“I love reading”.
This was my go to response when anyone asked me about my favourite pass-time. At that time, a few years back, it was true. Lately I had to update that a little bit and say, ” I love buying books, I seldom get time to read them”. And thus was born, the collector of books. I purchase quite a few books every month, may be 5 or 6 or more. But they just go into my bookshelves, unopened. Most of the time, even if I am reading, I prefer reading the books on my iPad and keep the newly purchased book in its pristine condition. From head to toe, I was a collector. Not a reader anymore.
But of late, I began finding time to read again. Playtime on the PS4 has gone down ( may be because Destiny has become less interesting ) and my solo road-trips presented me with enough time to read books on the off times.
Recently, I have been fascinated by real life stories of human achievement, especially Space Exploration. Hidden Figures, The Right Kind of Crazy, Interstellar Age, How we’ll live on Mars, The Practical Astronomer and The Thing Explainer fed my aptitude for human adventure and achievement.
An amazing book that chronicles the achievements and contribution of women, especially black women, in the Space Program. Written by Margot Lee Shetterly, the book takes us along for a journey of self discovery, racial tensions, segregation, endurance, fire and exhilaration. Showcasing the struggles of black people just 50 years ago, fighting for their basic human rights and the ‘privilege’ to be treated equally.
Katherine Johnson was a hero for me from the time I discovered her, quite accidentally, when she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama. Shetterly told the story of Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson and the young Christine Darden beautifully.
One of the best books in my collection! Buy it from : http://amzn.to/2l7FQTa
The Right Kind of Crazy
I saw Adam Steltzner for the first time when I was watching the documentary “Martian Mega Rover”, the story of MSL, Curiosity. His passion while explaining the Sky Crane procedure was the hook, line and sinker for me. I got this book long ago, but got around to reading it recently.
It was a tour de force. The life story of MSL, the crazy landing strategy and getting the biggest rover to the red planet.
Buy it from : http://amzn.to/2lNmrv2
The Interstellar Age: Inside the 40 Year Voyager Mission.
Now, almost any mention of Voyager Mission in itself chokes me up already. Two man made crafts flying so fast, so far away that they are almost gone “Interstellar”. This book gave me goosebumps all the time I was reading it.
This is inspiring, men and women who made the Grand Tour of our solar system. Carl Sagan and his team who created the Golden Record, which is an iconic piece of human achievement showcasing what we are good at, what as a species we should aspire for. The hard work and the red tapes that they had to overcome to take the most amazing photograph ever. The Pale Blue Dot. ( The solar system family portrait! ) The two machines that are leading three others on a path that is going out of the solar system. ( The Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 and New Horizons are following them.)
You can get it here :http://amzn.to/2kgWqDW
PS: I didn’t know that Voyager 1 went UP from the plane that holds the Solar System after the Saturn Flyby!
How we’ll live on Mars
Stephen Petranek wrote this brilliant story on how we’ll live on Mars. This is the base for the National Geographic series Mars.
You can get it here http://amzn.to/2l7QLwb
This is a book that everyone should have. What it does, it says right on the cover. A book that explains everything from the cell, to the MSL, with the most common 1000 English words.What more, it is written by the genius behind XKCD
You got a kid ? Get this book. Both you and your kid will have a swag time!
Comics are a whole different story. I was buying them in truckloads. 😀