One of my favorite books is The Martian by Antony Weir. The story is about an astronaut that finds himself stranded on Mars after the others leave without him assuming that he is dead. He has to struggle to survive in the harsh Martian environment. The author is careful to get both the science and the human elements of the story right.
The story is pretty close to what would probably happen if a human found himself stranded on Mars. He also makes a lot of references to history and how humans in the past have struggled to survive in difficult environments.
The character swears like a sailor, or rather, a space pirate, and the theme of the book is dark and gritty, but it keeps you turning the pages. Antony is a very engaging writer who uses his passion for space exploration to bring this book to life.