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74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A philosophy of living
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...
Published 17 months ago by John Saltford

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oscillates between fascinating and tiresome
I had heard Chris Hadfield in a number of interviews, in which he speaks very engagingly about space exploration and life on the ISS. But the book does not always match the high quality of his public appearances.

The book basically has two modes. It's at its best when talking about Chris Hadfields' personal experiences of going to space, the sheer awe produced...
Published 14 months ago by Marek


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74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A philosophy of living, 21 Nov. 2013
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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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What it says on the tin., 21 July 2014
By 
Jason Mills "jason10801" (Accrington, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth (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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book, 7 Jan. 2014
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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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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 4 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth (Hardcover)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars real life, 7 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth (Hardcover)
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, 9 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth (Hardcover)
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read for anyone with the slightest interest in Space, 16 Jan. 2014
By 
S. Stone - See all my reviews
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Commander Chris Hadfield is one of the humblest, most incisive men I have ever seen or heard. I am among the many people who became aware of him through his Social Media interactions during his five months aboard the International Space Station, and couldn't resist buying the Kindle version of this book as soon as it came out.

It is diffiult to classify this as an autobiography - even though it charts Chris' path to becoming an Astronaut. He cleverly uses each of the significant points in this journey to relate the lessons he learned to ways he changed his life in the future, or alternatively how a decision he made at a particular point was driven by past experience. The end result is a combination between an autobiography and a life coaching manual.

But don't think for a minute that he is trying to tell you how to live your life. Instead, the feeling you are left with after finishing to book is instead an insight into how to look at the bigger picture - take account of what might (but has not yet) happened, and learn more effectively from what occurs around you as well as directly to you.

He does this in a way which is at no point preaching nor directive. And all the time you are taking in an extraordinary journey from Pilot to Astronaut, as well as gaining a unique and at times humbling insight into what it is like to spend extended periods in space.

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable read, and one I would recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 17 Jan. 2014
This review is from: An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth (Hardcover)
I started to watch Chris Hadfield in space via the various youtube clips available on the internet and saw how he made technical things, not only interesting but easy to understand. He is a great personality and an inspirational character. From the beginning of this book I was hooked and this continued to the end. So much so that I am going to read it again. I am fascinated with all things 'Space' and this book was no disappointment. Chris is very thoughtful and has the wisdom of one who has seen more than most of us can only imagine in our wildest dreams. He sees the world from a different perspective and articulates it well. I would STRONGLY recommend it to anyone who has a beginners interest in space or in people generally.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Col. Chris Hadfield my new bestie, 21 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth (Hardcover)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful and Fascinating Read, 18 April 2015
Never have I felt such attraction towards a job than while reading this book. Never have I felt such repulsion towards a job than while reading this book. Hadfield dispels many common preconceptions about space, and it's inhabitants, giving an insight into the true life of an astronaut. The wonder, awe and glory pitted against the stress, danger and routine. The awesome against the mundane.

He artfully uses his experiences to illustrate his philosophy, with a set of key morals and themes weaving throughout. While their inclusion is occasionally clumsy, you can't help but feel that these are ideas that he truly believes in and tries to implement in his personal life. They are all well-considered practical philosophies, and are as applicable in everyday life as they are in his day-to-day.

His book also fills a third function, serving as one of the most powerful works in support of space travel I have ever read. Even if the job of astronaut does not appeal, Hadfield's descriptions of space display the wonder of a world that few truly get to see. He uses his work as a platform with which to rebut arguments against the continuation of the space program, presenting evidence that few opponents consider.

This book manages to be an ode to space, a memoir, and a moral guide all at once, doing a startlingly good job at all of them. It's an excellent read, and should be picked up by anyone with even a remote interest in space travel.
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An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield (Hardcover - 29 Oct. 2013)
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