by Chris Hadfield

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Part memoir, part self-help, part description of what life is really like as an astronaut, this book was fascinating. Hadfield dreamed of becoming an astronaut from the time he was nine years old. He knew that it was a long shot (at the time, Canada did not even have a space program), but he started planning what he would need to do just in case, to give himself the best opportunity to be in position to reach his goal. He went to military college, became a test pilot, and was eventually one of the first astronauts selected by the Canadian Space Agency. He went on to fly on 2 Space Shuttle missions and a do a 5-month stint on the International Space Station.  As Hadfield describes, however, being an astronaut is mostly about being on the ground, and being immersed in training, planning, safety, and details. His attitude toward and definition of success is inspirational, and his sense of purpose--being part of something larger than himself, educating people about space, science, and our planet, shows both humility and understanding of the big picture of life. Not all of us have daily activities where "what can kill me next?" is a legitimate question, but everyone could learn something from Hadfield's attitudes towards training, teamwork, working problems, and sense of satisfaction with a job well done. His stories are great too, and he does a nice job reading his own book. Hadfield is also a YouTube celebrity--from videos on how to brush your teeth in space to his popular cover of David Bowie's Space Oddity, filmed on the ISS, you'll want to learn more about space travel after reading this book, and you might even change your attitude about your own work and purpose.

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