World Book Day at Aurora
This World Book Day we asked the Team at Aurora what their favourite or current read is; here’s a selection…
Lindsey – Chris Hadfield: An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth.
Colonel Chris Hadfield is a remarkable figure who has achieved extraordinary feats as a test pilot and astronaut. In this guide he inspires with his wisdom, practical outlook, and adventurous spirit. I first read this this book because of my interest in space and human spaceflight, but I often come back to re-read particular chapters for their motivational lessons on everyday life. Through stories from his own experiences, he demonstrates that the most valuable quality of astronauts is not innate ultra-intelligence but a cultivated attitude that allows them to meet the biggest of challenges. This attitude can be learned by anyone – without leaving the planet!
“Fear comes from not knowing what to expect and not feeling you have any control over what’s about to happen. When you feel helpless, you’re far more afraid than you would be if you knew the facts.”
Emma – Sue Townsend: The Adrian Mole collection.
The Adrian Mole collection charts the life and thoughts of boy called Adrian Mole from teenager to adulthood. I think everyone can relate to some of the situations / thoughts that Adrian encounters through his journey. I found the whole series funny, hilarious, romantic & sad. Sue Townsend satirises human pretensions in such a way that these books are still relatable to the youth of today despite being written in 1982.
If you want a nostalgic laugh this collection is a must read. There are eight books in the collection:
Book 1: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 (1982) – Book 2: The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (1984)
Book 3: The True Confessions of Adrian Mole (1989) – Book 4: Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years (1993)
Book 5: Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years (1999) – Book 6: The Lost Diaries of Adrian Mole, 1999-2001 (2001)
Book 7: Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction (2004) – Book 8: Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years (2009)
Amy – Matthew Walker: Why We Sleep.
One of my favourite reads is the ‘Why We Sleep’ by Matthew Walker. Matthew is a scientist and professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on the impact of sleep on human health and disease. Previously, he was a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
This book explains the current knowledge and theories surrounding sleep and dreams. Everyone knows sleep is important, but not many people know exactly why it is important or what happens to our bodies when we sleep (or when we don’t get enough sleep). This book beautifully explains scientific studies and data trends, all of which highlight how sleep, or lack of sleep effects our bodies, our minds and our memories. Did you know that you improve newly learned motor skills by 30% after a full night’s sleep? I have been tracking my sleep using my apple watch ever since!
Steve – Axel Andersson: Atomic Age.
The book was a Christmas present from a friend who knew that Thor Heyerdahl was a childhood hero of mine.
The book is very hard going and is written more as a thesis on Thor’s life than an easy read. It tells of how Thor’s interest in eugenics drove him to lead an expedition across the Pacific on the raft Kon-Tiki. The book doesn’t really cover the expedition, but the reasons behind it, the funding of it, how it was organised and the extensive publicity that followed it.
The book has changed my views on Thor Heyerdahl and although I’m struggling through the dry nature of the writing, I’m determined to finish it. Although I’m enjoying finding out more about someone whom I first read about as a child and originally held in high regard, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
Craig – James S. A. Cory: Leviathan Wakes.
One of my favourite books is Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey. Humanity has reached out from the Earth and colonised the Moon, Mars, asteroid belt, and a few moons of the outer planets. This sets the scene for a mystery involving a missing girl, stealth spaceships and blue alien glue.
This is the first book in The Expanse Series, which sets up a massive space opera on a galactic scale but most importantly does a great job a humanising a big sci-fi story.