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Sky Walking: An Astronaut's Memoir

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted December 27, 2013

    It¿s rare to find a book that lives up to the accolades printed

    It’s rare to find a book that lives up to the accolades printed on the front and back covers. If critical acclaim brings a quality book to your attention, then the blurbs have served a good purpose. But it’s especially satisfying to find a book that far exceeds the hype of the book cover artist’s craft.

    Such a book is Sky Walking by astronaut Tom Jones. Four-time Space Shuttle mission veteran, Jones has a deft, incisive writing style that brings his experiences to life for the armchair astronaut in a way few other such books can. And, unlike most, Jones’ name appears alone as author.

    Jones handles descriptions with subtlety and skill. Vivid imagery abounds. Exposition is complete, but parceled out frugally. With four shuttle missions to convey, Jones wisely did not try to tell everything each time. Instead, the first launch and re-entry was shown through the eyes of a first time shuttle astronaut. It was all about the sensations and the thrill of the experience. More detailed information about the process of launching, flying and landing a shuttle comes along with Jones’ other three missions.

    His important space walks, early International Space Station constructions missions, are reported with such immediacy and crystal clarity that you feel as if you are seeing it for yourself.

    If you enjoy this genre, you should not miss this book. Reading it, I was reminded of the line in the movie “Contact” when the protagonist is awed by what she sees, and wails “They should have sent a poet!” In Tom Jones, it seems to me that they did.

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  • Posted March 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Just What I expected of Tom

    I met Tom back in Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance AFB, OK. Because of Tom's idea, he named our UPT Class "The Force", after the recent movie of "Star Wars" 1977... All of us thought it was an outstanding idea... Many years passed, we went our ways in pursuit of our dreams and obligations until one day at 02:00 A.M with the Public Broadcast channel on, when NASA is waking up one of the astronauts by the nam of Tom. When I heard his voice, I knew it was Tom. I felt very proud for him, I knew right then that NASA had hired a class act, a man with the utmost integrity, Intelligence and dedication to this country and to anything else he would put his mind into.

    Thank you Tom for writting such a magnificent book and I am looking forward to read other books you may write in the future.

    "May The Force always be with you my friend"

    Captain Rene Blanco-Lopez USAF/ANG (Ret.)
    Captain USAirways Airbus 320

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2006

    An Astronaut's Heart, Mind, and Spirit

    Tom Jones has eloquently captured what it means to become a person of space. From the elation of being selected, to the rigors of training, to the desire to be the best in support of his fellow Astronauts and his family, Tom has revealed the human world behind the pinnacle of mankind¿s technical achievements in space flight. After all the training and scientific discovery he has reminded us that it¿s the people involved that make the difference and the joy. And part of the refreshing approach of this book are the places where Tom has let us into the few mistakes and human failures that are part of any large scale high risk endeavor. What could be more real? He has highlighted the struggles, the joys, and the indescribable beauty of just floating at a window and looking at the earth rolling by below. But Tom has also shown us where his hard work and that of his fellow Astronauts has greatly benefited all of us in very practical ways including future earthquake prediction and associated science. Enjoy this book and the lives it portrays and you will gain more understanding about why we must continue to `climb the next mountain¿ in human space exploration ¿ because it¿s one of the things that makes us most human discovering together.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2006

    A Definite 'Must-Read'

    Superbly well-written, a definite ¿must-read,¿ Sky Walking is a consistently engaging and historically relevant book penned by a versatile intelligence with rare insight, integrity, generosity, and candor. From astronaut selection and training through four space flights encompassing a unique experiential blend of Space Shuttle, Space Station, and spacewalking adventures, astronaut Tom Jones deftly recreates the breathtaking ¿ and breath holding ¿ moments of space flight. Furthermore, this author has a great talent for placing the reader into the launch seat and maintaining the thrill of space exploration while adroitly (often wittily) synthesizing otherwise complex technical events into understandable terms that help create a suddenly space-savvy reader. In addition, Dr. Jones approaches space flight from an holistic perspective that goes beyond chronology. Whether documenting the motivations behind policy decisions that determine history, providing enlightenment to the creative possibilities of future flight, or writing with a reflective earnestness that rediscovers the basic factors and integral elements of faith and family in human life, Dr. Tom Jones has written a book that will be read again and again ¿ now and for generations to come.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2006

    An intensely human account of life in space

    Tom Jones has taken us behind the scenes of life in space and described as very human experience that ought to be standard reading in NASA and for everyone else who is interested in space and thinking about going there. It certainly should be read by the growing number of ordinary citizens headed for Earth orbit. A wonderful, exhilarating, ride.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2006

    Sky Walking: An Astronaut's Memoir

    Astronaut Tom Jones, in Sky Walking, combines warm human emotions and precise scientific clarity in a way that has been matched only by Mike Collins¿s classic Carrying the Fire. Jones¿s book should be required reading for every high school student in America, both for its inspiration and for its great moral lesson that hard work and persistence can carry your talent to the stars. Sky Walking is a brilliant book that teaches as it inspires. The book is far more substantial than its subtitle ¿An Astronaut¿s Memoir¿ indicates, for it is a brilliant argument for the continued pursuit of manned exploration of space. The author packs in an immense amount of information about the space program¿and the people in it---making it a must-read for any astronaut aspirant and for any citizen who wants to see just how great a country is the United States. At a time when budgets and tragedies cast a shadow on the future of manned exploration, this book shows exactly why it is absolutely vital for America¿s future. If anyone has grown jaded by the space program and its problems, he or she should sit up and read this fascinating account of the tremendous effort that goes into the making not only of an astronaut, but of our nation¿s continued pursuit of manned space flight. Readers will be both amazed and surprised: this book is an epiphany of the nitty-gritty of spaceflight, which revolves not only around science, but continually circles back to the enabling human element.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2006

    Sky Walking: An Astronaut's Memoir

    Astronaut Tom Jones, in Sky Walking, combines warm human emotions and precise scientific clarity in a way that has been matched only by Mike Collins¿s classic Carrying the Fire. Jones¿s book should be required reading for every high school student in America, both for its inspiration and for its great moral lesson that hard work and persistence can carry your talent to the stars. Sky Walking is a brilliant book that teaches as it inspires. The book is far more substantial than its subtitle ¿An Astronaut¿s Memoir¿ indicates, for it is a brilliant argument for the continued pursuit of manned exploration of space. The author packs in an immense amount of information about the space program¿and the people in it---making it a must-read for any astronaut aspirant and for any citizen who wants to see just how great a country is the United States. At a time when budgets and tragedies cast a shadow on the future of manned exploration, this book shows exactly why it is absolutely vital for America¿s future. If anyone has grown jaded by the space program and its problems, he or she should sit up and read this fascinating account of the tremendous effort that goes into the making not only of an astronaut, but of our nation¿s continued pursuit of manned space flight. Readers will be both amazed and surprised: this book is an epiphany of the nitty-gritty of spaceflight, which revolves not only around science, but continually circles back to the enabling human element.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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