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An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth Hardcover – Oct 29 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Canada; Eleventh Impression edition (Oct. 29 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345812700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345812704
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.2 x 3.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 540 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #45 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By K. P. Siu TOP 500 REVIEWER on Nov. 4 2013
Format: Hardcover
There is a reason that Chris Hadfield has become one of the most popular astronauts in the world (and certainly the most followed on Twitter). Commander Hadfield, not unlike most astronauts, is whip-smart, incredibly hard-working, and passionate about his work. One might consider him to be among one of the few dozen most accomplished people on (or around) Earth. Though Hadfield credits his son Evan for his popularity, there is no question that the real reason is because he is a great communicator.

His book, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, is a rare glimpse into the life and mind of an astronaut. There is of course the expected discourse on motivations and childhood, the trials and tribulations of becoming an astronaut, and the fascinating tidbits of life in space. The greatest strength of this book, however, is that it fills you up with passion, excitement, and wonder - feelings that Commander Hadfield certainly know well.

An unmistakeable and infectious sense of awe exudes from every sentence of this book. It is the same feeling of awe that millions have felt from watching Commander Hadfield's brilliant YouTube videos or admiring the many photographs he took from low Earth orbit. Reading his words, you get the sense that Commander Hadfield is the kind of person who never ceases to be amazed by the world we inhabit, and wants nothing more than to share his experiences with the rest of humanity.

The book is full of life lessons and advice. Although not all of it will be applicable to those of us not likely to go to space, his wisdom nonetheless deserves respect, hard-earned as it was by a series of experiences and accomplishments that most will only ever dream of.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A. Volk #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Oct. 30 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Chris Hadfield is not Canada's only astronaut, but he's almost indisputably the most famous one. This book is the story of his life leading up to being an astronaut, and its filled with both anecdotes and lessons.

For me, the anecdotes and stories are what's most interesting. Have you ever thought about flying in space? If so, this book is for you. There's a ton of information on what it's actually like to fly in and out of space, as well as living life in space. It really is an alien environment, but it's one that has almost become commonplace enough for people to dismiss as now being safe and easy to do. It's not safe, and it's definitely not easy living in space. But he does convey the majesty of being in space. In particular, how it doesn't seem that grand until you open your eyes and see the glorious view of the Earth in front of you and then the blackness of space all around you. Vision is the sense that most appreciate space.

His life story and lessons are also interesting, even if they don't (for me) match up to the grandeur of space flight. One of Chris' biggest life events and lessons is that he discovered at a very young age (9) what he wanted to do: walk on the moon. He never made it to that goal (at least, not yet), but he states that it's really important to set goals and do your best to meet those goals. If you don't get your goal, but move towards it, you're succeeding. That's a really important point- not only do you have to set a goal, but you have to keep chasing it even if it involves detours here and there. I can really empathize with this view as it's largely what I've done with my life. Chris also loved going fast from a young age, but he wasn't a risk-taker.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Mary Lavers TOP 500 REVIEWER on Oct. 29 2013
Format: Hardcover
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, Magda has spent the better part of the year learning everything she can about space exploration and astronauts, and has even composed several songs dedicated to female astronauts she admires ("Julie Payette Rocket" and "You are the Moon, I am the Sun [for Suni Williams]").
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