Engineer-botanist Mark Watney is presumed dead and left by his crew mates on Mars as a dust storm forces them to abort their mission. Logbook style narratives describe Watney's efforts to extend his life until the next scheduled mission arrives in 4 years. Watney exemplifies the “never say die” attitude we associate with heroes but he is facing tough odds while trying to stay alive on Mars. Part astronaut primer and deep space survival guide, The Martian is an interesting sci-fi yarn!
The Martian : a novel by Andy Weir
Dark Sparkler, by Amber Tamblyn
Poet and actress Amber Tamblyn (Two and a Half Men; House, MD; 127 Hours) takes on the subjects of fame, death, and memory in thirty poems inspired by the lives of actresses both famous and obscure. From Brittany Murphy (“They say good things about the body. / How bold her eyes were, bigger than Hepburn’s.”) to Jayne Mansfield (“Your neck was a study of the asterisk, / the silken shape of Sanskrit, / the sucker punch of succulents.”), she turns an unflinching eye on the pressures and perils faced by women who make careers on camera. Raw, haunting, and powerful.
Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies
This is the time of year when I start lamenting the fact that I didn't get to go on an extravagant trip to an exotic location, leading me to find books that allow me to escape (even if just for a little bit!). Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies by Alastair Bonnett helped me to do just that. Bonnett visited floating islands, hidden cities, and places not recorded on maps, reminding readers that there are still uncharted territories out there. Even if you don't get to travel outside of your hometown this summer, this book is a great reminder to put down distractions and realize that there is so much more to be seen and learned in our world.