The Common Book Project at North Lake College is a co-curricular interdisciplinary project that engages students, employees and the greater community in the collective experience of reading and discussing a common text. The 2019-20 Blazer Common Book is The Martian by Andy Weir, a New York Times bestselling author from California who built a career as a software engineer until the success of this novel. He is a lifelong space enthusiast and a devoted hobbyist of subjects such as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight.

The Martian is a story about American astronaut Mark Watney, who becomes stranded alone on Mars in the year 2035 and must improvise in order to survive. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills and a relentless refusal to quit, he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. The novel was adapted into a film starring Matt Damon and directed by Ridley Scott. The movie was released in October 2015.

View the calendar of events for the 2019-20 Blazer Common Book below.

Welcome to Mars!
Lecture by Professor Jason Eberle and an all-day come-and-go planetarium show
Wednesday, September 4
H200 | 11 a.m.

Martian Skills for the Earthbound Student
Lecture about Martian survival skills by Professor MaryAnn McGuirk
Wednesday, October 2
H200 | 11 a.m.

Science Fact or Science Fiction
A panel discussion with professors Dr. McAdams (chemistry), Dr. Eberle (physics) and Mrs. Simmons (chemistry)
Tuesday, October 29
C309 | 2 p.m.

Martian Maker Challenge
Team competition for students and employees — build robots and rovers and use your designs to win prizes!
Tuesday, November 12
H200 | 11 a.m.

I Am Completely Alone Here: The Psychology of Isolation
Professor MaryAnn McGuirk will facilitate conversations around astronaut Mark Watney’s Martian experience to understand the effects of isolation on one’s psychology.
Wednesday, February 19
H200 | 1 p.m.

Astronomy Chat with Dr. Salvador J. Ribas
Q&A session with Dr. Ribas, first generation student and director of the Parc Asronòmic de Montsec in the Catalonia region of Spain.
Tuesday, March 31
H200 | 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

How to Be a Badass Botanist: Sustainable Gardening
Thursday, April 23
H200 | 11 a.m.

Learn more about the Common Book series. For more information or questions, contact Brandi Harris.