Book Review: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – by Chris Hadfield

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on EarthBook: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth
Author: Chris Hadfield
Publisher: Random House Canada
Date: October 29, 2013
Genre: memoir; space science
Pages: 336, hardcover
Price: $28.00 – $32.00
My Rating: WOW!  or, A must-read book about life and attitude in Space and on Earth

Since July 1 is important for Canada, (HAPPY CANADA DAY TO MY FELLOW CANADIANS!), I have selected a fantastic book to review today.

While at the Credit Union one morning in early June, I noted their news board. On June 25 Chris Hadfield was coming to Truro, about two hours’ drive from where I live in Nova Scotia. Oh. My. Gosh! I excitedly told my sister who went online and obtained tickets for five of us to go hear him speak. I headed to the bookstore to buy his book — and one for my sister for her birthday. What a good decision. This well-written book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, is full of “AMAZING”, not to mention how I feel about Chris Hadfield – the Canadian astronaut who was commander of the International Space Station.

When Chris was nine years old he watched – on a neighbour’s TV on July 20, 1969 – the Apollo moon landing, and knew right then what he wanted to be when he grew up. From that point onward everything he did was to obtain his goal to be an astronaut, even though here in Canada there was not yet a space agency.

In An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth Chris Hadfield tells about his journey. After the Introduction appetizer, he has divided the book into three sections: Part 1 – Pre-Launch; Part 2 – Liftoff; Part 3 – Coming Down to Earth.

Part 1 – Pre-Launch
  1. The Trip Takes a Lifetime
  2. Have an Attitude
  3. The Power of Negative Thinking
  4. Sweat the Small Stuff
  5. The Last People in the World
  6. What’s the Next Thing That Could Kill Me?
Part 2 – Liftoff
                  7. Tranquility Base, Kazakhstan
                 8. How to Get Blasted (and Feel Good the Next Day)
                 9. Aim to Be a Zero
               10. Life off Earth
                11. Square Astronaut, Round Hole
Part 3 – Coming Down to Earth
               12. Soft Landings
               13. Climbing Down the Ladder

This is an exciting, interesting, incredible adventure told in an easy-to-read way. Chris Hadfield‘s humility and humour shine through as he shares what he has learned and accomplished both on and off Earth. What he had to do to realize his dream is daunting. What he shares about life is sound and inspiring.

The paragraph that spoke to my heart is as follows:

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. Personally, I’d rather feel good most of the time, so to me everything counts: the small moments, the medium ones, the successes that make the papers and also the ones that no one knows about but me. The challenge is avoiding being derailed by the big, shiny moments that turn other people’s heads. You have to figure out for yourself how to enjoy and celebrate them, and then move on.  – Page 267, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

 This book is thoroughly enjoyable. It is not only about travelling and living in Space, but also about his work as a fighter jet pilot when he lost several friends in flying accidents. In flowing conversational language he takes us all through the difficult journey that opened his way into NASA and eventually to commanding the space station where he conducted a record-setting number of scientific experiments. He also handled emergencies while in Space and became well-known for his activity on Twitter and his incredible photographs taken during his five-month stay on the space station he had helped build.

If you enjoy non-fiction, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield is such a good book to spend time absorbing. The information he provides is riveting. Even if you aren’t sure about the genre I recommend you give this book a try. It is so worth it.

A footnote: Chris Hadfield.2.06-25-14This image of Chris Hadfield is foggy because it was taken off the big screen in the community centre where he spoke. Chris is personable, interesting, funny, focused, well-spoken, humble, (good-looking – does that count?), Canadian … and I am so proud of him. I would have liked to tell him he’s an inspiration to me, but it wasn’t possible to get close enough with approximately 2800 people there.  *alas!*

If you buy only one book this year, may I suggest it be An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield. It will educate and inspire you.

You can find An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

 Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂





8 responses to “Book Review: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – by Chris Hadfield

  1. This sounds great! 😀 Did you see the trailer for it?


    • I’m sure you would very much enjoy this book, Erik. 🙂
      Thanks for heads-up about the trailer, it’s so funny! I will post it tomorrow.


  2. Happy Canada Day Lynn.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


  3. I got the book for Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s one of those books that will be reread, too. Thanks for posting the trailer. I’m looking forward to watching it.


  4. Every time I see or hear Chris Hadfiled I am so proud to be Canadian. He’s awesome. A great review of a great book.


I look forward to reading your greatly appreciated comments. Thanks for making my day! :)

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