Tag Archives: inspirational non-fiction

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!  🙂




How My Savior Leads Me … and the winner is …

Today we have a winner who has already responded!

This evening our young grandson was visiting and asked to be the one to draw the name out of the basket, so at 5:00 PM EST that is what happened. The winner receives the copy of How My Savior Leads Me by Terri M. Stellrecht, generously donated by the author for one of my readers to win. Thank you, Terri.

So … congratulations to Rebecca Carney who replied: “Thank you so much!! I look forward to reading this book.”   I will put the book into the mail this week for you, Rebecca.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: How My Savior Leads Me – by Terri M. Stellrecht

Book: How My Savior Leads Me
Author: Terri M. Stellrecht
Publisher: WestBow Press – a division of Thomas Nelson; another publisher for upcoming revised edition
Date: October 21, 2011
Genre: Inspirational non-fiction
Pages: 192
Price: $13.95, paperback; less on Kindle
My rating: hard story to read, yet a sincere sharing of pain and hope.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

How My Savior Leads Me is the true story of a family’s loss, the sudden and unexpected death of one of its children in February 2011. The author writes from a place of pain, all the while trying to trust God in her grief.

Trent Stellrecht is a twelve-year-old boy who loves life as a young boy does, being  adventurous, fun-loving, and outgoing. We are not told what exactly happened that tragic day, except that he died in a skiing accident while on a day trip with the youth group.

Terri Stellrecht, Trent’s mother, tells about the shock, the grief, the steps the family went through in preparing to let him go. She tells about how the family ministered to the many who came to express their sympathy and own personal loss. She shares Scripture and asks the challenging question, “If it had been you, do you know where you would be now?”

But Terri is a woman who is still working through her own mourning, and has yet to find that place where life is still good. Having experienced loss in my own life, I know how hard it is to keep on when it seems the world should stop and take notice .. but it doesn’t. My other children needed me, perhaps even more, and I had to be there for them because life continued on. In How My Savior Leads Me, Terri Stellrecht shares while still in that place, so it is a read like no other you will come across.

While I do not agree with all of the author’s theology, the age-old question people come up against has been raised and she has found some answers that work for her. As I read this book, it seemed the writing and sharing of her son’s death is serving as a way to work through a mother’s grief, that the shock has not completely left, and there is much healing yet to come.

Terri Stellrecht uses her own photography throughout the book as she tells the story of Trent’s life. Also, if you are interested in listening to an interview with her please click on this link: radio interview  Once there click on blogtalkradio on the right of that page.

NOTE: For those of you who would like to read her book, How My Savior Leads Me, Terri Stellrecht has generously offered an extra copy for me to give away to one of my readers.  If you want a chance to win this copy, please leave a comment and answer one of the following tough questions: ‘In your life tragedies, to whom do you turn?’ OR ‘If you were to die tonight, do you know where you will be?’

A winner will be selected in a week, the evening of June 12.

You can find How My Savior Leads Me listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂