Wednesday, January 29, 2014
AN ASTRONAUT'S GUIDE TO LIFE ON EARTH by Col. Chris Hadfield
I am a sucker for books about space. Even though after watching "Gravity," I have decided I have no interest in going to space myself until it looks like "Star Trek." After hearing Hadfield speak on NPR and other news outlets, I was really excited to read this book.
In his book, Hadfield talks about the long road he took to become an astronaut and all the hard work and sacrifices that the endeavor entailed. He details the focus he had to have, the breadth of knowledge, the ongoing (and neverending) education and training, the tedium, the teamwork and all of the many other aspects of an astronaut's life. He includes many interesting anecdotes about his time in space including a spacewalk that didn't go as planned. The reader also sees the effects that such a career can have on an astronaut's family and friends. It is a massive undertaking and one that is not undertaken lightly. Hadfield mixes in a self-help angle into this memoir by talking about character traits that make a person not only successful as an astronaut but successful in life in general. He deftly translates how the character traits that made him a good astronaut help him to succeed on Earth as well. I think this is what would make this book such a good young adult read. Almost all of us see the life of an astronaut as glamorous and I think most teenagers would be impressed with Hadfield's anecdotes. However, they would also see exactly the kind of work and character traits required to succeed in such a job.
Bottom Line: RECOMMENDED. A great read that is part astronaut-memoir and part self-help book. It gave me a greater appreciation for just how hard astronauts work and the teamwork involved in every space mission.