An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield (Audio Book)

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An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth Source: Library

Five words from the blurb: astronaut, training, success, survival, think

Chris Hadfield is an inspirational man! I don’t remember how I first heard of him, but I do know that every piece of media that features him leaves me feeling empowered. Last year I saw that he was coming to the UK to promote his photo book, You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes, and so booked tickets to see him live. He had the entire room in the palm of his hand and is easily the best public speaker I’ve ever seen. I immediately went home and reserved a copy of his audiobook from the library. It is every bit as good as I hoped it would be and I urge you to go and get a copy.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth is basically an autobiography, explaining how Hadfield became an astronaut. But he also uses the book to show how everyone can benefit from the things he learnt along the way. He reinforces his belief that you should use every spare moment to become a better person – making small changes every day to improve your chances of achieving whatever you want:

Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you, and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you’d be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in. Don’t let life randomly kick you into the adult you don’t want to become.

He also believes that being independent is the key to happiness. Knowing that you have the ability to fix anything around you gives you more confidence. His passion almost persuaded me to take a course in plumbing – but I predict trying to fix a broken pipe would lead to much more stress in my life as I’m not very good at practical tasks!

Hadfield mixes these life-building plans with entertaining anecdotes about his experiences. It was fascinating to learn how problems are dealt with in space and I thought he managed to strike exactly the right balance between technical information and humour. I especially loved hearing about how he coped with becoming blind whilst on a space walk and what landing a Soyuz is like.

The audio is read by the author; further injecting his passion into every word. It’s probably amazing in print, but I highly recommend the audio version.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth gives the reader a slightly different perspective of the world, showing how we can all work together to make things better. It highlights the fragility and beauty of our planet, but also how powerful individual people can be when they work towards a goal. If you only buy one self-help book in your life, this should be the one you get.



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  1. Athira says:

    Wow, this one does sound amazing. I haven’t listened to this author’s talks but now I am intrigued. I will pick up this one on audio – that sounds appealing to me.

    1. Jackie says:

      Athira, I’m so pleased to hear that you’re going to give this a try. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  2. raidergirl3 says:

    Isn’t he amazing? We are very proud of Cmd Hadfield in Canada. In addition to being so talented and smart and accomplished, he also seems very down to earth and personable. I started following him on twitter when he was on the ISS and it was incredible. Plus, I teach physics at high school, so have an interest in space and science.

    I like how you called his book a self help book because it really inspires a person to be better, smarter, and appreciative of any opportunities you get in life.

    (There’s another Canadian astronaut, David Saint-Jacques who is just as amazing. I heard him speak after Hadfield had been in space, and I expect him to have the same kind of experience, and be just as inspiring)

    1. Jackie says:

      raidergirl3, You have every right to be proud of him! I loved the way that his affection for Canada came through in this book. We don’t really have the courage to say great things about our country here in the UK. It is such a shame as it is nice to be able to show national pride.

      I hope that you’re able to use Hadfield in some of your physics lessons – his enthusiasm for science is a great example for children.

      Also, thanks for letting me know about David Saint-Jacques – I hadn’t heard of him before *heads off to look him up on the Internet*

  3. I’m so glad Hadfield reads it himself. I have such a serious crush on him – and who wouldn’t? He’s inspirational and he’s been to space.

    1. Jackie says:

      Tanya, LOL! I know what you mean!

  4. How fascinating and how good to see and hear him speak in person. I saw him on Sunday Brunch,of all programmes this is not one I thought he would be on and he was brilliant! I’ve just reserved a copy of his book at the library.

    1. Jackie says:

      Margaret, I’m so pleased you’ve decided to get hold of a copy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

  5. Ok, I’m convinced – just bought it on Audible. I have a long flight coming up so maybe I’ll start it then!

    1. Jackie says:

      threegoodrats, Great news! It’s actually a great book to listen to on a plane. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  6. Wow how lucky you are to have met him! I picked up a copy of this in May but put it off reading it in favour of other books, I will definitely be reading it asap after your wonderful review. The quote you picked is lovely!

    1. Jackie says:

      A Shropshire Girl, Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet him – I’d so love to have a proper chat with him! I just saw him from a distance, but that was a wonderful experience. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did.

  7. Care says:

    Wow – you’ve sold me with this sentence alone! “every piece of media that features him leaves me feeling empowered”

    1. Jackie says:

      Care, He really is an impressive man! I hope you are as empowered as I was!

  8. Shan says:

    I’m glad you loved the book. I started following him on Twitter right before he went to the ISS. His use of social media (with his son) was amazing. Kids across Canada (including my daughter) got to participate in “Music Monday” where they all sang the same song at the same time and he participated from the ISS. My daughter came home from school that day absolutely amazed by him. It’s great that he is able to inspire everyone.


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