My last five books

Food for thoughts and for dreams

Posted by Alexandre on May 29, 2016

Here are the last five books I have read and appreciated

The Martian - Andy Weir

The release of the eponymous movie in theaters in October 2015 sheds light on a book I didn’t know. After seeing the movie and liking it, I decided I should read the book.

I found it very convincing, most of the physics involved feels real (even though there are inaccuracies : for instance, the atmospheric pressure on Mars is about 1/100th of the pressure on Earth, hence the winds wouldn’t be as strong)

Overall, I really enjoyed it, even though I knew the plot beforehand. It helps that the book is, as always, more detailed than the movie

The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must - Robert Zubrin

After reading The Martian, the question of Mars exploration came naturally and I bought the case for Mars on Amazon shortly afterwards.

The book is fascinating, and explains how with current technology, we could go to Mars in less than 10 years, the same way we went to the Moon less than 10 years after Kennedy pronounced the famous Rice Speech.

It covers every technical aspects of the project and provides really convincing explanation. It even goes further with an explanation on how feasible terraforming Mars is (and it is! But it will take a few generations). In the end, the book even feels a bit too good to be true and you end up wondering why aren’t we on Mars yet! An explanation is provided: bureaucracy and politics went in the way of the ambitious program.

The Right Stuff - Tom Wolfe

The history of US Air Force test pilots, breaking speed records and involved in the birth of the US Space Program.

In this book, we are thrown inside the fabric of men defying death to push the boundaries of their aircraft - the flight envelope. Some parts are very descriptive and a bit long, but it’s well documented and offer a really interesting glimpse into this universe full of testosterone and grieving wives.

Around the World in Eighty Days - Jules Vernes

I’ve read this one in French since it’s my mother tongue. I brilliant tale of adventure, pleasing to read and well written. The road around the world is full of obstacles, especially from Fix, a Scotland Yard detective who thinks Phileas Fogg is a criminal.

1984 - George Orwell

I had never read this classic, and reading 1984 in our modern times is quite frightening. We deliberately make most of our information public. And for the things we think are private, the revelations of Edward Snowden show the contrary. The line between our world and Big Brother’s is blurring.