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Book Review: Joy for Beginners

Book Review: Joy for BeginnersJoy For Beginners by Erica Bauermeister
Published by Penguin on June 9, 2011
Genres: Fiction, Women, Family Life, General, Literary
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback, Hardcover, Audible, Kindle
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Publisher Synopsis:

From national bestselling author of Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club pick The Scent Keeper comes a beautifully crafted novel about daring to experience true joy, starting one small step at a time. Having survived a life-threatening illness, Kate celebrates by gathering with six close friends. At an intimate outdoor dinner on a warm September evening, the women challenge Kate to start her new lease on life by going white-water rafting down the Grand Canyon with her daughter. But Kate is reluctant to take the risk.
That is, until her friend Marion proposes a pact: if Kate will face the rapids, each woman will do one thing in the next year that scares her. Kate agrees, with one provision—she didn't get to choose her challenge, so she gets to choose theirs. Whether it's learning to let go of the past or getting a tattoo, each woman’s story interweaves with the others, forming a seamless portrait of the power of female friendships.
Joy for Beginners takes us on the emotional journeys of seven women seeking to transform their lives, and proves that sometimes what we really need to inspire us to change is a good, firm shove.”—Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

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Joy for beginners begins when Kate, having survived cancer, has a party. Her group of female friends makes a pact to do something that scares them — and Kate gets to decide what that thing is. After all, it’s her cancer party.

Fortunately, Kate seems to have an intuitive knowledge of what might be not only scary but meaningful and growth-producing for each of these women. Usually, though, doing something that scares us is life-changing in ways small or large.

I won’t tell you what each woman’s challenge was — that would be spoilerish and you’ll have to read the book for that. But many of them were things I could connect to from having to let go of things to venturing out into the world.

In particular I enjoyed reading about Marion — probably because of the satisfaction of seeing someone begin something new in her 50s.

Erica Bauermeister is a Seattle author, and I love reading books set in my hometown. Frequently, without the author actually naming a place, I could identify where that character was and add detail to my imagined image of the scene.

It didn’t get five stars as I generally reserve that rating for something that truly blows me away. While I found it readable and enjoyable, I remained, firmly, in my chair. And this book falls, firmly, into the category of “chick lit.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with a little click lit. It’s satisfying to read a book about a positive, supportive, and mature group of female friends. I hope the next person who picked up this book (I’ll be passing Joy for Beginners along at another Free Little Library) enjoys it as much as I did.


Have you read Joy for Beginners? What did you think? Leave a comment or discuss it in the forums.

Want to write a book review here? Consider submitting a post.

four-stars

How to Type Commonly Used Accents on Windows 10 International Keyboard

2

French is a lovely language, but oh, those accents! As a French learner, I frequently found myself forgetting accents or putting accent aigu where accent grave should be. Much of this was simply the mistake of a new learner, but it’s time for true confessions: sometimes, it was sheer laziness, especially when it came to typing in French.

While I’m not an extremely fast typist in English, typing in French felt très lentement (very slow.) If I were using an online learning program and found that the system would disregard my lack of accents, I’d just skip them, though I knew that ultimately I was doing it a disservice.

This blatant ignoring of accents is pure laziness as typing French characters on a keyboard is not difficult! When I had an iPad, it was very easy: press and hold for a pop-up menu of accents. However, I’m a PC user and, while I have a Bluetooth keyboard with a numeric keypad, my laptop does not have one. And using ALT and having to memorize a numeric code for special characters or, worse yet, using the character map to find individual letters with accents was headache-inducing.

The easiest way I’ve found to type characters not found on my US keyboard is to use the United States International Keyboard.

Adding the United States International Keyboard on Windows 10

Time needed: 5 minutes.

Here’s how to add the International Keyboard in Windows 10:

  1. Go to Settings

    Either click the windows icon on your taskbar (if your taskbar is at the bottom, it’s on the left) and then click the gear icon OR type Settings in the search box on your taskbar and then click on “Settings.” Either of these things will bring up the Settings menu.

  2. Click on Time and Language

    When you are in the settings menu, click on “Time and Language.”Time and Language Settings

  3. Click on Language

    As of the time I’m writing this, this should be on the left side of the menu.Windows 10 Language Settings

  4. Click your language under “Preferred Languages.”

    To add a keyboard, click on a language. The United States International Keyboard is available from both English (United States) and English (United Kingdom). I have NOT checked other English options.

    Preferred languages settings windows 10

  5. Click “Options”

    English Options Windows 10

  6. Click “Add a Keyboard”

    Then click on “Add a Keyboard.” Doing so will open up a long list of keyboards for you to browse. Oh, la, la…look at all of them! You can add the French keyboard if you want, but for me, it was easier to stick with the familiar QWERTY and use the United States -International Keyboard. In the photo, you’ll see I already have it installed here.

    In the Preferred Languages area, you can also add other languages. Here’s a neat trick: if you do that, and then go to Spelling, Typing and Keyboard settings from the language menu (it’s on the right there), you can toggle a switch. Toggling this switch will make predictive language or autocorrect suggestions based on the other languages that you’ve specified. Most of the time, I prefer that to be off, though, but it can come in handy — and be a cheat — when you’re typing in your language of study.How to add the United States International Keyboard in Windows 10

  7. Accessing the International Keyboard.

    Now that you have the keyboard installed, to switch to it, look at your taskbar. Find where it denoted your keyboard. Mine says ENG US.

    Click on that and it will open up all of the keyboards you have installed.

  8. Use the United States International Keyboard for Windows 10

    Now that you have the international keyboard, you’ll choose characters that do not naturally live in the wild on your physical keyboard generally by pressing a puncutation mark and the key of the letter that you want to accent. So if you want a cedilla, you press the ‘ and then the c to get ç.

    The caveat for this, of course, is that if I then want to actually type an apostrophe, I need to tell the keyboard that. So to get an apostrophe, I’ll type ‘ and then the space bar.

How to Type Accents on Windows 10 United States International Keyboard

Knowing that I only needed to memorize several keys to type accents on the International Keyboard made using it much less intimidating. If I can remember five simple quotation marks, you definitely can!

Here’s what you need to know to type those special characters:

THIS KEYPLUS THIS KEYGETS YOU THISNAME
‘ (Apostrophe, located right below the quote!)c,y,a,e,i,o,uç,ý,á,é,í,ó,úAcute Accent (Aigu)
” (Quotation Mark)y,a,e,i,o,uÿ,ä,ë,ï,ö,üUmlaut or tréma
`(Accent grave – upper left of keyboard)a,e,i,o,uà,è,ì,ò,ùAccent Grave
~ (Tilde – upper left of keyboard)o,n,aõ,ñ,ãñ – eñe in Spanish
^ (Caret — found on the #6 key)a,e,i,o,uâ,ê,î,ô,ûcircumflex

Let’s Talk About Those French Accents Now…

French has five accents. As I included a cheat sheet about typing French accents on the keyboard and sometimes forget to use them correctly myself, let’s review them. It will be a useful review for me, too!

Where they make a difference in sound, I’ve been able to use that to remind myself. In cases where they don’t make a difference in the sound…well, I’ll consider that a good memory exercise.

Accent (Example)What it’s CalledWhat it does
éAccent AiguThis differentiates the vowel sound from either the unaccented vowel or the vowel associated with the accent grave.

I like to think of the word le café (and the actual drink, as well.) It’s a word that you likely know how to pronounce correctly. But what would happen if it didn’t have the accent? Normalament the final vowel is dropped in French. The acute accent here is telling you to pronounce that final e and how.

You might note that I only put E in this example. For other vowels, the sound is the same, but it differentiates words which would otherwise have the same spelling. The word ou (or) and où (or) comes to mind.
èAccent GraveI like to think of the sound in the name Michèlè here. The è sound, to my American ears, is only slightly different than é, but still, I can hear it.
çLa CedilleI like the cedilla for some reason. And it’s easy to remember what it does. Think of the word garçon. That little tail gives the word it’s soft c. Without it, the c would have a hard sound. I think your French waiter would be even less pleased to be called a “garkon” than a “garçon.”
ôl’accent
circonflexe
This changes the sound of a, e, and o, but also appears on i and u. It often appears on letters that used to be followed by an s in days gone by. So now you go to a hôpital and hike in the fôret.
ël’accent trémaI haven’t needed to use this as much in French, but I have an easy way to remember how this works. I have a daughter named Zoe, who insisted that I “spelled her name wrong on the birth certificate,” and likes to spell her name Zoë. And she very well could be right! The function here is that the tréma tells you to pronounce the vowels separately — like “Zo-ey” rather than “ZO.”

Hopefully, this was helpful. It was a good review for me, anyway! Writing things out is a great mnemonic tool.

French Characters on Windows 10 Keyboard

How Much Do You Know About TIME Magazine’s 100 Best Novels? A Trivia Quiz and a Reading Challenge

While I long considered myself an avid reader, I tended to read stuff that didn’t make the book lists: fantasy, science fiction, horror, beach reading, graphic novels — you get the idea.

Jump to the Quiz — when we get more quizzes up, you’ll be able to find them here.

When I was young, I used to write to pen pals (remember pen pals? Those were the days pre-email.) I liked to regale my pen pal in England with tales that made Seattle seem way more exotic and exciting than it was. And, eventually, our exchange turned toward reading. I told her my reading list at the time: Christine, Pet Sematary, and so forth.

She did not seem amused.

She wrote back that she didn’t tend to “read things like that,” and told me her reading list: Austen, Hardy. So I decided to elevate myself a bit and found that I liked the classics.

Still, even many years later, I tend to turn toward books that don’t end up on the lists. And still, even so many years later, I think I “should” read the books that are.

TIME Magazine’s 100 Best Novels: A Trivia Quiz, and a Reading Challenge

In 2005, Time Magazine published a list of what their critics agreed to be the best 100 English-language novels since 1923 — the year that Time started.

Click here if you’d like to read their list, but don’t peek if you plan to take the quiz!

The list goes up until about 2010 — so book in the last ten years won’t be on it. A few years ago, I set an intention to myself to read through the titles on the list that I read and write about each one. I had already read many, but so many years ago that they warranted a reread.

Starting at A, I wrote and posted a lengthy essay that I, now, hope I can find somewhere in my digital files.

Because I’m committing myself to that challenge again.

Starting…well, starting when I finally finish the Wheel of Time series! And taking a break if ever a new Outlander book comes out or if ever Patrick Rofthuss finishes Doors of Stone or Martin completes The Winds of Winter!

But today, I amused myself by creating a trivia quiz about the books on the list instead. The quiz is an experiment and has a dual (or, perhaps, triple) purpose: amuse myself and get trivia questions on this site and research trivia WordPress plugins for a post I’m writing elsewhere.

So play along and find out how much you know about (some of) Time’s 100 best novels. There are more specifics at the beginning of the quiz.

Here’s the Quiz:

/20
0 votes, 0 avg
1

Books and Literature

How Much Do You Know About TIME Magazine’s 100 Best Novels?

In 2005, Time Magazine published a list of what they considered to be the 100 best novels in the English language since 1923 (the year that TIME magazine began.) That’s a difficult task to do, but critics Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo set their minds to this task.

You might agree or disagree with some of the picks. Maybe you have a favorite that you think should have been on the list. Still, it remains a good list of books to inform your reading choices. And a good list to create a quiz from, as well!

Some of the questions are about the list itself, which you can find here. But don’t peek!

You’ll get twenty questions selected randomly from a database of questions. You may get questions about what’s on the list, about characters in the books…some may be multiple-choice, some fill-in-your-own-answer.

If you take the quiz more than once, you may get different questions — and we’re continuing to add to the database as not all books on the list are represented in our questions as of yet.

At the end of the quiz, you’ll be confronted with an email form. But know that it’s not one of those things where you have to fill it out to view your results! I hate that! But, if you want to be emailed a nifty certificate at the end (if you pass; passing is 75% and I don’t think this quiz is too easy) that you can put in with all of your other participation medals, you can get one. You’ll also be opted into our email list for newsletters and post notifications. But you can opt-out any time you’d like.

You can take this quiz three times, and the number you can take it shall be three!

Anyway, have fun. And maybe, like me, you’ll get inspired to start doing some “serious” reading again.

The number of attempts remaining is 1

1 / 20

Oedipa Maas is the name of a character in this book that is on Time’s 100 best novels list?

2 / 20

Which novel on Time’s 100 best novels list focuses on the trial of Tom Robinson for the rape of Mayella Ewell?

3 / 20

Time’s 100 best novels list has limited sci-fi and fantasy titles. Which of the following are some of the titles that did make the list (ones that are actually on there, not ones that you think should have been on there)?

4 / 20

What character lived in West Egg?

5 / 20

Which musical was adapted from The Berlin Stories?

6 / 20

Who wrote “Red Harvest”?

7 / 20

Who wrote The Berlin Stories?

8 / 20

Which character in a book that is on Time’s 100 best novels list is haunted by the baseball mitt of his dead brother, Allie?

Question Image

9 / 20

This novel on Time’s 100 best novels list drew its title from a misquoted Robert Burns poem.

10 / 20

Which author on Time’s best 100 novels list called his university at Oxford by the made-up name Taruithorn?

11 / 20

Which character from Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest has been institutionalized the longest?

Question Image

12 / 20

Which animals are the main characters/leaders in George Orwell’s Animal Farm?

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13 / 20

Which novel on Time’s 100 best novels list has a Dr. Aziz being put on trial for assault?

14 / 20

Catch-

15 / 20

What novel on the list of Time’s top 100 novels bears the subtitle Or the Children’s Crusade?

16 / 20

This novel on Time’s best 100 novels list follows a Muslim from Bangladesh and a working-class Londoner through their friendship.

17 / 20

Which of the following English-language novels were not on Time’s 100 best novels list? (Select all that apply)

18 / 20

The Crying of Lot…

19 / 20

Which of these books had either a movie or a TV movie/series made from them? (at least by early 2020) Select all that apply.

20 / 20

New Years Day in Orwell’s Dystopia

Question Image

If you’d like your quiz results, as well as a “certificate” to add to your collection of participation medals, emailed to you, you can add your email here. Doing so is not necessary to see your results. If you do provide your email, you’ll be added to a leaderboard (if and when we get one up), and you’ll also be subscribed to our email newsletters and post notifications. However, you can unsubscribe from that any time you’d like.

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Let’s Talk About WP-Cron

WordPress’s system for running regularly scheduled jobs (via a file called wp-cron.php )is fresh on my mind right now after finding that regular WordPress tasks weren’t running. When you have WordPress cron problems, you might see a warning at the top of your admin or in WordPress Site Health that tells you a scheduled event has failed.

So, what to do about this? In my case, I already had a handle on wp-cron and had set up server-level cron jobs, so this issue sent me to Angertown.

I’ll say right away that my issue was that I had recently upgraded to PHP 8.0 after what I thought was the last hold-out plugin got updated. But then I found that on some of my sites, cron jobs weren’t happening. After checking everything I could think of, I finally asked my host and found that wp-cron generated a critical error. I did the usual task of disabling plugins but couldn’t seem to find the culprit. For now, I pulled back to PHP 7.4 — issue solved! But after a long day of headaches.

But read on for more info about wp-cron and some of the things I’ve tried.

What is wp-cron?

If you look in your WordPress install, under your public_html directory (or whichever folder you have WordPress installed), you’ll find a file called wp-cron.php. This file is responsible for running scheduled jobs set up by WordPress and by your various plugins. Essential things such as scheduled posts getting published, checking for plugin updates, doing database cleanups if you have an optimization plugin–the list goes on.

The problem is, sometimes it doesn’t work.

Why would wp-cron not work?

Low traffic – wp-cron.php not triggered

The default for WordPress is that a visit to your website triggers wp-cron.php. For low-traffic websites, this means that it sometimes doesn’t get triggered when it needs to. For instance, you’ve scheduled a post, nobody visits, and it fails to publish on time.

High traffic – wp-cron.php as a source of high CPU usage

So you have a lot of regular visitors and think you have nothing to worry about, right? WRONG!

If you have many regular hits on your website, it means that wp-cron.php is always getting triggered. This behavior can lead to other problems.

I was having mysterious high CPU problems for a while. A minor culprit in this was wp-cron.php 1.

Some ways to solve wp-cron issues

Disable cron jobs from “spawning” and set up a server-level cron

Yep, cron jobs “spawn.” But you can stop this behavior by adding the following to your wp-config.php file 2:

define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', true);

You add this just above the line that says /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */. You’ll probably see a bunch of similar things that also start with define.

Doing so will stop those cron jobs from spawning. Which will mean scheduled tasks WILL NOT run. So we need to do something to make sure that they do run, but that wp-cron.php can’t just spawn wildly on your website!

To do that, you’ll need to go into your hosting account. In cPanel 3 and other platforms I’ve encountered, you will find a setting having to do with cron. Ask your hosting provider if you cannot find it.

Most hosts I’ve encountered have a setup where you can choose the interval and the file you wish to trigger (which will be wp-cron.php).

In my hosting panel at Cloudlways, there’s also an “advanced” area for setting up a manual cron job.

Setting up a manual cron job looks something like this:

*/5**** wget -q -O /dev/null "http://example.com/wp-cron.php" > /dev/null 2>&1

But I can’t find where to set up a manual cron job for my server!

If you cannot find where to easily set up a cron job, no prob!

EasyCron has a free cron service, and it’s straightforward to use.. You just create an account, set up timing for your cron job, and set the URL as https://www.myurl.com/wp-cron.php 4.

I’ll note that none of these methods worked in my case as triggering wp-cron.php itself resulted in an error.

How often should I set up cron jobs?

My website has not suffered from having a hit to wp-cron.php every 5 minutes, even though some tasks have an “every minute” schedule. Some even suggest every 15 or 30 is OK.

Some shared hosting providers may have restrictions, as well.

I am still having WordPress cron problems !

Isn’t it frustrating?

A few plugins might (or might not) help you weed out what’s causing your issue. 5

Plugins to Help Diagnose WordPress Cron Problems

I’ve tried a few of the cron plugins available in the WordPress plugin repository.

WP Crontrol

WP Crontrol is the most popular of these plugins. Set it up, and you can view a list of all of the scheduled tasks set up to run on your WordPress website. You can then run each one immediately, edit their schedule (but only do so with great caution). I even found and deleted a few tasks left over by uninstalled plugins. It’s a good way to find out which jobs are getting missed.

Advanced Cron Manager

Advanced Cron Manager is very similar, from what I’ve experienced, to WP Crontrol. In trying to diagnose my issue, I even tried their Pro version because it would log errors. I ended up asking for a refund, however. The plugin is excellent, but it didn’t log the errors generated by my websites in my specific situation.

WP-Cron Status Checker

This plugin checks every 24 hours to see if wp-cron can still run and notify you if it isn’t able to. So if you’re not logging on to your website every day, this can give you some peace of mind.

HAVE YOU DISABLED YOUR PLUGINS?

Don’t you hate it when you contact support, and they say that? It’s my version of, “you’ll shoot your eye out, kid!”

When they say this, I usually have done this and done this several times.

But they say it for a reason. Sometimes a rogue plugin or a conflict between plugins is the cause of problems with wp-cron. A plugin was the issue in my case, as when I disabled ALL plugins, wp-cron started to operate normally again. However, I could not tease out which plugin was the cause, even after looking at error logs.

As I said, there was some incompatibility with PHP 8.0 and an unidentified plugin. So I’m waiting a while.

Should you use alternate cron to solve WordPress cron problems ?

Something described in this post by Jeff Starr was successful in getting cron jobs to run on my website without reverting my PHP version or disabling any plugins 6:

He advises to just put this in wp-config.php:

define('ALTERNATE_WP_CRON', true);

Using alternate cron worked beautifully, except for one thing that he warns about: that sometimes your URLs end up with a long string at the end like this: ?doing_wp_cron=26492012-329-012.23743840839483092834.

This sometimes was every time on my website, and these long URLs were a deal-breaker for me.

Now, after pulling back my PHP version, cron jobs are running fine, I’ve resumed my server-level cron job, and all is good. Until the next problem arises. Such is often life with WordPress. But I still love it.


That’s it, my diatribe on wp-cron.php. Please post a comment if you know of something else I haven’t mentioned here.

Fortunately, my WordPress cron problems are solved for now. Hopefully, they won’t recur when I finally move back to PHP 8.0.

References and Footnotes
  1. The major culprit, I found was that I had backup plugins that were doing their thing all around the same time — changing the timing AND changing the way I did wp-cron solved the issue.[]
  2. Your wp-config.php file is located at the root of your website — whatever folder you have WordPress in. Usually, this is public_html.[]
  3. Which I don’t have right now so I cannot take a screenshot.[]
  4. Where myurl.com is your domain, of course![]
  5. Don’t know how to install a plugin? You probably do if you’re having WordPress cron problems. But if not, you can read this post.[]
  6. However, I would still have wanted to tease out where the errors were occurring.[]

Book Review: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Book Review: Project Hail Mary by Andy WeirProject Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Published by Random House Publishing Group on 2021
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Action & Adventure, Hard Science Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense
Pages: 496
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Publisher Synopsis:

A lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster in this incredible new science-based thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian.
"A novel that would have delighted Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov."--George R.R. Martin, author of A Game of Thrones"Weir's finest work to date . . . the one book I read last year that I am certain I can recommend to anyone, no matter who, and know they'll love it."--Brandon Sanderson, author of the Stormlight Archive series

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission--and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.
Except that right now, he doesn't know that. He can't even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.
All he knows is that he's been asleep for a very, very long time. And he's just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.
His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it's up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery--and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.
And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he's got to do it all alone.
Or does he?
An irresistible interstellar adventure as only Andy Weir could deliver, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian--while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.

Project Hail Mary Book Review

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Authors are usually advised to draw in their readers with a “hook;” something that draws them right into the action and makes them keep reading. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (author of the book The Martian on which the movie with Matt Damon was based) has a good one.

Our protagonist, wakes up to find himself in a strange pod-shaped hospital bed contraption, intubated, and cared for by medical robots. In the same small space, two identical pods host the corpses of a man and a woman. His companions appear to have been in that state for some time. But he can’t remember them, along with his name or how he came to be in this strange place.

As our “hero” remembers more about who he is, why he is there, and what he needs to accomplish, we slowly learn his tale along with him.

Telling this story first-person, portioned out by the main character’s gradual recollections, works well. It adds to the suspense. A primary reason I gave this book 4.5 stars was because I found it difficult to put down and read it in about the course of a single day.

Our protagonist, I will divulge, is a scientist and a pretty gifted and creative one — which I am not. I endured college-level physics and chemistry courses and some more advanced anatomy/physiology courses, but tend not to adore reading passages like:

I know how dense iron is, and I know how to calculate the volume of a sphere. Getting to mass from there is just a little arithmetic.

I pull a pair of calipers out of the toolkit I keep in the tunnel and measure the sphere’s diameter. It’s 4.3 centimeters. From that, I work out the volume, multiply by the density of iron, and get a much more precise and accurate mass of 328.25 grams.

Protagonist, Project Hail Mary

Science nerds and data lovers rejoice! There’s a lot of this type of thing in Project Hail Mary if this type of thing is your forté. Weir is apparently a science nerd himself (I think you’d have to be one to write this book), and I tended to skim over these passages, assuming these solutions were correct and not genuinely caring if they weren’t (hey, it is fiction).

Fortunately, there a lot to love in Project Hail Mary as well if you’re like me. Someone, that is, who adores reading books involving speculative evolution rather than physics. If you love books like Children of Time, you might love this book as well. 1

Sadly, where my suspension of disbelief ended with this book wasn’t with its scientific aspects, but with its human ones. Part of the book involves a potential mass-extinction event. While I’d like to believe that a global crisis like the one in this book would prompt international cooperation, my inner cynic questions whether even averting a major global catastrophe would bring nations together. Additionally, I acknowledge that a single person making tough decisions can accomplish things much quicker than a committee. But I found myself questioning a particular character being given an extensive blanket power to make some far-reaching decisions . I found myself asking myself (yes, humans talk to themselves) “why this person?” and “would this really happen?”

However, Project Hail Mary will likely go on my end-of-year list for “must-read” books of 2021. Highly recommended!


Have you read Project Hail Mary? What did you think?
Book review of Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir Click to Tweet
four-half-stars
References and Footnotes
  1. My daugher force-read Children of Time upon me, but I found that I loved it. I may write a review on that sometime. Her brief review of that book was that she wanted fewer human parts and more spider parts. That book and Project Hail Mary are not really “alike” but my gut feeling is that people who like one might like the other.[]