Review – An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

Cover of An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris HadfieldAn Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, Chris Hadfield

I’ve been meaning to read this forever, after getting quite into the videos Chris Hadfield posted and the stuff he tweeted when he was on the International Space Station. This is both less glamorous than you’d imagine an astronaut’s book to be, and more practical in terms of actual advice about everyday life. There are details about NASA, about what it’s like to fly a plane or go into space, etc, but there’s also a lot about being a team player, communication with family, and all sorts of ordinary things that maybe you wouldn’t think an astronaut would talk about.

Overall, Hadfield comes off as a down to earth (ha) and likeable guy, with a sense of humour about life and humility about his achievements, even though they’re pretty epic achievements. I found his book mostly interesting, although sometimes talking about bureaucracy was just bewilderingly frustrating — and why should he have exploratory surgery to prove that he doesn’t need exploratory surgery again? Aaargh, world, you are weird.

It’s mostly not really about being an astronaut. It’s about loving your job, working hard, and trying to be a decent human being. The moments of wonder are there too, but this is mostly about the road taken to get there.

Rating: 4/5

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