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on 26 March 2017
I can't praise this book highly enough. Chris Hadfield has managed to pull together stories about him, his home life and his family, which make me feel like I know more about. He has written in great detail about being in the astronaut program, about visiting space, and about living on the ISS, all of which has been interesting and packed with description which makes it all come alive. Perhaps most importantly he has shared his opinions and attitudes towards his work ethos - what it is that has allowed him to succeed in such a challenging and desirable job. A book filled with engaging stories and valuable wisdom that is relevant for anyone in any career or situation.
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on 17 April 2017
One of the best books I've read. When you remember important lessons from a book, you know it's had an impact. This is one of those. It's so well written, I feel I've been there in space with Chris Hadfield. I love how he applies that to living life well here on earth. Two life lessons stand out for me: the "attitude", and the "minus one, zero, and plus one" (you'll have to read the book to get them).
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on 27 May 2016
This is an amazing book. It was truly astonishing to read the amount of knowledge and training an astronaut has (you think you know that it is a lot but then this lets you know how much you underestimated!). Hadfield is a great man and very humble, delivering humour and easy to follow descriptions of technical aspects of being an astronaut, as well as amazing stories of doing his first spacewalk and playing games in zero G. It is a great motivational book with some good life advice. I have borrowed my copy to several friends and read it myself multiple times as well
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on 13 November 2017
This is the story of a young boy who grew up to follow his dream of becoming an astronaut. Chris. Hadfield watched the space race unfold and decided he wanted to be an astronaut himself. The tests and examinations he went through and the long wait before he found he had been accepted. He tells of his experiences in orbit, and how it was different from what the public saw. For anyone interested in space, this book is worth reading.
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on 21 December 2015
I suspect that I'm not the only one to have taken a liking to Chris Hadfield after his performance of 'Space Oddity'. Enough to say that this book is about much more than playing and singing in space. It's hard to fit it into any particular category; not an autobiography, though he describes his life before space; not a physics-laden guide to all things involved with space travel and work. Definitely not easy to fit into any category.

Hadfield is entertaining in his views on the space community. And it is a community, brought together and maintained by those involved in all the many disciplines needed to get people out there. He has a light touch, whether writing about his fellow-astronauts, the 'rear echelon' people who get the machinery into space or those who train and sustain them. He writes about the strains on his family, the dangers of becoming obsessive his job, and the ways in which they react to his absence.

All in all, his book is a new look at the whole process of International Space Station Life. The technical aspects are described in enough detail to help us understand them. The impact on all of the people involved are honestly described, without stooping to a scandal-hunting paparazzi view. It certainly helped me to understand the whole aspect of space work on one man. And he stresses that he's not a hero, just another 'guy-next-door' Canadian doing his best to do his job. All through the book, he says that he's doing a job he's been trained for. That's not mock-modesty, Hadfield's whole approach to life, the universe and everything (Sorry; I couldn't help that).

I will read Hadfield's book again and again. I'm as sure of that as I am that it's worth re-reading many times.
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on 14 April 2017
Not just about an insiders story about travel into space - this book also makes you think about life and the way we love it. Inspirational - it makes you think you should always do your best. Then added to that, there is very interesting tales about how things are done in space and how space travel affects you not only physically but mentally, too. Well worth a read
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on 17 June 2016
Chris has a fascinating and inspirational story to tell, I found much of it very relevant to my own life and it helped me reinforce a perspective I already held. My trouble with this book is that he has pretty much said everything he has to say by about 1/3 of the way through and then proceeds to repeat the message through numerous anecdotes. Practice is part of the message I guess but I did find myself just skimming over vast sections of this to find something new.
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on 19 July 2014
Wow. I feel compelled to honour the inspiration that this book has given me, although I think that I physically lack the ability.

The majority of this book is Chris explaining how well trained astronauts are and the way he became an astronaut. A lot of the journey seems like luck, although it is clear that he put himself in the right circumstances for the opportunities to arise. When he was applying to be an astronaut for the first time, he wanted the position so badly that he basically got his CV bound properly and make in multiple languages just to try and stand out. Here is a man who wanted a career and went straight for it.

Chris' philosophy is awe-inspiring. He seems to disagree with the notion of 'take things as they come' and prefers the 'plan for everything that could go wrong' notion, which I am beginning to follow myself. He explains that it is all well and good living your life in a sense of reacting to problems that arise, however if you don't know what you're doing when these problems arise and you're forced to come up with a plan on the spot, then a lot can go wrong.

He explains that for an astronaut, the instinct of chimp-like fear has been trained out of him. He no longer reacts to a dangerous situation by cursing and saying "Someone help! There's a fire!" but instead his trained mind immediately snaps into action with a newly trained instinct. What are the priorities? What is causing that smell? These are instantaneous reactions for someone who spent years training for only a few space walks.

This book, to be honest, has left me in sheer envy at the life of a man who knew exactly what he wanted and became so good at what he did that he created his own philosophy. He shows more of his philosophy in regards to manners later on in the book, where he explains the difference between a 'Plus One', 'Zero' and 'Minus One' type of person. I won't spoil that for you though.

You will not regret this purchase.Treat yourself to a new perspective on life.
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on 18 April 2015
Don't know where to begin. The book is everythign:
- a good entertaining read
- upbeat and educational
- story of ones man overcoming of adversities and literally reaching for the stars (well ISS not the stars themselves, but that is as close as anyone gets!)
- great source of leveled motivation, without the hype of motivational books (I felt like doing stuff after reading it)

Simply put, it is a story of an extremely dedicated, humble individual (who is also a good guitar player and singer! look up his space oddity video if you haven't seen it!) who approached his dream methodically, and achieved it, one challenge at a time.
Thoroughly recommended!
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on 10 February 2014
Many people will no doubt have heard of Chris Hadfield, pilot, astronaut and musician - his rendition of Space Oddity from the International Space Station has received over 21 million hits on YouTube. And just to prove how multi-talented he now is, he's added author to that list. And like everything Chris has done, he's not just done it well, but exceptionally well. The book isn't a traditional autobiography as such, and neither is it - as some have suggested - a self-help book. Instead it is one man's account of how he became an astronaut, who and what inspired him, and what he has learnt from the process. Various mantras are repeated throughout the book, such as `sweat the small stuff', `OK, what's going to kill me next' and many others, however he never beats you over the head with any of them and neither does he tell you constantly, `hey, look at me, aren't I wonderful' as some who have achieved so much, do. Instead, he comes across as a quiet, but highly driven individual, more than capable of admitting his own shortcomings, yet proud of his achievements. At no point during the book did I get bored. Everything from aspects his personal life to getting stuck in the hatch of the space station as he was about to go on a space-walk, feel humble and human, yet warm and affable. Words like `inspirational' and `heroic' are bandied around far too often, yet here they fit perfectly. A superb book and possibly the best non-fiction book I have ever read. An amazing man and an amazing read. Buy it, you won't be disappointed.
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