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Normally nonfiction books don't keep me listening late into the night, repeatedly adding "just 15 more minutes" to the sleep timer for hours. This one did. Mike describes his path from being a boy on Long Island playing in a homemade astronaut costume through the series of choices, challenges, and lucky breaks that culminated in his two spacewalks to perform maintenance on the Hubble telescope. His story is by turns moving and thoughtful and funny and suspenseful.
Mike did a fantastic job with the narration; his humor and humility shone through the whole time.
I don't normally write reviews and fear I haven't done this book justice, but I'm pretty much going to be encouraging everyone I know to read or listen to it, so why not start here?
51 of 53 people found this review helpful
this has to be one if not "THE" most amazing, inspiring book I've ever read in my life. half way through it I put it down and called my university to set up a start date to go back to school and finish my degree. it is so easy to find and excuse to just give up but that's all it is, just a whole bunch of excuses, hearing Mike talk about how an average person much like us "normal people" not geniuses with the perfect health or wealthy family can overcome every obstacle and full feel his dream makes you stop and rethink your self and say hey its time act, it's time stop "just making it by" it's time to get up and start pushing forward, this is the feeling I got when I read this book.
hope to some day I get to meet him and thank him in person for giving me the push I needed, that ray of hope that I lost so many years ago, or to put it in his terms, that kindle that light my dreams once more.
Thank you Mass.
43 of 45 people found this review helpful
what an interesting life, it was made so much better that he read the book himself
The Moon landings were a long time ago. It's sometimes too easy to forget that there's been a lot going on since then, even if it has been either a) unmanned or b) low Earth orbit.
If you're a fan of The Big Bang Theory, you'll know the writer. He's the real-life American astronaut who appeared as himself and addressed Howard as Fruitloops in several episodes. This gets mentioned quite late on in the book, whereas in the introduction we get to learn just how scary your first flight into space is.
Having the book read by the writer himself is great. He's not just reading, he's remembering. And although the descriptions of space are wonderful, a lot of the rest is too, including the insights into what gives astronauts the right stuff.
The drama of being in space is nailed down in the repeated sentence I've used as a headline: "There is something wrong with your car." Sure, some part is worn, or there's a bit of grit in a spark plug, or whatever, and everything is fine despite this, until some future date when the problem makes itself known. And maybe it makes itself known when you're on your own late at night, or you're on your way to a job interview, or you've got a load of frozen food thawing in the boot. But what's the worst thing that can happen while you're waiting for the person from the AA or RAC to arrive? Whatever it is, compare it to having a failure in space, when oxygen is limited, and working in a spacesuit is more tiring than you probably realised.
This is a highly engaging and fascinating book, strongly recommended for anybody interested in modern space travel.
I feel what set the author's book apart from others is how he inspired others through his lead and never giving up. While most focus on the space experience this book makes me want to meet him myself (fingers crossed right). It also lead me to doing further research and wanting to know more about the history.
He also kept up a good pace when reading, would love to hear more of his work in the future. Loved this book from start to finish. Well done!
Fantastic read, Mike takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions struggles triumphs and incredible human endeavour.