MARTIAN BOOK COVERThe Martian by Andy Weir is the gripping tale of an astronaut marooned on the red planet and how he survives and overcomes despair while a tenacious ground crew tries to rescue him. A New York Times bestseller, The Martian was adapted for the popular 2015 film of the same name starring Matt Damon. The Martian is Weir’s first published novel. Weir, a Silicon Valley engineer, is the child of an accelerator physicist father and an electrical engineer mother. His extensive research into orbital mechanics, conditions on Mars, the history of manned spaceflight, botany and human survival resulted in a book that’s been praised by critics for its scientific accuracy as well as suspenseful plot and insights into the human psyche and the character of its lonely, but resourceful protagonist. 


Attend our FREE One City One Book community events!


The Exploration of Mars

jay trimble crop Jay Trimble of NASA Ames Research Center
Wed., Sept. 14  7:00-8:30 pm
Oak View Room ~ Walnut Creek Library – REGISTER>
The Martian has reignited fascination with Mars and sparked new talk about human expeditions to the red planet. While it’s expected to take many more years before humans set foot on Mars, NASA has been busy making spectacular discoveries on the surface of our planetary neighbor. In his presentation, Trimble will share photographs and discuss what NASA has learned from its robotic explorers, which were the first to reveal views of giant volcanoes, canyons, polar ice caps and more. Stories from NASA’s Mars Missions will also be recounted along with what the fictional Mark Watney, protagonist of The Martian, might see on Mars.  

A member of the Intelligent Systems Division at NASA Ames Research Center, Trimble is the mission operations and ground data system manager for the Resource Prospector Lunar Rover Mission. Prior to this, he founded and led the User Centered Technology Group, bringing design thinking to space operations software, including open source mission control technologies, the MERBoard Touchscreen for Mars Rover Operations, and Planetary Data System user technologies. 


Living on the Edge

MJ MarggraffMJ Marggraff 
Wed., Sept. 21  7:00-8:30 pm
Oak View Room ~ Walnut Creek Library – REGISTER>
MJ Marggraff loves sky and space. In her mid-40s she transformed her life, going from stay-at-home mom to flight school student. She went on to earn several pilot’s licenses and spent several years as a commercial aviator. Now in her early 60s, she is pursuing a new dream: becoming an astronaut. This new dream has involved intense training for suborbital space flight (think spinning around at a simulated 2,500 mph in a centrifuge) and pursuing doctoral studies (she’s researching solutions to help astronauts thrive on long-duration space flights–an effort the fictional Mark Watney, the protagonist in The Martian, would appreciate). In her presentation, Marggraff will  detail her adventures in suborbital space flight training. She will also talk about the similarities between how we live on Earth and how astronauts live in space and whether preparations for life on Mars could help our way of life back here on Earth.

In addition to being a pilot, graduate student and training for space travel, Marggraff is also the author of Finding the Wow-How Dreams Take Flight at Midlife and the creator of Space Games, a pilot project aboard the International Space Station. She lives in Lafayette. 


Urban Farming: One Woman’s Adventures
Novella Carpenter photoNovella Carpenter
Mon., Sept. 26  7:00-8:30 pm
Oak View Room ~ Walnut Creek Library – REGISTER>
In The Martian, protagonist Mark Watney’s survival depends on his ability to farm and grow his own food, specifically potatoes. Stranded on the planet Mars, he faces serious challenges, from cultivating the Martian soil so that can support crops to generating a water supply. When Carpenter moved to Oakland, she faced a different set of challenges as she set about growing food and raising livestock on an empty lot in the middle of a city. Today that lot is an urban oasis known as Ghost Town Farm. Carpenter has raised everything from turkeys, chickens, rabbits, pigs and honeybees at Ghost Town. Hundreds of fruit trees and garden vegetables also flourish there. In her presentation, she will talk about how her quest for self-sufficiency helped her carve out an unexpected space for farming experimentation.

Carpenter is the author of the best-selling Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer. She attended UC Berkeley’s Graduate school of Journalism where she studied with Michael Pollan. Carpenter now teaches writing and farming at University of San Francisco. She lives and farms in Oakland. 


One City One Book Discussion
Wed., Oct. 5  6:30-7:45 pm
Ygnacio Valley Library – REGISTER>
You’ve read the book, now tell us what you think. Join us for a book club-style discussion at Ygnacio Valley Library. Share your thoughts and hear what others have to say about The Martian. Discussion will be moderated by Adult Services Librarian Carol Yuke.


View previous book selections HERE


One City One Book is a “citywide book club” that encourages the community to read the selection and participate in a series of events that celebrate the book. The annual choice is announced in the summer and community events are planned for the fall giving the community time to read and enjoy the book. Now in its eleventh year, One City One Book is presented by the Walnut Creek Library Foundation and Contra Costa County Library.

Thank you to our 2016 sponsors:    

logo_wellsfargo      East Bay Times logo (1)    Minuteman Press


Thank you to our 2016 partners:   

Contra Costa County Library Friends of the Walnut Creek Library • Friends of the Ygnacio Valley Library

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