January 15 2016

To Kick Off the New Year: Three Books to Read

We’re only halfway through January, so we’re technically still kicking off the New Year. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to read one book a week, but I’ve already surpassed that goal getting through three books in the past two weeks. (High five!) Today, I thought I’d share them with you. I know the picture (above) is from The Martian movie, which I have yet to see, but it’s relevant enough for this post (and I love the detail in that astronaut suit). Ok, here goes.


Author Andy Weir hit it out of the park with The Martian, a sci-fi book about an astronaut stuck on the planet of Mars. His name is Mark Watney and he’s got a hilarious sense of humor, which I guess you have to have if you’re stranded all alone on the red planet. Using his skills both as a mechanical engineer and as a botanist, he overcomes challenge after to challenge in order to survive. The book goes heavy on the science but you come to appreciate all the little technical details. It’s interesting to note that the author, Andy Weir, is a “lifelong space nerd” whose hobby it is study “relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight.” The guy was made to write this book. Enjoy the funny scenes (ah, so that’s why it was in the Best Picture Comedy category at the Golden Globes) and then hold onto your seats for the thrilling end. (Can’t wait to see how Matt Damon pulled off Mark Watney.)


I finished the second book by Mindy Kaling, called Why Not Me?, last night. Whereas her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? felt like we were just getting to know a young version of Mindy, her second book feels like she’s all grown up. Each chapter brought something refreshing, especially the last few, her speech at Harvard Law School had me in stitches (you can watch it here), her rant about her weight left me shouting “hell ya!” (we’re the same size), and her speech on confidence/hard work made me fall in love with her. The book is told in such a casual way that you feel like you’re just catching up with your childhood best friend. Mindy, keep writing and I’ll continue to buy your books.


An article on the blog Core77 brought me to Design the Life You Love: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Meaningful Future by Ayse Birsel. It’s better not to Kindle this book because it’s filled with pages where you’re asked to complete some fun exercises about your life. Birsel, an award-winning product designer, believes that life is like a design problem full of constraints like time and money. By laying out the life that you have and the one you’ve always wanted, you can begin to see where you want to go. I breezed through this book but plan on going back and really spending time with each exercise so I can get the most out of it. In the new year, if you’re looking to unleash some creativity inside of you, look no further than this book.


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