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

4.6 out of 5 stars 459 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth
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  • You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; Main Market Ed. edition (29 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447257103
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447257103
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.7 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (459 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Houston, we have a superstar' Washington Post 'Hadfield has done more than probably any astronaut since the Apollo missions to transform the image of space exploration ... Space has rarely seemed to close, or the world so astonishing' Daily Telegraph

Book Description

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth is an inspirational memoir of space exploration and hard-won wisdom, from an astronaut who has spent a lifetime making the impossible a reality

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a book about ambition. But not the sort of ambition we usually hear or read about - the climb over everyone else ambition of politics and is found in many organisations or the 'I want it so much' ambition of X factor. It is about the 'I've got to work hard' ambition.
Chris Hadfield wanted to go into space. But he knew things might not work out and he was not going to define his success in life by whether he got there. As he said (not an exact quote) he wasn't going to define his life by something that may happen once in 10 years, but by doing 10 good things every day. He valued working with people and not over them. He was happy to do seemingly menial tasks if it helped the greater goal of the team. He would be pleased for other people's success. And all the time he would go the extra mile to achieve success for himself (that's hours of hard work) - to be the best at whatever he did. He would work hard. Very hard. And when he got there he would give back.
But if you think this may be an 'Aren't I wonderful?' type book you'd be wrong. Although the book is about him, it certainly isn't an ego trip.
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Format: Hardcover
The title is not merely a lure into rocket anecdotes or a nod to Douglas Adams, though it's surely both of those. Hadfield does provide some solid life lessons, based not on a guru's revelations or the latest semi-scientific fad, but on decades of hard work and experience. For a book centred on space, it's surprisingly down to Earth.

Hadfield tells us about his life, from childhood through college, and his years as a fighter- and test-pilot. After that come his years with NASA. This period includes three trips into space, but Hadfield is at pains to show how small a portion of time that is, and how extensive the training and preparation. From an early age he directed his life towards being an astronaut, whilst ensuring that he enjoyed everything he did even if the long shot never came: well aware of the role of luck, he nonetheless did everything he could to weight the dice his way.

His message might be encapsulated in the notion that a strong work ethic and constant learning are their own reward. Chapter titles such as "Sweat The Small Stuff", "What's The Next Thing That Could Kill Me?" and "Aim To Be A Zero" emphasise his insistence on taming one's ego and getting the job done, whether in a Space Shuttle or the family swimming pool.

But this is not a dry and didactic book: the space anecdotes are there a-plenty, from how to deal with something in your eye on a spacewalk, to what to do when there's a snake in the cockpit. Hadfield's suggestions arise naturally from his experience and are suffused with goodwill and good humour. I came away more impressed than ever with what it means to be an astronaut, and able to see how a little of that in everyone's life would do us all good.

The book includes a few pages of photos, acknowledgements, a good index, and a splendid opening sentence:

"The windows of a spaceship casually frame miracles."
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Who's Chris Hadfield? I'd never heard of him until I spotted a photo in my local newspaper of the Isle of Man, taken from the International Space Station. Did it fly over this way? I have never been that interested in space exploration before. From then on I was hooked and followed col Hadfield on his mission as Commander of the I.S.S. I bored everyone who'd listen to the daily updates of my new best friend Col Hadfield. I've just finished the book and loved it. What a grounded, lovely person he is. Goodness knows what his wife Helene and family had to put up with getting him into space and anxiously waiting for his safe return. Loved the book. So easy to read. Good luck Chris Hafield in all you do.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a really fantastic book with tons of insights into what it takes to achieve success. I loved the style of writing. Information about specific missions was nicely balanced with lessons about teamwork, attitude, dealing with problems, challenges and change.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
what makes this book so good is its down to earth storytelling as though he is a regular guy, which he is, only he has worked hard and achieved much in an area so few will ever get to see. and to share this in this book is fantastic, a great and insightful read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great read and easy to read and very informative. Felt i was there with him. Can't wait for more from him.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like reading books on space flight and after hearing a short piece read on Radio 4's Book of the Week I had to give it a go. I ordered it as soon as I got home from work and it arrived the following morning.

Well, two days later I've finished it because I couldn't put the thing down. Being an earthling with a fascination for rockets and the space staion with no chance whatsoever of going there myself I really liked the small details in this book. The small details add up to give you the bigger picture and now I even know what the ISS smells like!

As well as being a great book if you like space travel there are also some good lessons regarding life. Certain parts reminded me slightly of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance, although Zen is obviously far more detailed in philosophy and this far more detailed in space flight. But the Zen notion of being at your best when your stuck and looking at set backs in a positive way seems to be behind the thinking here as well. Lots of small sucesses in life are far better than one big one.

If you are into space books with some philosophy mixed in you will like this book. Go buy it now and smell the space station.
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