The Martian by Andy Weir description:
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?
I actually saw the movie before reading the book, and so I knew a lot of what to expect, and in a way it helped me visualize what was going on. But as funny as Matt Damon was playing Watney, it’s no where near the level of humor that is so easily displayed in the book. You wouldn’t think that a book about a man stranded on Mars with one thing after the next going wrong and him almost dying every other page would be hilarious, but it is. Watney is a very light-hearted man, with a quirky view of the world, and is just trying to make the most of what life he may have left. There is a lot of science in this book, and it tries to show things in a realistic way. But you’re also dealing with a character who decides to use terms like pirate-ninja for measurements instead of the long convoluted names you’re supposed to use. We also get a look at what’s going on back on Earth, and how they’re all working to save Watney, but the best part of that is when they’re just trying to figure out what he’s doing, and the comparison between their conclusions and the actual facts once more is worth a giggle. As extreme as the situations got, and having to take breaks just because my little baby heart couldn’t take worrying over this guy for another page, it was a wonderful book. I couldn’t put it down, and I had to know how it would all play out in the end. Even having watched the movie, I still had to know whether or not he was going to be okay.