by Andy Weir

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This fast-paced, high tension debut novel had me breathless at times, laughing at others. Astronaut  (and mechanical engineer, and botanist) Mark Watney has been abandoned on Mars after a scrubbed mission, presumed dead. He has some supplies, shelter, some food. But not enough of any of it to last until the next Mars mission lands in 4 years. He uses his training, ingenuity, and creativity to modify equipment, make more food and water, explore, and eventually re-establish communications. The story is mostly told through Mark's log entries, which manage to be both scientific and entertaining at the same time. The tension ramps up with the addition of glimpses of what NASA is doing to try to rescue Mark before he runs out of food. While I'm no scientist, everything Mark does sounds plausible, and he has his share of both success and catastrophic failure. Try this if you like survival stories, creative problem solving, and a character with a great voice. EVen if you're not a science fiction fan, Mark's story is gripping.

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