That Race Thing and Books

If you haven’t already guessed from the lack of a race review post, I didn’t run Best Damn Race on Saturday. My mind was so ready for it. My hip was not. Instead, I drank many adult beverages the night before and watched Big Hero 6 with hubs, so all was not lost. My hip feels better little by little but I don’t think I’m ready to run yet. So who knows if my backup race (the Tomoka Half) will happen, but I hope it does.

In the meantime, I finished a few more books:

The Martian by Andy Weir

the martian

Here’s a Goodreads link to the summary.

I mentioned this one in my last book post but I had only just started it. Basically, it’s about a guy who is abandoned on Mars and needs to figure out how to survive for four years (without enough food or water) until he can be rescued.

I liked the book but I didn’t love it. It was interesting and had a lot of great humor. However, there’s a lot of “this is exactly how I fixed this” and “this is how I rigged this” and “this is how I grew this” and “this is how I created this.” While some of that was really interesting, I found some of it boring and unnecessary. Then toward the end, when the main character is making this giant modification to this space probe, the detailed description wasn’t there. It was strange. Also, I never felt like the main character wasn’t going to be rescued. I think that took away from some of the “gripping survival thriller” that this book is supposed to be because every time he got into some dangerous situation, I thought, eh…he’ll make it. With all that said, I would still recommend it and it will definitely make a great movie. I’m really looking forward to seeing it in November.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

girl on the train

Here’s the Goodreads link to the summary.

This book is about a girl that pokes her nose where it doesn’t belong and gets involved in a murder case. It’s a super fast read and really interesting. I think I read this in three days, which is light-speed for me. My only complaint is that the main character, Rachel, is so *insanely* pathetic that she really got on my nerves for half of the book. I just wanted to shake her by the shoulders and tell her to get her shit together. If you liked Gone Girl, you’ll like this. In fact, I think I liked this one better than Gone Girl. It keeps you guessing and I think the end wrapped up well.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North


Here’s the Goodreads link to the summary.

This one is about a guy that keeps living the same life over and over (and keeps his memories from each life). He finds out that the end of the world is coming faster than it should and tries to stop it over his many lifetimes.

At first, I thought the book shifted between really interesting to giving too much, unnecessary information. As I continued to read, I didn’t mind it so much anymore. Maybe the problem resolved itself or maybe I was more forgiving, I’m not sure. The book is funny and interesting and different. This is one of those unforgettable books because it’s unlike anything I’ve ever read. I’d recommend this one too. It’s worth reading if just for the unique concept. I just added the authors new book “Touch” to my to-read list, which sounds like another weird/unique story.

Next on my list: the new Veronica Mars book. Smile


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10 responses to “That Race Thing and Books

  1. Melissa

    Ha – I clicked on that GoodReads summary of Harry August, and I thought, “oh this reviewer said the same thing Paula did!” and then it was you and I felt like a very special snowflake.
    I’m getting more into the Girl on the Train. I like your description of Rachel sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. She is SO self destructive! I want to shake her shoulders, too! But man, she does make gin and tonic sound amazing.

    • Paula

      I am happy you at least didn’t think it was another Paula with the same opinion. You are however, a very special snowflake.

  2. I really enjoyed The Martian a lot. Like a lot of novels lately, it seemed to be written with the inevitable screenplay in mind, but the hard science, attention to detail, and ratcheting suspense worked for me. The formula of “antecedent / problem / resolution” did get a bit much by the end, but the author still made it work. The Rover / Communication solution was, IMO, pretty ingenious. Wish I had some gum.

  3. Verlin

    Saw Girl on the Train at Costco today. Bought it on a Paula recommendation. The last time I purchased something on your recommendation was eyeliner, and it was a win. Hope your track record continues.
    PS – sucks about the hip. Damn non-cooperative body parts.

    • Paula

      I hope so too! Let me know what you think. (And that was some pretty awesome eyeliner)

      • Verlin

        Oops – almost forgot to report back! I loved the book. Thanks for the recommendation. I wanted to smack her for her poor decisions, but enjoyed it nonetheless. She made me feel bad about drinking too much wine on weekdays …. but only for a couple of days, and then I got over it.

        • Paula

          Oh yay! I’m so glad you liked it. I was starting to get a complex because I recommended it to a friend who thought it was just “ok” and that made me doubt everything I’ve ever done before.
          Oh, and wine on weekdays is completely acceptable.

  4. Erin

    I just finished the Girl on the Train. Good surprising ending, but I wanted to smack Rachel. Just started Before I Go, can already tell it’s going to be a tear jerker!

  5. I loved the Martian. I agree that some of it was like, “Enough with the math and get on with it already!” Still, I really enjoyed it. Then I found out it was going to be a movie. I’m not sure if I’m happy about that or annoyed. (Can there never be a good book that just stays a book??)

    I added the other two to my “to read” list. Thanks!

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