Friday, September 4, 2015

Summer Reading Highlights, Part 1: Science in Fiction - The Martian and The Circle

I’m going to start with the best book I read this summer. There’s been some growing buzz surrounding this book due in large part to the upcoming movie starring Matt Damon. Having heard few specific details about this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. And boy were those low expectations exceeded!

The science part of the book was a bit heavier than I anticipated, and I’ll admit there were some parts that were a little too detailed and heavy for my tastes, but they were wonderfully balanced by the humor. Who knew a book about a guy getting stranded alone on Mars for years would be so funny?! The tense nature of the storyline (how would he survive? would he get rescued?) kept me engaged throughout the book, and the humor was definitely what kept me highly entertained.

I also loved that reading this fictional book made me think a lot more about all the current talk of sending real manned missions to Mars, and how feasible that would be. It also had an interesting perspective on how valuable one life can and should be. Lots to think about! Well worth reading.  

This was the other book I read this summer that really made me think – this time in perhaps a less positive way. The story delves into how dependent on technology we can (or maybe have) become, and the subtle way it creeps deeper and deeper into our lives. I was on the edge of my seat throughout this whole (tense!) book, anxious to find out what the main character would do next and how far she would go.

I really took this story as a caution to be more mindful of how much I rely on technology personally, and definitely vowed to do more reading without the distractions of phones, computers, TVs, and tablets anywhere nearby!  I certainly appreciate a book that makes me want to read more.

What did you think of these two books? Or are you now inspired to give either of them a try?

Keep reading! Beth 


  1. I just finished "The Martian" and I loved how the book brings you through the math and scientific thought process he needs to do in order to survive. I've got a few qualms with the soil science, but overall it was really well done and it's exciting that ecosystem building has made it into a mainstream novel and now movie!

    I'm pretty excited to see how it translates to the big screen.

    1. Hi Becca, thanks so much for your comment! I'm glad you liked the book, and I agree with you on the science. I mostly found it fascinating; I know a lot of others were a bit put off by it. I've heard from several articles online that the information is surprisingly accurate, but of course I'm sure not 100% correct.

      I'm really excited for the movies based on both these books; I hope they're adapted well, as there's so much potential in both stories.