The Martian, by Andy Weir.
I loved this book. It's funny, smart, and fast-paced. It is extremely science-y, so if you don't have at least a small interest in science, you may get bored by all the technical talk. I love science, and that only made it more appealing to me. Even if you skim through the science-speak, though, it's a thrilling ride. Kevin is reading it now, and I told him he has two more days to finish it, because I want to watch the movie this weekend. Matt Damon trapped on Mars? Yes please.
The Secret Chord, by Elizabeth Brooks.
I love historical fiction, and Elizabeth Brooks is one of my favorite authors in that genre. March, The Year of Wonders, Caleb's Crossing, and People of the Book - I thoroughly enjoyed all of those books. I enjoyed The Secret Chord as well. It is the full life story of the Old Testament's King David, narrated by his personal prophet, Nathan. It was a bit difficult to get into at first, especially since she uses the old version of the names (Natan=Nathan, Shlomo=Solomon, etc.). This makes it somewhat difficult to navigate. That said, it's a fascinating story, and although I knew the major highlights of his story, her storytelling brings David to life and gives us a completely different perspective on the stories we've been told. It's far from my favorite of her books, but I liked it overall.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Won't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain.
This is a fascinating book. It is extremely well-researched, and the author does a fantastic job of using both psychological studies and experiments as well as personal stories to explain the differences between extroverts and introverts. It is said that 1/3-1/2 of all people are introverts, and it would be beneficial to everyone if these people were more represented and accommodated in our businesses and schools. I imagine a lot of the people that read this book are introverts, like myself, and the book is definitely targeted to us. I can imagine that an extrovert may be put off a bit as the author continuously talks about the many wonderful things about introverts, but I hope that doesn't dissuade them from continuing to read. It would benefit all of us - introverts and extroverts alike - to understand each other better.