Confession: I love reading, but I have such poor will-power when it comes to putting a novel down, that I generally avoid reading novels. I tried reading a few novels this summer, and the spineless effect was still in place, so I made sure that I had other reading materials available. Fortunately, I quite enjoy a range of non-fiction; although engaging, I CAN put the non-fiction variety down to come back to later.
The best book I read this summer is a cross between the two worlds of novel and non-fiction. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is such an engaging writer that his auto-biography An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, http://chrishadfield.ca/ has the story-telling characteristics of a well-crafted novel. Hadfield weaves life lessons into the pages of his quest to become an astronaut, with the climax as his time on the International Space Station as mission commander.
As a Canadian Social Studies teacher, I’d love for every Canadian student to read this book. Hadfield imperceptibly fans the flames of Canadian pride and nationalism in a way that should leave every Canadian, young and old, feeling proud of what a Canadian is able to accomplish in the American dominated domain of space. As a parent, I want my children to feel the Canadian pride thing, but to also pick up on some of the valuable life lessons that Hadfield reinforces. My favourite lesson: “Be a zero”…you’ll have to read the book to decipher that one!