This book is one of the few wooks where I've watched the movie adapatation (w/ Matt Damon), before reading the book. I found the book sitting on the shelf of the writer's salon last Saturday, and decided to go ahead and read it.
Man, this is one of those books that you can't put down. Mark Watney, space botanist, gets hit by some debris after evacuating Mars during a sandstorm, and spends a year and a half growing and eating potatoes in his own poop (also poop from others). After discovering Watney alive, the entire world bands together in order to save him. Finally, Watney takes off from Mars and is saved by his crewmates, who spend an extra year and a half to get him.
What I love most about this story is Mark Watney's personality, which shines through during the journal-based approach the book takes through most of the course. Sure, the hard science behind the narrating and Watney's calculations provide an element of realism, but by being relatable Watney makes his struggle our own, and that's what sucks me in.
I wonder if Weir would consider a sequel, or a trilogy, it'd be cool if somebody else had similar survival stories, and see Watney as an old sage of some sort. That'd be pretty cool.