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66 of 67 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 13 months ago by John Saltford

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11 of 13 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 10 months ago by Marek


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66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A philosophy of living, 21 Nov 2013
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This review is from: An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth (Kindle Edition)
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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13 of 13 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)   
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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13 of 13 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How To Survive In Space, 19 Aug 2014
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This review is from: An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth (Kindle Edition)
Like most people I became aware of the author during his most recent stint aboard the International Space Station as its commander. It's been a long time since anybody has made space exploration as relevant and fascinating as Hadfield has, and it was for more of the same that I checked out his book. That component is definitely there, and as compelling as you'd expect, but what I hadn't cottoned on to was that this is also something of a how-to manual. Not how to be an astronaut so much as how to make the most of the opportunities and wants that are specific to your own life. It's not preachy, but it's enthusiastic. Hadfield talks about the many hurdles he had to cross in order to get where he did in an autobiographical way, but the detail on the qualities and attitudes he believes to have assisted him and others in his trade makes this a little more than just that. Such a book runs the risk of being preachy, but Hadfield is engaging throughout and his perspective is both practical and relatable. There's nothing New Age about his understanding of what makes success possible, and a lot of his observations are striking in how they differ from what else you might find on the shelf (several, including his insistence that it's sometimes best to 'be a zero' instead of excelling from the start, will stick with me). Overall, a pleasant surprise.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 9 Jan 2014
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A present for my daughter who is a Chris Hadfield fan and was delighted to read the book. She insisted on sharing her favourite bits and read it cover to cover in a short time. It was then snapped up and read by a second daughter who enjoyed it equally.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should be compulsory reading for all teenagers, 30 Dec 2013
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I was disappointed when this book ended. Aside from giving a real insight into the space program from the left seat of the Soyuz, it serves to pass on real wisdom and philosophy.
It carries good pace throughout. While the first part seems to verge upon Hadfield merely boasting of how wise and well-informed he has been through life, parts two and three make you feel guilty for even starting to suspect him of this.
We could learn much from this, I wanted to read more.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 4 Nov 2013
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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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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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This review is from: An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth (Kindle Edition)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars real life, 7 Jan 2014
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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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, 9 Jan 2014
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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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