You guys – this memoir is incredible! Chris Hadfield is basically a boss, seriously. He has a pretty great sense of humor, and he isn’t afraid to make fun of himself! That’s right – a fighter pilot turned astronaut isn’t afraid to talk about his screw-ups.
Also, I loved getting an inside look at the training required to become an astronaut. Actually, how about the training required to be able to even freaking LOOK at astronauts? Years and years of studying minutia in the off-chance you might get to travel in space someday. Seriously – they have to study. A LOT. The same things over and over. Things there is about a .0001% chance they’ll actually ever need to use. And they live for it! Basically, astronauts are complete neeeeerds.
I definitely recommend picking this up if you’re part of the 99% of the population that things astronauts are awesome. Because, guess what? THEY SO ARE. Just maybe not in the ways you thought…
…once you’ve read the non-fiction, time to put your new knowledge to use by picking up…
The Martian by Andy Weir
Imagine the world a few years into the future. Basically the only thing markedly different is the fact that we have the ability to send manned ships to Mars. When a stronger-than-anticipated dust storm sends the latest crew home way earlier than planned, a pretty horrible chain of events leaves astronaut Mark Watney stranded on Mars – alone and with no way to contact Earth. GULP.
So basically, this book kicks complete ass and Mark Watney is a rock star. The McGuyever of Mars. He is an engineer and a botanist, and he puts those skills to pretty spectacular use. Plus, remember how you learned about all the crazy minutia astronauts cram into their brains? Well, that .0001% chance comes calling for Mark Watney! The stuff he pulls off is incredible, but definitely not unbelievable. You’ll be flying through the pages, dying to see if he manages to get back to Earth safely!
This book is absolutely epic and impossible to put down after about one paragraph. The best part? I don’t think I would have enjoyed it nearly as much if I hadn’t read An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth first!