Every once in a while a person has a dream as a child. That same person grows up focusing on that same goal. Finally that person goes on to experience that dream.
Yes, Chris Hadfield did dream of becoming an astronaut and visiting space. However, this book is not so much about the culmination of a decades long dream. It is about experiencing and living that journey. And that journey is what An Astronaut’s Guide is all about.
Hadfield was an astronaut for 20+ years. Less than a year of that was actually spent in space. The journey and Hadfield’s constant preparation is the basis of this wonderful book.
This is not a feel good book. Nor is it a self-help book. At least it wasn’t for me. An Astronaut’s Guide was an opportunity to get as close as possible to Hadfield as he illustrates his success and failures over his preparation and career as an astronaut.
I will admit right now that Malcolm Gladwell is my favourite contemporary author. So this book review may be a little bit biased. Although, I have grown in not taking everything that Gladwell preaches at face value and being a little more critical when I read his work (or listen to his talks).
Gladwell’s latest battle is now of biblical proportions. Many people believe that David’s win over Goliath was one where the underdog beat the favourite. However, citing numerous studies, Gladwell, puts this “urban myth” to sleep. Thus starts the latest book by Gladwell.
The rest of the book sees Gladwell attack our notions of:
how to choose the best college,
the history of civil unrest in Northern Ireland,
how the success of the civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King was influenced,
how traumatic childhoods can actually be a good thing, and much more.
Later this week, I’m heading over to the University of Toronto to listen to Malcolm Gladwell talk about his latest book. And hopefully so much more!