Read Any Good Books Lately?

Why yes, I have! I don’t generally write about what I’m reading. Seriously, half of it is so un-memorable, I forget the plot in 48 hours. Two books actually hit me this week:

The Book of Longings, by Sue Monk Kidd. This was just…wow. It’s a deeply researched, but of course fictional, imagining of Jesus’ life before his ministry began, one in which he marries a strong, intelligent, literate young woman named Ana. The story is Ana’s, and Jesus is away for much of it, but it is somehow warm and real and tragic and believable. It’s just…amazing.

The other is one I’m currently soaking up at high speed via Audible. Audiobooks are the only thing that get me to clean my damn house. I deep cleaned my nasty old bathroom today, while listening to Project Hail Mary. I’m a little more than halfway through, and I’ve had to force myself to put it aside to do other things, because this is going to be a movie, count on it, and I can’t wait to see how they deal with the character of Rocky.

I’m not a huge consumer of science fiction, though I do like it, I’m just a casual, dabbler level of reader. Andy Weir wrote The Martian, which was turned into a fantastic movie but was an even more amazing book. I put off reading it for a long time, because the topic just seemed so bleak: Mars exploration cut short by storm, astronaut left behind, has to survive on his own on incredibly not human friendly planet. Yeah, I was not up for that. That sounded SO depressing. I finally tried the audiobook, and holy crap! It was exciting and fast paced and often really LOL funny! I am now a total Andy Weir fan. The movie is also great, but the book is, as always, better than the movie.

There’s a ton of science in Project Hail Mary, but it’s handled in such a chatty, informal way, it’s accessible to the non-science, liberal arts majors. It is a warm and very human story, and one of the smartest, sweetest characters is a sort of spidery-turtle-ish alien that breathes ammonia. Just trust me on this one.

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