Friday, January 9, 2015

Freezing Cold and a Book Recommendation

Everything is cold. Everything is so cold that I impulsively decided to knit this sweater, ordered the wool, bought the pattern, and plan to start knitting it as soon as I can get my mittens off the needles and onto my icicle fingers.

I keep thinking, all that Icelandic wool from the happy Icelandic sheep will keep me warm, right?

I doubt anything can really keep me warm at this point. I have been sleeping under my big puffy comforter with the electric blanket going, and I still wake up with cold toes. If I had a super-power, it would be to freeze my enemies with one touch from my frigid toes.

Meanwhile, no one wants to risk the cold by walking to the library or driving to the library, so it is very boring at work. The one thing that made this week interesting was The Martian.

This book is excellent. It is one of the best books I've read in ages. It was recommended to me on Twitter (in audio) but I had no Audible credits then, so I checked out the book and read it...very quickly. Okay. I read it in a day. That was how good it was.  So far I've ordered two other people to read it. And then I got my Audible credits and used one for the audiobook, because reasons.

Plot synopsis time. Mark Watney is on a research mission to Mars when crap happens and suddenly he is alone on the planet. His commander thinks he's dead. The crew thinks he's dead. The whole of Earth thinks he's dead. And he has no way to tell them he isn't. He has to use ingenuity, abandoned half-working equipment, and lots of 1970's TV to survive long enough for help to come--if it ever does.

Mark is hysterically funny. That's what makes this book work so well. He is wicked-hilarious, even when he is almost dying (which is most of the time). All the characters are complex and interesting people who I could easily imagine really working at NASA. If you want to feel better about humanity or if you ever think, "Dude, what is the point of space travel?" this is the book for you.

So as I step outside into the miserable frozen hell-scape, I now think, "At least I have an atmosphere," which is a whole lot more than Mark has in The Martian.

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