Thursday, October 26, 2017

Book Review: Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon by Jeffrey Kluger, narrated by Brian Troxell (audio)

My husband read this a few months back and I really had wanted to read it, but given my work reading marathon, I just couldn't justify it, unless I listened to it on audio. And I'm so glad I did! Especially because it came with some fun extras!

In case you don't know (as I didn't), Apollo 8 is important because that was the first spacecraft to go around the moon. It didn't land, but it was the first time humans saw the dark side of the moon. It proved that landing on the moon was certainly possible, and it pushed the boundaries of what NASA could do. It also included Jim Lovell, later be on the disastrous Apollo 13, and thank goodness he was the most experienced astronaut or that flight might not have had the outcome it did. (He held the record for days in space.)

The book doesn't assume you already know anything about space flight, and gives a good overview of the entire Gemini and Apollo programs, a cruise-by of most of all the active astronauts, and comparisons to where the Soviet flight program was at the time. The narrator pronounced it "gem-in-ee" which is how I've heard real astronauts pronounce that word, not "gem-in-eye" like we call the astrological sign. That was a good detail. And at the end, we got two tracks of an interview between the author and Commander Frank Borman, and then about 5 tracks of real audio from the flight itself, both excellent extras.

This book is publisher by Macmillan, my employer, and I got the CD audio free from work.

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