We Recommend…The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian
Andy Weir
Crown Publishing, 2014

The MartianAstronaut Mark Watney – stranded alone on Mars, 140 million miles from earth. Read his daily logs and learn how he is surviving on Mars, then discover what’s happening on earth once NASA realizes he survived the accident that everyone thought had killed him. You will be amazed at Watney’s tenaciousness and ingenuity as he tackles one problem after another with grit and humor. You’ll identify with the people on earth, as they are all pulling for him to not only survive his ordeal but to be returned safely home…to earth.

8 Tips for Surviving on Mars from Andy Weir
So you want to live on Mars. Perhaps it’s the rugged terrain, beautiful scenery, or vast natural landscape that appeals to you. Or maybe you’re just a lunatic who wants to survive in a lifeless barren wasteland. Whatever your reasons, there are a few things you should know:

1: You’re going to need a pressure vessel.
Mars’s atmospheric pressure is less than one percent of Earth’s. So basically, it’s nothing. Being on the surface of Mars is almost the same as being in deep space. You better bring a nice, sturdy container to hold air in. By the way, this will be your home forever. So try to make it as big as you can.

2: You’re going to need oxygen.
You probably plan to breathe during your stay, so you’ll need to have something in that pressure vessel. Fortunately, you can get this from Mars itself. The atmosphere is very thin, but it is present and it’s almost entirely carbon dioxide. There are lots of ways to strip the carbon off carbon dioxide and liberate the oxygen. You could have complex mechanical oxygenators or you could just grow some plants…

For more of Andy’s tips on how to survive on Mars, go to Crown Publishing

On the web:
Andy Weir
Science Friday: Interview with Andy Weir
Book Trailer
Wall Street Journal: A Survival Guide To Mars

Book Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
Booklist Online
Publisher’s Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
International Business Times: Book/Movie review

Mary Roach: Packing for Mars
Geoffrey Landis: Mars Crossing
Gregory Benford: The Martian Race
Kim Stanley Robinson‘s Mars trilogy (begin with Red Mars)
Iain Banks‘ Culture series (begin with Consider Phlebas)
Ben Bova: Mars Life
Joe W Haldeman: Marsbound

The Movie opened October 2, 2015

Movie Trailer:


Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

Screenwriters and producers love to adapt great books into (sometimes) great movies. This year there are many films scheduled to hit a screen near you. Below check out the list of adapted films heading your way and then head to your local library to check out the book before you see the movie!

Coming Soon

Parker starring Jason Statham is based on the character created by Richard Stark. Parker is a professional thief that follows his own code of ethics…though some may find his methods pretty questionable. Watch the trailer here and read a few of the Parker thrillers:

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion is a different kind of zombie tale — in fact, it’s a zombie love story. Starring Nicholas Hoult and John Malkovich, Warm Bodies could be the perfect Valentine’s date movie for a few of you out there. 🙂

Beautiful Creatures is a supernatural romance with some big names in supporting roles — Emma Thompson, Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, and Jeremy Irons! If Beautiful Creatures is successful at the box office this year, look for the rest of the series to hit the big screen in coming years. Want to check out the books first?

Safe Haven starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel is another Nicholas Sparks book adaptation. Perhaps this is the perfect Valentine’s date flick for those not into zombies 🙂

On the small screen: Downton Abbey fans can look forward to the mini-series Parade’s End on HBO at the end of February. Copies of the classic series by Ford Madox Ford are available in print and 3M Cloud eBook for your reading pleasure.

Reading the Oscars

Reading the OscarsLike last year, five of the nine films nominated for Best Picture at the 2013 Academy Awards are based on novels. There’s quite a bit of variety in the category ranging from classic novel adaptions to historical biographies to contemporary fiction. With more than one of the books coming in at over 900 pages — it will definitely be a challenge to finish all the books by February 24th. 😉

In other categories, book-to-film adaptations maintained their popularity with Anna Karenina and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey each receiving multiple nominations.

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

As autumn approaches, we’ll see new books published by literary heavy-hitters and fan favorites like Zadie Smith, Michael Chabon, and J.K. Rowling. But there are also several film adaptations of great books hitting the big screen before the end of 2012 and you might want to pick a copy of these massive (and some not so massive) tomes before you head to the theater.

Les Misérables may be well known for the hugely popular Broadway adaptation, but it was a novel first. Victor Hugo’s epic French novel follows Jean Valjean, a peasant just released from prison, as he follows a path to redemption. The 2012 film stars Hugh Jackman,  Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried with a December release date — plenty of time to take on the bulky novel (the Modern Library edition has 1,260 pages)!

Watch the trailer | Read the book

Anna Karenina was given new life when it was selected as an Oprah Book Club pick in 2004 and six years later it’s love story is hitting a movie theater near you with Keira Knightly starring as the tragic socialite Anna and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Count Vronksy. The book is one of those hefty Russian reads, but it still reads as a scandalous love story. Look for it in theaters in November.

Watch the trailer | Read the book

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is such an epic adventure director Peter Jackson has decided it should be a trilogy. In December, you’ll only be viewing Part 1, “An Unexpected Journey”, but it still might be worth reading the classic fantasy one more time before heading to the multiplex.

Watch the trailer | Read the book

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a Young Adult classic — it hit shelves in 1999 and has gained an avid following since. In fact, it made the top 20 on NPR’s 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels list over the summer. The film stars Emma Watson (yes! Hermione!), Paul Rudd, and Logan Lerman and hits theaters in September.

Watch the trailer | Read the book

Also look for:

What upcoming book-to-film adaptations are you excited to see?

Happy Pi Day! (And Happy Birthday, Albert Einstein!)

Why not celebrate Pi Day (3/14) by reading some great books about Pi (or Pie)?

Life of Pi by Yann Martel — The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks….

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley — It is the summer of 1950, and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events. For Flavia, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw.

The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer — As London is emerging from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton discovers her next subject in a book club on Guernsey–a club born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi after its members are discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island.

Perhaps you’re more interested in baking a pie to celebrate Pi Day? We’ve got cookbooks for you!

Or maybe you just want to kickback and watch a Pi/Pie movie?

Today is also Albert Einstein’s birthday, so if you’re not into Pi/Pie perhaps an Einstein biography?

Whatever you’re into, have a great Pi Day! (Did we miss your favorite way to celebrate Pi Day? Let us know in the comments!)

Reading the Oscars

Of the nine films nominated for Best Picture at the 2012 Acadamy Awards, six are based on books! Entertainment Weekly is “Reading the Oscars” and comparing the films to the books they’re based on.

Want to start your own “Read the Oscars” project? We can help you out with that:

Happy Reading & Watching!