from work, and I finished Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro during my breaks.  After work, I read more of The Fellowship of the Ring before I went to bed.
  • Time Read: 4 hours and 10 minutes
  • Pages Read: 149
  • Books Finished: Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro

Primary

  • Total Number of Books Read: 1