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'What's It Like in Space?' by Ariel Waldman: EW review

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What's It Like in Space?: Stories from Astronauts Who've Been There

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Ariel Waldman
publisher:
Chronicle Books
genre:
Nonfiction

We gave it an A-

This charmingly illustrated book is much meatier than its diminutive size would suggest. Through interviews with 10 astronauts, Waldman distills the space experience to its very essence. Every drawing is accompanied by a fact, often explained in an astronaut’s words. Did you know that space smells like “fried steak” or that some astronauts can tell what part of the world they’re flying over by the light reflected into the cabin? A few of the observations read like poetry: Sally Ride, describing what it’s like to watch lightning storms from above, says, “Sometimes… it looks like a transcontinental brigade is tossing fireworks from cloud to cloud,” and Chris Hadfield remembers a space walk as the “pouring glory of the world roaring by.” These snippets are so clear, so beautifully curated, that they really do leave you with a sense of what it must be like to float miles above Earth. A–

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