The Martian by Andy Weir was fantastic. I’m sitting in a bar right now with a wet napkin by my side because I teared up during the end of the book. It’s that good.
The basic storyline is that an astronaut is stranded on Mars and then has to survive until he can be rescued. It’s similar in theme to two movies of the last year: Gravity (with Sandra Bullock, surviving a shuttle mission gone wrong) and All is Lost (with Robert Redford, a sailboat is wrecked at sea — the far better of the two movies, by the way).
This was a debut novel originally self-published, and so the protagonist’s character development and emotions are a bit on the weak side. However, I know my novels suffer from this as well, and its shouldn’t be a deterrent from reading.
I was captivated and read the novel in three days, which is fast for me (kids, family, work, my own writing, etc.)
The Martian was endorsed by astronaut Chris Hadfield (“fascinating technical accuracy”), Hugh Howey (“takes your breath away”), Ernest Cline (“relentlessly entertaining”), Larry Niven and way more.
And many thanks to whoever recommended this to me!