The Martian; Andy Weir

A manned space craft on Mars runs into trouble and needs to evacuate the planet.  The crew leaves behind one of the astronauts that they believe was killed and were unable to reach him.  The astronaut ends up being alive and stranded on Mars.  Told mostly from the point of view of the astronaut it chronicles the years long efforts to rescue him.  Very techy novel filled with many geeky details… but it is tough to put down.  An unexpected fun page turner.  Highly reccomend.

I just read the novelist first published the story on the internet, one of his hobbies but it eventually got published.  It’s now a huge best seller and the movie is coming out in two weeks.  It just premiered this weekend in Canada and got excellent reviews.  I’m excited to see it.  Read the book first!!

PJH Rating: ****1/2

The Monsters of Templeton; Lauren Groff

A huge loch ness type monster washes up on shore of a small upstate New York town as a woman returns to the town from living in California.  The woman investigates her past history going back many generations and the novel goes back and forth between present and the past during her ancestors.  Interesting story, but it took me forever to read bouncing back and forth between other books I’ve been reading.  Unfortuantely not as good as Groff’s Arcadia that I really liked.

PJH Rating: ***1/2

The Silver Linings Playbook; Matthew Quick

An unlikely love story centered around mental illness and Philadelphia Eagles football.  Great book – read it in 24 hours.  I saw the movie several years ago and liked it – but as is usually the case the book is much better.  Actually – we watched the movie again this week as we both read the novel and loved it and was quite suprised how different the movie is from the book in several important ways.  In any case… great book.

PJH Rating: ****1/2