“We broke into Mir using a Swiss Army knife. Never leave the planet without one.”
I remember when Chris Hadfield was on the International Space Station, a little over a year ago. Sure, people were always on the ISS, but he was tweeting and Youtube-ing from space! How exciting. I’ve been wanting to read this book since it came out, but I think it was a particularly good idea to listen to it on audio. Chris Hadfield himself narrates, and it’s a GREAT listen.
Chris talks about how since he was child, he’s grown up with the question “What would an astronaut do?” on his mind, and lived his life by it. He dreamed of being an astronaut, but knew that it was highly unlikely – Canada didn’t even have it’s own space program at the time. Still, he made smart decisions – following career paths that he knew he would enjoy, but always with “and this would be a good thing on a resume for an astronaut” as a bonus. I really like Chris’s approach to life – to always be prepared, to not pin your hopes on one big aspiration but instead to make sure that you do work that you really enjoy, and to be passionate.
“If you start thinking that only your biggest and shiniest moments count, you’re setting yourself up to feel like a failure most of the time.”
He talks about his time flying fighter jets, the application process to become a Canadian astronaut, and the stresses of his work and how it affected his family. His time in space is really fun and interesting to hear about – from the experiments being conducted to the issues that arise for something as simple as peeing in zero gravity. And I learned a lot about the International Space Station – I need to seek out more books about it.
My favorite thing about Chris’s memoir I think is his enthusiasm for space. He consistently talks about his efforts to get children and other people excited about space and the importance of space research and exploration. His fame grew from his time on the ISS, in which he started tweeting pictures from space and posting videos about the oddities of living in space – I highly recommend checking out his Tumblr. He does a good job at communicating the thrills and wonders of space.
If you’re looking for a fantastic memoir or non-fic to read or listen to, definitely go for An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
“I wasn’t lonely. Loneliness, I think, has very little to do with location. It’s a state of mind. In the center of every city are some of the loneliest people in the world. If anything, because our whole planet was just outside the window, I felt even more aware of and connected to the seven billion other people who call it home.”
Sarah Says: 5 stars