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An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything
     

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything

4.5 17
by Chris Hadfield
 

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"Hadfield is a genius, a man of science and technology and no first-timer to the universe."-New York Post

Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been

Overview

"Hadfield is a genius, a man of science and technology and no first-timer to the universe."-New York Post

Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft.

In his bestselling An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories, his vivid and refreshing insights will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth-especially your own.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-01
Hadfield chronicles what it took to achieve his dream of becoming an astronaut. The author explains how the excitement of watching Neil Armstrong's televised moon landing changed his life. At age 9, he "knew, with absolute clarity that I wanted to be an astronaut." Though the odds were particularly slim due to the fact that he was (and remains) a Canadian, he succeeded in becoming a top NASA astronaut. The author explains how he charted his career with fierce determination. He joined the Canadian air force, studied engineering with a military scholarship and then volunteered to be a test pilot. He was then chosen to be one of a few fortunate Canadian airmen tracked into NASA. By the time of his retirement in 2012, he had served as director of NASA operations in Russia and chief of International Space Station Operations. On his last space mission, Hadfield served as commander of the International Space Station, where he spent 146 days in space while making 2,336 orbits around the Earth. The author provides a satisfying behind-the-scenes look at the life of an astronaut, which is a useful corrective to the popular celebrity image. He explains that being in space helped him to keep his perspective even while enjoying the excitement of his job--"most people, including me, tend to applaud the wrong things: the showy, dramatic record-setting sprint rather than the years of dogged preparation or the unwavering grace displayed during a string of losses." The author emphasizes that becoming an astronaut involved developing physical capabilities and technical skills through tireless practice and a fanatic attention to detail. However, he also delivers a lively account of his experiences with the joys of weightlessness as well as the discomfort of leaving the ship for a space walk. A page-turning memoir of life as a decorated astronaut.
From the Publisher
A Slate Staff Pick for Best Books 2013

"A very human glance into a rarified world.... The vacuum of space is unforgiving and brutal. Life on earth isn't easy, either. Mr. Hadfield has genuinely and refreshingly increased our understanding of how to thrive in both places."—The Wall Street Journal

"Hadfield is a genius, a man of science and technology and no first-timer to the universe."—New York Post

"A satisfying behind-the-scenes look at the life of an astronaut.... A page-turning memoir of life as a decorated astronaut."—Kirkus Reviews

"Houston, we have a superstar."—Washington Post

"This memoir is part fascinating view, part Boy Scout manual."—New York Times

"A satisfying behind-the-scenes look at the life of an astronaut.... A page-turning memoir of life as a decorated astronaut."—Kirkus

"Hadfield proves himself to be not only a fierce explorer of the universe, but also a deeply thoughtful explorer of the human condition, capable of articulating those most universal of inquiries in simple yet profound language.... The book itself is absolutely spectacular."—Brain Pickings

"Lessons from his new book, AN ASTRONAUT'S GUIDE TO LIFE, are so inspiring that it's hard to decide which one to tell you about."—USA Today

"Our planet's one-man ambassador to the universe."—Gothamist

"Thoroughly engaging.... In a low-key style, he makes a persuasive case that the oft-derided Space Station is both a marvel of engineering and a triumph for science, and he paints the cartoon heroism of the NASA astronaut corps in a much more realistic, and yet in many ways even more admirable, light."—Corey S. Powell, American Scientist

"Hadfield is a good writer with an engaging style.... From his photos of Earth from space to his videos showing the daily grind of life on a 100-meter wide orbiting tin can, he is all about real life."—Slate

"Riveting, dramatic and intensely engrossing, Hadfield's engaging style as a writer puts you right alongside this almost absurdly compelling gentleman as he climbs the ladder from Canadian fighter pilot through two space shuttle missions and, ultimately, his serving as commander of the ISS."—The Huntington Beach Independent

"Hadfield takes readers on a fascinating and exciting journey while offering insightful-if somewhat unconventional -- wisdom applicable to everyday life here on Earth."—Bookpage

"His book is an autobiography as well as a lesson to the reader on what he's learned throughout his life and travels. And in his particular distillation of 'success,' he is wonderfully counterintuitive in his interpretation of common sense.... A startlingly intimate and warmhearted view of an arcane world, one which he makes plain even to those not educated in fields of scientific inquiry."—Ryan Downer, The California Aggie

"The book is more than just a compilation of intriguing stories and details about life in space....In addition to providing irresistible descriptions of his work, the book--which has been translated into 20 languages--also acts as a self-help guide, with Hadfield offering practical applications to what he has learned over the years."Connie Ogle, Miami Herald

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316253017
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
10/29/2013
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
119,334
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.48(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile:
1190L (what's this?)

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Meet the Author

Chris Hadfield is one of the most seasoned and accomplished astronauts in the world. In May 2013, Hadfield returned to Earth after serving as Commander of the International Space Station, where he and his crew lived for five months (his third mission). The top graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School in 1988 and U.S. Navy Test Pilot of the Year in 1991, Hadfield was selected to be an astronaut in 1992.

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An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
CozyLittleBookJournal More than 1 year ago
I have so many good things to say about this book I don't think they'll all fit into one review (for my full review, including my four-year-old's reaction to it, please visit my blog, Cozy Little Book Journal). Here's some of what I thought about the book: Chris Hadfield knew he wanted to be an astronaut when he was nine years old. In fact, he remembers the exact moment he knew. It was late in the evening on July 20, 1969. That's when his entire family, spending the summer in Stag Island, Ontario, "traipsed across the clearing" to their neighbour's cottage so they could crowd themselves in front of the television and watch the moon landing. "Somehow," he writes, "we felt as if we were up there with Neil Armstrong, changing the world." Hadfield writes about this early experience--and many, many of the other experiences that have led him to become the world's most recognized astronaut since Armstrong himself--in his new book, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth. I would have read this book a lot faster if I hadn't kept stopping every few pages to run out to tell my family what I'd just read. Magda didn't mind. She asked me to read aloud to her from the book every chance I got. At 4, I'd venture to say she knows more about space than most Canadians ten times her age, and we have Colonel Chris Hadfield to thank for that. His videos from space captured her imagination and mine. Thanks to him, both my daughter and I have new heroes from all over the world. And that's a gift that Chris Hadfield has given to so many of us; he's renewed our sense of wonder. He's inspired us to look at space again in a way most of us hadn't in a long time. He's inspired us to be passionately curious and unabashedly compassionate. He's shown us--through his eyes--what exactly it looks like to all be connected in this world (and off it). He's reminded us what it looks like to be passionate, competent and sincere, without irony or cynicism. An Astronaut's Guide to Life really is a guide to life. Actually, it makes a pretty good guide to parenting too. Colonel Hadfield offers an insider's look into the life of an astronaut and the steps it takes to become one. It's deeply satisfying for those curious about the past, present and future of the space program, but it's also full of truly excellent advice for those with ambition in any field. He writes: "I never thought, 'If I don't make it as an astronaut, I'm a failure.' The script would have changed a lot if, instead, I'd moved up in the military or become a university professor or a commercial test pilot, but the result wouldn't have been a horror movie." I love that. I love the attitude that you don't have to "wait for your life to begin," as so many of us do (I know I have). You can start becoming the person you want to be right away, with the choices you make and the steps you take. And, most importantly, do the things that will make you happy along the way, whether or not you reach your end goal. And in fact the "end goal" may change many times but at least you'll be doing things you love. I could say so much more about this book. What I can say is that I was even more inspired by the book than I already was by Colonel Hadfield himself, which is pretty darn inspired.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have you ever wanted to know the life of an astronaut? How do you even get to be one? What do they do, especially when on earth? Why do they even do it? And how do you combine that with having a family? This wonderful new book will tell you all about it. Hadfield is truly excited about space exploration, and his enthusiasm is contagious. He gives the reader a window into his heart and motivations, alongside the factual account of his journey to becoming an astronaut, which turns out to be a life-long process - training never really stops. He explains how the space program works, all kinds of considerations that go into every single thing, the various difficulties and dangers. Despite the seemingly technical subject, the prose is fluid and personal, and I really felt like I Hadfield is speaking to me, and I feel I know him a little bit, both as an astronaut, and as a person. I heartily recommend this to anyone who was ever interested in space, as well as to everyone else - you'll be interested after this one.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Mary DeKok Blowers for Readers' Favorite An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything, by Chris Hadfield, was an extremely detailed look at life on Earth and beyond. Through his description of the process of selecting a career, education, being selected, and going through the training of an astronaut, Hadfield paints a very vivid picture of a life characterized by vision, determination, and above all cooperation and service to others. Astronauts may be called upon to do anything on board, and once he had to fix a toilet and monitor two other men spacewalking, simultaneously. Training is very long, detailed, specific, and arduous as they have to simulate any possible thing that they may encounter and how they would resolve it. Chris Hadfield describes his excitement during space launch, the view from the spacecraft, the interaction between astronauts of various countries and cultures, and the effects on a family on Earth and how they are a crucial part of his support system. I learned so much, more than I wanted to about peeing in space (astronauts even wear diapers if there is any chance they will be delayed in a no-bathroom situation), but also that weightless sleep is more comfortable than any bed on earth. Also, sinuses don’t drain and the natural lubrication of your eyes does not flow as it does in gravity situations. Muscle tone decreases rapidly while in zero gravity, so special modified exercise equipment is necessary to avoid atrophy. This is a great narrative on focusing on and achieving your dreams, and the pluses and minuses that may go along with that. This audio book is 7 CDs plus a .pdf CD of supplementary material. Highly recommended for all ages.
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Les-in-WA More than 1 year ago
Chris Hadfield presents the life of an astronaut in an engaging manner that shows the necessity of preparation and planning. Additionally, he gives insights into how to handle setbacks, or possible setbacks, by recognizing our accomplishments. Read this!
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This book is amazingly inspiring and fun to read. It also helps you live life better. I read it 3 times already and I'm not tired of it!
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Ahmed-Saad More than 1 year ago
Well, this is a great book and it provides a very helpful content. I really enjoy reading it all the time. The author provides an awesome work for this book.
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An interesting perspective on life from an amazing individual.