An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: Book Review

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Title: An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth
Author: Chris Hadfield
Genre: Non-Fiction
Number of Pages : 304
Publisher : Pan Macmillan India
ISBN : 978-031625301-7

The Blurb:
Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft. The secret to Col. Hadfield's success-and survival-is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst-and enjoy every moment of it. 

In An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don't visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff. 

You might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video or perform basic surgery in zero gravity like Col. Hadfield. But his vivid and refreshing insights will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth-especially your own.

About The Author:
Chris Austin Hadfield is a retired Canadian astronaut who was the first Canadian to walk in space. An Engineer and former Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot, Hadfield has flown two space shuttle missions and served as commander of the International Space Station.  During his missions he also gained popularity by chronicling life aboard the space station and taking pictures of the earth and posting them through Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr to a large following of people around the world. He was a guest on television news and talk shows and gained popularity by playing his guitar in space. His mission ended in May 2013 when he returned to earth. Shortly after returning, he announced his retirement, capping a 35-year career as a military pilot and an astronaut.

My Review:
It's the story of an astronaut, a famous one for that matter, about how a young Canadian boy dreamt of being an astronaut in times when Canada wasn't even recruiting astronauts. This story provides you the hope and the optimism required to achieve a goal and to keep on moving forward. This is like a self-help book with the experiences of an experienced astronaut. He has provided a very believable story of his journey with his successes and failures given equal space, and expressed his short-comings very boldly.

One concept I liked in his writing was of negative thinking in which he suggests that it is necessary to imagine what all can go wrong with your plan, not to bring down your enthusiasm and not because you're a pessimist, but to make yourself prepared for a rescue plan if such situations do occur.

I liked the book, in some places there was too much detailing about the spacecrafts and the training, that it kinda bored me to some extent but the motive behind describing the whole journey and his experiences. After all, the guy has one million followers online - thanks to his music videos "Jewel in the Night" and "Space Oddity" - former being the first song recorded in space. The guy has made life in space seem cool and fun by making videos of how to BBQ in space and have high tea in space! Chris Hadfield has live upto his expectation by this book. 

I would give this book a rating of 3.5 stars out of 5.


  1. well, The detailing of the spacecrafts was essential orelse it may not give a clear picture of how he faced the challeges. You should have given 4/5 atleast

  2. that is crisp and well written ! good work man !


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