I read a book!
Oh c’mon now, no yawning. Yes, I know, that is hardly an interesting proclamation but when I’m in the writing process it’s really rare for me to read anyone else’s work. I have this weird paranoia about inadvertently picking up any great stuff from someone else so I just avoid it. Plus, there’s really no time. Plus, it can feel so intimidating to read such amazing stuff from incredibly talented writers.
I get around all of that simply by not reading.
But I loooove reading and getting into a good book has been calling to me lately so I compromised. I picked something so far from my own genre that there was no way I would want to “lift” anything from it. Plus it sounded mostly interesting so therefore a good use of time if I was going to “waste time” not writing.
The Martian by Andy Geir did not disappoint. In fact, one of the strengths of this book is its wonderful surprises. I’d heard a review of it on NPR several years ago now, ordered the book and there it sat with many others on my book shelf just dying to be read by someone. Thank goodness the day had come.
Well technically two days since that’s how long it took for me to get through it. That’s the other reason I can’t read when I’m writing – it’s all I want to do till the book is done!
So the set-up for The Martian is that mankind has made it to Mars. There’s nothing there but us and on one of the walks on the barren planet something goes wrong and one of the team dies. The rest of the team have to leave him, head back to the ship and back to Earth. But the thing is he didn’t die. He’s alive on Mars with very limited supplies, no way to contact home, and four years before the next ship returns. Oh, and giant size smarts and a strong will to live.
The book has many pages on technical stuff on how to make “living” on Mars possible. Most of it way over my brain level and yet:
I LOVED THIS BOOK!
Loved it! It is smart and clever and best of all, at times, flippin’ funny! The main character is written as smart and self-effacing. He faces incredible challenges at every turn. When I realized it was really, truly going to be a book about just this one guy on Mars and not this one guy finding some alien race on Mars, I was skeptical. I’m a fantasy girl. My trips to Mars would have little green men.
Thank goodness this didn’t. It’s far more powerful and, at times, magical almost in its realness. You are that guy. You are the team that left him there believing him dead. You are the team at home sick about it all and eventually, you are the world wanting him home.
So, go on, skip re-reading one of my books right now. I know you love me. Pick this one up instead and be really, really happy you are human and that each one of us matters.
Oh Oh Oh! – jingle