Nick Frost - Truths, Half Truths & Little White Lies
Simon Pegg - Nerd Do Well
I'd like to think that we'd get on quite well if we met up to go for a pint together - we have very similar interests - retro video games, science fiction, comedy... I'm sure it'd be a great laugh!
Nerd Do Well is Pegg's recount of how he got into acting, comedy and writing in general. These autobiographical segments are full of anecdotes and funny stories of how he came to meet and work with many of his contemporaries. It was all very interesting and I found it difficult to put down, but what was especially nice about this read is that it is broken up with a fictional tale of Simon and his Robot butler (imagine C3PO combined with Alfred from Batman) and their comedic heroic exploits. All of Pegg's geeky influences can be seen in this, from Thunderbirds to Batman and of course Star Wars.
I also really enjoyed Pegg retelling his experiences of popular culture, and how these have influenced his artistic output and more generally his tastes over the years. I would recommend this to any geek, especially if you're familiar with anything Pegg has had anything to do with.
Chris Hadfield - An Astronauts Guide To Life On Earth
The book is sort of a self-help/life guide meets auto-biographical exploit through many of the decisions and life events that helped shape Hadfield's life and career into the David Bowie singing astronaut of the Canadian Space Agency. As somebody thoroughly interested in all things space travel, I was excited to get an insight into life training as an astronaut, as well as into Hadfield's experiences of the NASA shuttle, the Russian Soyuz capsule and life aboard the ISS.
Hadfield explains the workings of these well, simultaneously educating whilst never sounding arrogant or condescending. He is genuinely humbled by the experiences that life has afforded him, and his appreciation of this is ever apparent throughout, despite knowing that he has obviously put in masses of effort to make his dreams a reality.
Throughout though, Hadfield delivers great personal insight into keeping positive throughout life, no matter what your goals. He discusses how best to keep yourself grounded, whilst pushing yourself to achieve and ultimately enjoy what life has to offer, throughout the bad and good times.
Witty, intellectual and sometimes emotional, I would recommend this not only to people with an interest in space and space travel, but also those looking to better themselves as individuals. Interesting and entertaining.