Monday, July 20, 2009

Men on the Moon

The artwork on Google's homepage today just reminded me that it is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. I am sure it is no coincidence that a couple of new books on the topic have been published this summer.

Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon, by Craig Nelson, is the tale of events leading up to the Apollo landing. Nelson introduces the astronauts, the turmoil the mission caused for the their families, and how it would change their lives forever. The book tells of the greater politics surrounding the mission (this was dead in the midst of the American-Soviet space race, remember), and also the harrowing details surrounding how, with only minutes of fuel left, the astronauts frantically rushed to find a place on the moon to land.

The other side of the journey is told in Buzz Aldrin's Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon. A more intimate account than than Rocket Men, this memoir is an account of Aldrin's life upon return to earth. Suddenly a celebrity and unable to maintain a regular career, Aldrin struggled with depression and alcoholism. This is the story of his journey towards finding love, direction for his life and satisfaction in becoming the space advocate he is today.

If you are a fan of these topics and want more to read, head to the nonfiction shelves in your library and browse from 520-524 (astronomy) and 629.4 (space travel).

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