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An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by [Hadfield, Chris]
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An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 510 customer reviews

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Review

A "Slate "Staff Pick for Best Books 2013

"A very human glance into a rarified world.... The vacuum of space is unforgiving and brutal. Life on earth isn't easy, either. Mr. Hadfield has genuinely and refreshingly increased our understanding of how to thrive in both places." "The Wall Street Journal""

"Hadfield is a genius, a man of science and technology and no first-timer to the universe." "New York Post""

"Houston, we have a superstar." "Washington Post""

"This memoir is part fascinating view, part Boy Scout manual." "New York Times""

"Hadfield proves himself to be not only a fierce explorer of the universe, but also a deeply thoughtful explorer of the human condition, capable of articulating those most universal of inquiries in simple yet profound language.... The book itself is absolutely spectacular." "Brain Pickings""

"Lessons from his new book, AN ASTRONAUT'S GUIDE TO LIFE, are so inspiring that it's hard to decide which one to tell you about." "USA Today""

"Our planet's one-man ambassador to the universe." "Gothamist""

"Thoroughly engaging.... In a low-key style, he makes a persuasive case that the oft-derided Space Station is both a marvel of engineering and a triumph for science, and he paints the cartoon heroism of the NASA astronaut corps in a much more realistic, and yet in many ways even more admirable, light." "Corey S. Powell, "American Scientist"""

"Hadfield is a good writer with an engaging style.... From his photos of Earth from space to his videos showing the daily grind of life on a 100-meter wide orbiting tin can, he is all about real life." "Slate""

"Riveting, dramatic and intensely engrossing, Hadfield's engaging style as a writer puts you right alongside this almost absurdly compelling gentleman as he climbs the ladder from Canadian fighter pilot through two space shuttle missions and, ultimately, his serving as commander of the ISS." "The Huntington Beach Independent""

"Hadfield takes readers on a fascinating and exciting journey while offering insightful-if somewhat unconventional -- wisdom applicable to everyday life here on Earth." "Bookpage""

"His book is an autobiography as well as a lesson to the reader on what he's learned throughout his life and travels. And in his particular distillation of 'success, ' he is wonderfully counterintuitive in his interpretation of common sense.... A startlingly intimate and warmhearted view of an arcane world, one which he makes plain even to those not educated in fields of scientific inquiry." "Ryan Downer, The California Aggie"""

"The book is more than just a compilation of intriguing stories and details about life in space....In addition to providing irresistible descriptions of his work, the book--which has been translated into 20 languages--also acts as a self-help guide, with Hadfield offering practical applications to what he has learned over the years." "Connie Ogle, Miami Herald""

"A satisfying behind-the-scenes look at the life of an astronaut.... A page-turning memoir of life as a decorated astronaut." "Kirkus""

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

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 7029 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1447257103
  • Publisher: Macmillan; Main Market Ed edition (29 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EF23RMM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 510 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,198 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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: 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
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: 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 by seeing Earth from space, the quirky aspects of the Russian space program, or the unexpected details of daily life in zero gravity.

It's at its worst Chris tries to draw conclusions and life advice from his experiences, as it really turns into a tiresome and contrived boyscout manual here. I got tired of reading about Always Being Prepared, and Giving It Your Best, and Always Looking Out For Your Teammates.

I still enjoyed the book overall, but often wished it was more of a straight telling of Chris' experiences as an astronaut. The book's concept feels somewhat forced.
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