One Giant Leap…

Fifty years ago, today, man walked on the moon.

buzz aldrin vintage GIF by US National Archives

So put down the mini computer that you hold in your hand and just think how mind-blowing it is that FIFTY years ago two men walked on the moon.

People designed and built a machine to keep men alive in space. People figured out all the crazy variables involved in space flight. People did this at their 9-5 job in a time before:

  • soft contact lenses
  • airbags
  • 9-1-1

They put man on the moon and brought them home…alive! That one step is proof scientists, mathematicians, engineers, pilots, and explorers can accomplish anything. Apollo 11 .

I had planned to share reviews on four stories to celebrate the anniversary of the lunar landing. I managed to get Hidden Figures and The Martian up on the site. I am still reading the other two! And these reviews will be up soon. (A Man on the Moon is 600 pages long. This will take time.)

Keep reading. Keep learning. And keep striving to branch out and explore all the world, and space beyond, has to offer. Happy reading!

Lindsay

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The Martian

The Martian
by Andy Weir

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?

NOTE: The second book review of the week is a re-share and covers one of my favorite fiction stories! The Martian belongs on the Space theme week as it provides a snapshot of our potential future. It also celebrates the drive for scientific research and the yearn for adventure that propelled the US’ intial space flights. I adore this book. Enjoy!

I admit that I can be a ‘book snob’ because I tend to steer clear of books that become instant hits. You know which books I mean. The novels that, all of a sudden, everyone is talking about. Usually these books just don’t live up to the hype and this is why I avoided reading The Martian for so long.

It was quite stupid because I knew it was my type of book the instant I read the back cover. And yet, I still hesitated! Then I saw the movie trailer and realized that I was just being stubborn. Space exploration and astronomy are favorite subjects of both my dad and my husband (and me!) I’ve watched every documentary and I needed to read The Martian. I purchased my copy the next day and I couldn’t put it down.

The Martian tells the survival story of Mark Watney, a Mars astronaut that is accidentally left behind when his mission is aborted. It is Andy Weir’s debut novel and my favorite novel of the year! I loved the journalistic writing style and the  plot flowed smoothly, keeping me consistently engaged. was great. I enjoy how Weir mixes Watney’s storyline with that of the scientists on Earth, his crew, and the backstory of the equipment. I even enjoyed the science and had no problem understanding the application.

Many might consider the technical and straight-forward writing style too dull but I loved it. I’m a blunt, literal person so I t worked for me. The secondary characters are cookie cutter and underdeveloped but the only one that really annoyed me was Annie, the PR rep. I’m pretty sure Weir can’t stand media people from his descriptions of her. I also doubt Weir will be able to write any other novels in this style with the same level of success. I don’t see him as a one hit wonder but I do hope to continues to grow as a writer and expands his character development skills.

So many reviewers have complained that the book is trying too hard to be funny. I personally loved the corny humor of the novel. Watney’s goofy attempts to lighten the mood kept me reading and for those who wanted to see someone struggling to deal with the trauma of being left on Mars? You got it! Humor is one way many people deal with a bad situation (we all have been to a funeral where one person won’t stop laughing). Read a YA romance novel or modern women’s lit story if you need 300-400 pages of angst and tension. The humor is obviously Watney’s way of coping with the boredom and stress of being stuck alone for over a year. Go back and read the parts where our plucky astronaut is actually dealing with a life or death situation. You’ll realize that he’s not making jokes in the heat of the moment. They come afterwards. Plus, the journal is what Watney wants other people to know. He mentions that MANY times, so it may be a window in to his personality and experience but it’s edited. Sheesh!

I definitely recommend The Martian but I also understand that it might not be the book for everyone. Let me know if you have any questions or please share all the things you love about this story! I can’t wait until October 2nd because I NEED to see this movie!

Lindsay

Space!

I had no intention of doing another theme week until September, but then I realized the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing is in just one week!

Guys….I love mystery stories. I love historical nonfiction. But your girl is the biggest fangirl/nerd when it comes to aviation and space exploration history! I mean…I fly an airplane build in this late 40s…I used to work at an aviation museum (dream job!)…I watched the last night launch of the Space Shuttle! I had to read all the books, and then of course share them with you!

lift off space GIF by US National Archives

The next week is going to include a great selection of nonfiction and fiction, and I am so excited to be sharing it with you! Please hit me up with your favorite books on this topic. I definitely need to add more to my library.

excited anna kendrick GIF

Lindsay

Fairest

Now for the review of the Lunar Chronicles prequel, Fairest! I will not be rereading Fairest this month. It’s my least favorite of the series but I still recommend reading it at least once! Enjoy the review and have a great Saturday!

History and Mystery

Fairest

by Marissa Meyer

 Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

Fairest is the story of the evil Queen Levana, and the prequel story for Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicle series.  For those not familiar with the series it contains three full length…

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Cress

Sorry it took all week to get you this review! I am currently rereading Cress and, once again, caught up in the race to save Emperor Kia from Queen Levana. Happy a great Friday fellow readers!

History and Mystery

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Cress is the third installment of…

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Scarlet

Last week I announced that February would be the month of YA Science Fiction. I will be revisiting all novels in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and today we have my review of the second book in the series, Scarlet! Enjoy and let me know what you think of the series!

History and Mystery

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Readers…

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Cinder

Last week I announced that February would be the month of YA Science Fiction. I will be revisiting all novels in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and today we have my review of the book that started it all, Cinder! Enjoy and let me know what you think of the series!

History and Mystery

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I re-read Cinder this weekend as I have decided to read Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles Series this month.

Cinder, which is set five years after the events in the short story Glitches, relates the tale of Lihn Cinder, a young…

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What to Expect

February

Good morning fellow readers and happy February! It’s time for the monthly ‘What to Expect’ post.

So what type of book reviews can you look forward to in February? I honestly have no idea because I’ve been a genre jumper for the last couple of weeks. For those who have never experienced this frustrating situation it goes sorta like this…

What would I like to read today?

movie hunt science fiction i made lost in space

A sci-fi book? Oh yeah! I love sci-fi! But maybe not right now…

love 80s retro 1980s 80s movies

A romance novel? Yuck. But it is the month of love so maybe I should….

beautiful creatures

Oh, how about a YA?! (nose crinkles in thought) Maybe….

television mtv manu bennett the shannara chronicles allanon

Fantasy? Hmmmm….

bored boring tv red sherlock

A mystery? Yeah! A good mystery! Eh, I don’t know…

It’s INFURIATING! I just want to sit down with a good book that can keep my attention for more than a few minutes! So we all get to live on the edge this month, wondering what review will turn up next.

The one thing you can be certain of is I will be participating in my friend Liz’s #nerdslove challenge on Instagram. Check out my daily posts here and be sure to check out Liz’s account for the topic list and her nerdy posts.

That’s about it from me. What books do you have in the works this month? Anyone binge reading romance books? Anyone reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to prep for the movie release? Let me know!

Lindsay out!

Hello Old Friend…

We have so many favorites. We have favorite TV shows, favorite movies, and favorite shoes. We have favorite classic cars, favorite candles, favorite food, and favorite people. And of course we have favorite books!

You know the books I speak of! The novels that you find yourself randomly thinking about on a quiet day. Books with worn edges because you’ve read them over and over. Battered paperbacks and hardbacks with a prestigious spot on that first book shelf. Yep, I’m pretty sure all readers have a few favorite books. And I’m sure it’s pretty obvious to all of you that I read a variety of genres. Luckily, I tend to have a favorite book in each that I come back to on a regular basis, and you can check out the full list on my Favorites Page.

January always finds me knee deep in a stack of books about wintery survival, but for some reason I have been thinking about all my go-to novels this year. Typically, I reread my favorite survival stories, Last of the Breed and Julie of the Wolves, during this month, but last week I was on a western kick. So, I reread and shared Milo Talon. This wasn’t a big difference since most westerns involve a good bit of surviving. But last night I was hit with the urge to reread my favorite fantasy series, The Green Rider books by Kristen Britain, as well as my sci-fi fav, Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles! I am going blame these sudden urges on watching MTV’s Shannara Chronicles and getting the last book in the Lunar Chronicles, Winter, for Christmas.

image

Enter a caption

But what keeps us coming back to these books? You can only experience the excitement of the first read once, so that’s not it. Sure we reread books we find well written and enjoyable, but its more than that. Otherwise we would find ourselves rereading all the time because I think that most of the books I review are well written and enjoyable. So, I asked Facebook and the general consensus is rereading a favorite book is like meeting up with old friends.

Disney friends hug friend big hero 6

We connect with the characters! We are invested, involved, and excited about their stories. We discover some small detail we miss previously each time we pick the book back up. And each time we remember how we felt the first time we followed the character into space, the first time we battled through a Siberian winter with them, and the first time we watched them use magic to save a kingdom. All those reasons are why we keep coming back to our favorites.

Sure, my shelves are over flowing with books that need to be read. But sometimes its ok to say “hello old friend,” and pull that battered book down for a needed reunion curled up on the couch.

What books are your favorites? Do you plan to spend your weekend rereading?

Lindsay

The Martian

The Martian

by Andy Weir

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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 & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& 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—& 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 admit that I can be a ‘book snob’ because I tend to steer clear of books that become instant hits. You know which books I mean. The novels that, all of a sudden, everyone is talking about. Usually these books just don’t live up to the hype and this is why I avoided reading The Martian for so long.

It was quite stupid because I knew it was my type of book the instant I read the back cover. And yet, I still hesitated! Then I saw the movie trailer and realized that I was just being stubborn. Space exploration and astronomy are favorite subjects of both my dad and my husband (and me!) I’ve watched every documentary and I needed to read The Martian. I purchased my copy the next day and I couldn’t put it down.

The Martian tells the survival story of Mark Watney, a Mars astronaut that is accidentally left behind when his mission is aborted. It is Andy Weir’s debut novel and my favorite novel of the year! I loved the journalistic writing style and the  plot flowed smoothly, keeping me consistently engaged. was great. I enjoy how Weir mixes Watney’s storyline with that of the scientists on Earth, his crew, and the backstory of the equipment. I even enjoyed the science and had no problem understanding the application.

Many might consider the technical and straight-forward writing style too dull but I loved it. I’m a blunt, literal person so I t worked for me. The secondary characters are cookie cutter and underdeveloped but the only one that really annoyed me was Annie, the PR rep. I’m pretty sure Weir can’t stand media people from his descriptions of her. I also doubt Weir will be able to write any other novels in this style with the same level of success. I don’t see him as a one hit wonder but I do hope to continues to grow as a writer and expands his character development skills.

So many reviewers have complained that the book is trying too hard to be funny. I personally loved the corny humor of the novel. Watney’s goofy attempts to lighten the mood kept me reading and for those who wanted to see someone struggling to deal with the trauma of being left on Mars? You got it! Humor is one way many people deal with a bad situation (we all have been to a funeral where one person won’t stop laughing). Read a YA romance novel or modern women’s lit story if you need 300-400 pages of angst and tension. The humor is obviously Watney’s way of coping with the boredom and stress of being stuck alone for over a year. Go back and read the parts where our plucky astronaut is actually dealing with a life or death situation. You’ll realize that he’s not making jokes in the heat of the moment. They come afterwards. Plus, the journal is what Watney wants other people to know. He mentions that MANY times, so it may be a window in to his personality and experience but it’s edited. Sheesh!

I definitely recommend The Martian but I also understand that it might not be the book for everyone. Let me know if you have any questions or please share all the things you love about this story! I can’t wait until October 2nd because I NEED to see this movie!

Lindsay