Okay, I'll put you in the hands of someone who did a fantastic job talking about the history of the Apollo 13 mission... per the film. Honestly, this guy, Nick Hodges, has a YouTube channel called History Buffs, and it's a gem on the internet. I can watch all these episodes all day (and probably … Continue reading 50 Years Ago Today, Apollo 13 Launched. Let’s Celebrate With Some History!
I was only a toddler, just under 2 & 1/2, when Challenger exploded. I only remember the event because of the things I saw while the footage played on an endless stream throughout the day. Naturally, being so young, I didn't know what space shuttles were, or explosions, or death. I just know that distinctive … Continue reading Family, Space Shuttles, & Coincidence: a true story.
My Copy: 9781439148815 (image from bn.com) Anyone who's a fan of (or has even seen) Apollo 13 probably remembers a guy with a crew cut and a white shirt and vest stomping out of a room yelling "Failure is not an option" during one of the many tense scenes. That guy was Gene Kranz, played … Continue reading Failure is Not An Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond, by Gene Kranz
My Copy: 9780553418026 (image from bn.com) This is a science fiction book that would fit well with people who usually can't stand science fiction (or think they can't). That's because at heart, it's a story of survival in the most dire circumstances. I can't imagine being stranded on another planet, with the nearest humans a … Continue reading The Martian, by Andy Weir
My Copy: 9781439181034 (image from Simon and Schuster .com) I was pretty excited to read this book after I found it in the source notes from The Right Stuff...and it gives me some insight as to the limitations The Right Stuff had in its own narrative. We Seven, by the Astronauts themselves, is a collection … Continue reading We Seven: The Classic Story of the Heroes who Launched America Into Space, by the Astronauts Themselves
My Copy: 9780312427566 (image from booktopia.com.au) I'll admit: I saw the film based on this book probably a few dozen times before I ever read the book. Tom Wolfe's book about the beginnings of the U.S. Space Program is a fascinating real-life story, in that it's far more about the people involved, especially the first … Continue reading The Right Stuff, by Tom Wolfe
My Copy: 9780316253031 (image from amazon.com) Well, now I'm back to my Canadian author after the holiday. Chris Hadfield is probably the best known astronaut of the 21st century so far, and no wonder when you read this book and see what all he got involved in. I haven't had the chance to read many … Continue reading An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, by Col. Chris Hadfield
My Copy: 9780760346198 (image from Goodreads.com) I thought it was a joke at first, with the Haynes cover and all. I thought of Haynes as the fix-your-own-car guide, the source of all wisdom for all wannabe do-it-yourselfers (Boy, I miss those days). I thought it was a funny idea, silly to have a book like … Continue reading Apollo 13 Owner’s Workshop Manual: An Engineering Insight Into How NASA Saved the Crew of the Failed Moon Mission, by Dr. David Baker
I bought this one on a whim while at Barnes & Noble because I'm a space nerd & I wasn't going to wait for it to come out in paperback while it was right there in front of me. What really surprised me was my best friend--who I don't think of as a nonfiction fan--started gushing about it & demanded that I read it.
I bet some of you were wondering if I miscounted again, but nope--apparently this is Arthur Conan Doyle's last collection of Sherlock Holmes. The very last--complete with the "I mean it this time" from the author. Hell, I'll let him tell it in his own words: