Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Monday, November 18, 2013

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth
by Chris Hadfield
Random House Canada
ISBN: 978-0-345-81270-4
Buy from Indigo

Description: Colonel 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. The secret to Col. Hadfield's success-and survival-is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst-and enjoy every moment of it.

In An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Col. 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 filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counter-intuitive lessons: don't visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff.

You might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video or perform basic surgery in zero gravity like Col. Hadfield. But 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

The Good Stuff
  •  Learned so much about the reality of  how much it takes to become an astronaut and about their day to day work life
  • Fabulous advice that pertains not only to those wanting to be astronauts but also to those wanting to love and succeed at just about everything
  • Surprised that in general most astronauts aren't the thrill seeking type
  • Charming, likeable and dryly funny writer
  • Realistic about how hard the life of an astronaut can be on their families
  • Self-deprecating (you guys know by now that I love that)
  • Speaks highly of his wife and he knows and appreciates the sacrifices she made
  • Likes Great Big Sea and Stan Rogers - how can you not like a guy with that taste
  • Extremely wise
  • Won't lie, never had any interest in going to space - but after reading Chris's description of his space walk I now wish I was younger and had the chance - but hey I will settle with one day being able to see the Northern Lights
  • Inspired me
  • And from the bottom of my heart - thank you. After reading I showed my 12yr old some of the video's and he was fascinated. (Also showed him video's of David Bowie - so maybe he will develop some better music appreciation LOL) We spent a couple of hours discussing and watching video's together. It was a wonderful evening.  He also asked to borrow the book which totally warmed this Librarian's heart.
  • Never comes across as cocky or better than anyone else - truly a humble man

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Confession Time: Sorry Chris on many occasions while reading it I was thinking your wife was a fricken saint and you were selfish. I know, I know, that is a horrible thing to think. But you have to understand I am a mom.  I understand how hard (and lonely) it is to raise children.  She let you realize your dream while she did all the dirty work -- that is love man and I wish I could have been as selfless as her. You better spoil her & if I ever get to meet her I am giving her a big hug and even though I make shit money I will treat  her to a girls day out at the spa.  That being said I still respect and admire you and sorta wish I had parents like you, so much drive and passion.
  • The day after I finished it I went in to work and was about to put it as my "Staff Pick" - but damn you Heather Reisman you chose it as your Heather's Pick.  That is three times you stole a pick from me ROFL!
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Success is feeling good about the work you do throughout the long, unheralded journey that may or may not wind up at the launch pad."

"We're a nation of door-holders and thank you-sayers, but we joke about it, too.  How do you get 30 drunk Canadians out of a pool? You say, "Please get out of the pool."

"So we did the true space-age thing: we broke into Mir using a Swiss Army knife. Never leave the planet without one."

"I also got bonus containers of Canadian treats like smoked salmon, buffalo jerky, a tube of maple syrup - even Tim Horton's coffee, the preferred caffeinated beverage on board (Roman took to calling everything else "deputy coffee" - second best."

5 Dewey's

I received this from Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review


  1. I've seen this one at Costco and wondered what it was all about. Great review! I think it would make a great gift for hubby.

    1. thanks for the nice words and definitely would make a great gift. There is also a photography book that has a bunch of his photos from space