by Andy Weir
The Martian has a terrific premise - an astronaut thought dead is abandoned on Mars, but he unexpectedly survives, finding himself alone and needing to survive for months if not years before rescue comes. He has limited food, no way to communicate with Earth, and no one is scheduled to return to the red planet for another four years. The gripping novel delivers on its promise, with Weir throwing different obstacles and challenges at Mark Watney in his quest to survive long enough to return home.
I don't think I've read anything that captures the process of problem solving as well. Watney often tries things that don't work, there are complications he can't foresee, and he often has to adjust on the fly. Some readers might consider those kind of minute descriptions of process mundane, but I thought it refreshingly realistic.