I’d like to tell you a little story about how I never listen to my dad. First, let me start by saying that when I was a kid my dad would always joke, “don’t trust your father.” Obviously he was kidding, but I did end up taking that lesson with me in two aspects: books and movies.
Movies are the easiest for me to explain. For a long time we would watch movies together that he wanted me to see and know of. I would always play it cool and say that they weren’t that great of movies (even though they were pretty fricken awesome). So whenever he recommended a movie to me he’d say, “don’t you trust me?” and I’d always say “No.” Of course this has changed, and if my dad recommends a movie now it goes immediately onto my watch-list…
…Except for Chappie, which he pitched to me as “it was so bad. You really shouldn’t watch it…. Actually, watch it and see how bad it is. It’s so bad.”
But books are different. My dad is an avid reader, albeit an incredibly slow reader, but he loves books. He got me addicted to fantasy and science fiction, and I’m forever grateful for that. However, as I’m sure you’ve figured out, I take books very seriously. I love when people give me recommendations so I can add them to my to-read list, but I don’t like being pushed into reading a book. I’m stubborn like my mom and the more you push me to read a book, the less likely I am to read that book out of sheer principle.
My dad is the King of Pushers. He will recommend a book, and I’ll usually find that book’s concept pretty interesting, but I’ll add it to my list and keep going through the books I already have lined up. This does not satisfy my dad. He will continually say, “You HAVE to read this book. When you’re done with your book, you NEED to read this one.” and when I finish my book, and start reading a different book, he’ll say the same things. Over and over again, until he gives up and reads a new book that I HAVE to read.
But something strange happened. I learned about the upcoming movie, The Martian, starring Matt Damon (and if you read my To See or Not To See post back in February you’ll know that I love Matt Damon. I really do. He’s wonderful. Also, my sister would hate me for saying this but Ben Affleck is not as attractive as everyone thinks. Matt Damon totally wins that contest, hands down), and realized it was a book. The second I found that out, I was hooked. I had to add it to my list.
But then my boyfriend and I went over to my parents house for dinner. I told my mom about this really cool new movie that’s coming out that has Matt Damon in it, about this guy that’s stuck on Mars and has to plant crops on Mars and survive, and it’s even a book! And to my surprise she said, “That sounds like the book that Dad’s reading.”
What?! My dad is reading a book I want to read before I even hear of it?? What alternate universe is this??
It turned out, he was reading The Martian. He recommended it instantly and said, “oh my God, Rae, you HAVE to read this. The writer reminds me so much of your writing style. It’s funny, written well, and you just have to read it.” But this time, I trusted him. (Note: Sorry, Dad, I’m learning how to trust you again. I know this dampens your street cred.)
What happened when I started reading The Martian, written by Andy Weir, was magical. The first page made me laugh, and I entered a world that was completely foreign to me, but I felt completely at ease.
The story is about a man who is believed to be dead on Mars, but he’s not. He needs to figure out a way to survive on Mars indefinitely, using only a small amount of resources. It’s so good.
Andy Weir’s writing style is so sarcastic, but so detailed and rich that it’s not like reading a book where the author just tries to be snarky, instead it’s actually like reading this man’s life, and reading what he’s going through – being Mark Watney’s friend. Weir is an incredible writer, with a ridiculous amount of knowledge when it comes to science and math (something that just went straight over my head), but always finds a way to make the characters relatable even with them being super science and math driven.
If I could give this book 500 stars out of 10, plus 15 high fives, and four thumbs-ups, I would. 18 Quatloo’s for you, sir!
Everyone needs to read this book before the movie comes out. I know I’ve mentioned a hundred times that I don’t necessarily think that seeing the movie first is a bad idea, but in this case: read the book first. The movie comes out October 2015, so you have a few more months to read it, even if you’re as slow of a reader as my dear old dad. Go get it!
All that said, I’d like to give a shoutout to my dad (as if there haven’t been enough in this post) for finally getting me to read one of the books he’s recommended. Good job, Pops. This is a big day for you.
If you’ve read this book, please comment below so we can discuss it because oh. my. god. All I want to do is talk about it right now. If there could be a The Martian chat room, I’d join it right now.
Until next time, blog family!
Haha…Dad here. I am famous now. 🙂
It’s been a very long time that I have read a book that has stood out above all the others I’ve read. I think it’s because the writer has broken all the rules that a writer is expected to follow. The result is a brilliant book. I’ve seen the same thing done with movies, music, and art. In my opinion, all the greatest pieces are the ground breaking ones.
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Hi, Dad! I agree with you. I think we’ve had this conversation before, but all of the greatest things I’ve seen or read have been things that shook everyone because it hadn’t been done before. Like Star Wars or the first Jurassic Park. Even books like The Hobbit were so good because a) it was well written and b) it was completely original.
As for The Martian I felt like there have been countless books and movies about people in space and on Mars, and this book could have gone down that path if it weren’t for two things: Mark Watney turning an uninhabitable planet habitable for almost two years, and the writing style of Andy Weir. Fortunately it did have those things and that made this book stand out more than a lot of space-themed books I’ve read.
Long response, but I definitely agree with you.
Why are we not talking about this in person?
I like the personal review! Fun read. The book is really good too. Check out my review if you get a chance: https://leviathanbound.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/the-martian/
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Thank you! I absolutely loved the book, and I liked your blog about it too. You brought up a point that I had the entire book: “where’s was his Wilson?!”
The second he remembered the potatoes I thought, “he’s going to draw a face on one of them and name him Greg.”
Anyway, thanks for the link, and thanks for checking out the post 🙂
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I listened to the audiobook, and loved it so much I bought the physical copy to reread before the movie comes out. I was hesitant at first with all the calculations and sciency bits, but the geekiness of Watney’s character made all the difference. Besides all this, NASA has given him mad props for how incredibly detailed and well thought out everything was, too. And this, from a début author!
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I didn’t care much for the sciencey parts just because I took them so seriously at first and didn’t just take his word for it that it would work, I kept going back and forth trying to figure it out. But I absolutely loved the book. I didn’t know that NASA said that!! That’s super cool. Good for him, he really is an amazing writer.