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url 2018-04-26 19:51
The Great American Read: America’s 100 most-loved books
Anne of Green Gables Novels #1 - L M Montgomery
I, Alex Cross - James Patterson
A Separate Peace - John Knowles
The Eye of the World - Robert Jordan
Charlotte's Web - E.B. White,Garth Williams,Rosemary Wells
Moby Dick - Herman Melville,Frank Muller
The Martian - Andy Weir
The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway

Voting starts May 22 and ends October 2018.  See link for more of the 100 nominees.

 

I'm about this but do wish they had done it by categories or even time periods (I.e., published before 1900, before 1950, before 2000, type of splits).  I agree that those are 100 of the most read, most popular and even most influential books.

 

I just mean it's weird seeing beloved childhood books like Charlotte's Web and Anne of Green Gables up against Carch 22, Then There Were None, and long running contemporary series like Alex Cross and Wheel of Time?

 

Then the hordes of fans for Twilight, Fifty Shades of Gray, Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter  ...

 

(I am not at all disrespecting Harry Potter; frankly I think those books are responsible for an entire generation of readers.  It's just weird to see it up against the other nominees.)

 

How would you vote -- a childhood favorite that made you a reader or your favorite recent read?

Source: www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/books/#
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review 2018-04-22 20:33
Artemis by Andy Weir
Artemis: A Novel - Andy Weir

This started out strong, then the main character, Jazz, started showing the reader why she was known for making poor life decisions and so it got kind of annoying for a while. At least Jazz was annoying. It did redeem itself a little in the end with the way she made up with her father but overall I'd describe the book as just okay. Not great, not terrible, but with a main character who makes bad decisions and shouldn't be trusted to pull off sabotage on the moon.

 

Actually, describing Jazz as a lifer in a small touristy town is probably fairly accurate. Artemis only has a couple thousand permanent residents, after all, and although it doesn't seem quite fair to describe a population of technicians and so on living on the moon to be stuck there, they kind of are. Although unlike some characters who might be desperate to leave a small town, Jazz is desperate to stay.

 

I did quite like Jazz's father.

 

Side note: I'm glad I got through this one so quickly because there are apparently 172 people waiting for it at the library (with 33 copies in circulation although ten of those are express copies).

 

Previous updates:

222 of 305 pages

184 of 305 pages

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text 2018-04-22 18:57
Reading progress update: I've read 222 out of 305 pages.
Artemis: A Novel - Andy Weir

Ok, this part is kind of cute:

"Very few people get a chance to quantify how much their father loves them. But I did. The job should have taken forty-five minutes, but Dad spent three and a half hours on it. My father loves me 366 percent more than he loves anything else.

Good to know."

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text 2018-04-22 17:41
Reading progress update: I've read 184 out of 305 pages.
Artemis: A Novel - Andy Weir

Said about Jazz:

"I mean, it's not your style. It was risky—and you're really smart. You don't take risks unless you have to. You're not desperate for cash or anything, so far as I know. I mean, yeah, you're poor. But you're stable."

 

I've seen zero evidence for Jazz being smart other than figuring out a couple things quickly and honestly that doesn't take that much "smarts". She acts like a seventeen year old that never grew up.

 

I was initially feeling a little guilty while reading this because it started out pretty strong and I knew that other people had complained about Jazz, but I was enjoying it...and then Jazz started acting stupid (I think it was around when she blew a bunch of money on the hotel room).

 

I disagree that Jazz is basically a female Mark Watley. Watley was sometimes crude, yes, but smart. Jazz is super dense and only has a crap lifestyle because she never made up with her father. All evidence points to her father still caring and wanting back in her life and so she could remake herself...but she hasn't in the last eight or nine years.

 

She literally only has herself to blame.

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review 2018-04-21 03:15
The Martian
The Martian - Andy Weir

One day you start the normal morning routine on a Mars expedition, but the end of the day you’re bleeding and alone on the Red Planet with everyone believing your dead.  The Martian by Andy Weir follows the life and death struggle of astronaut Mark Watney on the surface of Mars as he attempts to stay alive and find a way to contact NASA to get him home.

 

On the sixth day of the third manned mission to Mars, an intense dust storm scrubs the mission but during the evacuation the mission’s botanist and engineer Mark Watney is seemingly impaled by a broken antenna and left behind.  However luck would have it Watney has only a minor injury, but alone on the surface.  Taking stock of everything left at base camp, Watney begins planning how to survive until the next mission to Mars and figuring out how to contact NASA, both of which he eventually does through not without significant challenges.  Meanwhile NASA has had to do an about face on Watney’s status and begin to figure out how to save him, which means doing things as quickly as possible but results in setbacks and later teaming up with the Chinese to resupply Watney’s crew who “mutiny” by demand to get back to Mars to save their friend.

 

Weir created a science-based scenario with all the physical and elemental challenges that a stranded astronaut would face on Mars, as well as how it would happen.  Watney’s easy-going persona, well as easy-going as one could get while stranded on Mars and hoping to find a way off, makes for numerous laughs that along with Weir’s very easy to read prose makes for a book that is hard to put down.  Yet I can’t avoid some of the downsides to the book, namely the end of the book that is almost predictable from the outset and the somewhat manufactured drama especially concerning the internal workings of NASA to results in the crew “mutiny”.

 

The Martian is a very readable hard science fiction novel, the debut work of Andy Weir.  The main character and Weir’s easy prose made this book hard to put down and made me linger reading “just one more page” at night, thus making this a book that I can’t help but recommend to both science fiction fans and general readers alike.

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