I'm stranded on Mars.
I have no way to communicate with Earth.
I'm in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.
If the Oxygenator breaks down, I'll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I'll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I'll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I'll eventually run out of food and starve to death.
So yeah. I'm screwed.
Mark Watney has been abandoned on the surface of Mars. His crew has left him for dead. Luckily Watney is a scientific jack of all trades. He adapts his HAB and the rovers and all kinds of scientific equipment to extend his life expectancy. It is very much hard sci-fi but luckily for us non-techs the story is funny, tense and very well told by Andy Weir. No monsters, except what Watney creates in his mind and with his hands. Originally a self published ebook, Weir's first novel is getting the kind of buzz that makes a bestseller. The Martian was a two night read for me. Couldn't put it down. And the ending... Well...