My reading list lately has been eclectic. I’ve done some reading for my book about Why You Can’t Slap Happy People and How to Become One (that’s a working title only, but it fits the concept, so I keep repeating it) plus the usual science fiction, fantasy, books on success, historical recounts, metaphysical wanderings… I guess I’m always eclectic.

I wanted to share two books I’ve read in the past couple of weeks because they are extra fantastic. No spoilers on the details, just opinion.

The Martian Book

Even if you don’t like sci fi you need to go read The Martian by Andy Weir, like, RIGHT NOW. Before the movie. The book is always better anyway, as you know. If you don’t know that, then there are t-shirts that say so. That way you know it’s factual.

This book has some technical stuff. Plus math. LOTS of math. I’m sure some people enjoy that sort of detail, but I took the author’s word for it on both accounts. I love science fiction, but I’m in it for the story, the characters, the setting, and the hope it conveys (or at least that’s what I think good sci fi should have) and if it makes me laugh then I am hooked.

It switches between the main character’s first person accounts (log entries) and the third person writing about what’s happening back on Earth, and that flows more easily than you might expect. This book is both humorous and hopeful and has enough oh-my-god-what-is-going-to-happen-next moments that will probably make a good movie too. But, trust me, read the book.

Because reading rules! *High Five!*

Furiously Happy Book

The other book I read this past week was the newly released Furiously Happy (A Funny Book About Horrible Things) by Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess). This is not science fiction, although she does mention having a bucket list item to lick David Tennant’s face. Who doesn’t.

There is lots of humor to draw me in, but it also discusses what it’s like to live with anxiety and depression and other disorders in a thoughtful, humbling way. I don’t have any experience with living with mental health issues, but that doesn’t mean the book is unrelatable. Not at all. Everyone has ups and downs in their own way and with their own personal craziness. Unless you’re a robot. Then you probably shouldn’t be reading at all since you can simply download everything. Plus, robots can open jars without cursing. Robots are awesome.

This book will touch your heart, have you laughing out loud, make you question why you don’t own any taxidermy animals and point how how lucky you are to not have possums in your life. If you do have stuffed (former living) animals or regularly meet with possums, then this book is definitely for you.

Let's Begin!

Fair warning that both these books bring the curse words. Furiously Happy wins the frequency contest, hands down, but The Martian has the F-word in its opening line that sets the tone for the whole book right away, so I would call it a tie overall.

Even if these books aren’t your thing, please go read something other than Facebook memes. It’s good for you and for all of us. Because you’ll be more informed or maybe gain some happy bubbles to spread around. Or it will rain cupcakes and glitter. I’m not really sure what it’s like when you read a book.

Here are some quotes to remind you why reading is a good thing. Quotes, like t-shirts, are basically fact. Everyone knows that. Google it. The internet is always right.

BOOKS AND READING – YAY!

Great books help you understand, and they help you feel understood. – John Green

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light. – Vera Nazarian

The only important thing in a book is the meaning that it has for you. W. Somerset Maugham

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it. – Edward  P. Morgan

Books are a uniquely portable magic. –  Stephen King

Books rule big time