Monthly Archives: September 2022

Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream

Spare Parts bookAn amazing book! Five stars!

A huge thank you to Goodreads friend, Michael Burnam-Fink, for recommending I read Spare Parts. He has also recommended several other books that are on my TBR list.

Joshua Davis has woven a historical and inspirational thriller about four undocumented Latino high school students in Phoenix who enter a NASA contest to build an underwater robot that is evaluated on accomplishing several incredibly challenging tasks. The team from MIT historically won the NASA contest or was in the top three finalists.

The book was made into a movie of the same name, but the movie ends after the winning team is named at the NASA contest.

Life and reality are much different than movies. Davis’ book follows the four students for many years and shows their career and education paths compared to the MIT students’ career paths after the NASA contest.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, infamous for being “America’s Toughest Sheriff” during his reign for 24 years in Phoenix between 1993 – 2017 as well as citizen’s support and approval of Proposition 300 impacts these students’ lives. Parts of the book made me very angry because we are allowing talent to be wasted when it can be used to improve our nation.

Highly recommend!


Project Hail Mary

Project Hail Mary bookWow!! Project Hail Mary is not the typical genre that I read. I have not read The Martian but I have seen the movie.

Project Hail Mary grabbed me due to the creativity and life and death problem solving required while in space. The collaboration between the US, Russia and China to create the Hail Mary spaceship inspires us to think about what is possible if we work together.

The primary story focuses on the importance of relationships, even with extraterrestrial beings who communicate, eat, move, and look very different from humans. The innovative ability to learn about each other to communicate and care about each other is heartwarming.

Highly recommend!