Book Review and Giveaway: Spaceman by Mike Massimino


Title: Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
Mike Massimino
Release Date: 
October 4, 2016
Crown Archetype
Memoir, Space/NASA
Source: Publisher

If you follow this website regularly, then you know how much of a fan I am of space and space-related books. That’s why I was so thrilled to have the chance to read an early copy of Mike Massimino’s memoir Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe. Massimino is a celebrated astronaut from the shuttle-era, participating in two crucial missions to service the Hubble Space Telescope. If you aren’t that much into space, then you might better know Massimino from when he played himself on multiple episodes of The Big Bang Theory. Either way, if you know who he is, you probably have figured out that he’s a smart, funny, and personable guy.

That’s why Spaceman is such a great read. Massimino’s personality comes bursting through every page; you feel as if you’re sitting down with a friend, rather than reading someone’s life story. We see astronauts as these heroes, these brave men and women who do incredible things every day, and it’s easy to forget that they are human. That they have the same doubts and frustrations as any of us. That’s what I appreciated most about this book—Massimino is honest about his issues and doubts. He doesn’t pretend like he’s perfect or he always knows the answers. Instead, he gives the reader a frank look back at his life. He’s not afraid to be vulnerable or admit he made a mistake, and it makes this book that much more appealing.

There are some astronaut memoirs that appeal primarily to those with a real passion for space. And then there are some memoirs, like Chris Hadfield’s An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth that will appeal to any reader, and Mike Massimino’s Spaceman is one of those. It’s sharp, engaging, and insightful, and will inspire you to reflect on your own life.

Thanks to Crown Publishing, and in conjunction with my space newsletter Give Me Space (did you know I have a space newsletter? I write every week or two letting you know about the interesting thing happening in space and science news) I’m thrilled to have three gorgeous hardcover copies of Spaceman to give away to three different U.S. based readers. To enter: Fill out the form at the bottom of this page in its entirety; incomplete entries will not be counted. U.S.-based mailing addresses only, please. You have until Wednesday, October 12, at 11:59 PM ET to enter; I’ll email the winners privately.

Good luck! I hope you love this book as much as I did. To purchase Spaceman, please visit one of the links below.

Buy this book from Powell’s Books

Buy this book from

Buy this book from your local Indiebound Bookstore

Giveaway: INTO THE BLACK by Rowland White

into the blackI haven’t reviewed Into the Black: The Extraordinary Untold Story of the First Flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia and the Astronauts Who Flew Herby Rowland White on my blog because I talked about how much I loved the book (which is about the development of the space shuttle program) on Book Riot. Well, now I’m really excited to announce that Touchstone has been kind enough to provide 5 copies of the book to give away to lucky readers!

It’s perfectly timed, too, because it’s been a space week for me. Last week, I sent out the first issue of my space newsletter called Give Me Space, a newsletter aimed at people interested in what’s happening in space, but who don’t religiously follow it. The first issue, called “On the Current State of the American Space Program,” and you can read it here.

If you’re interested in being signed up for this newsletter (which is sent out weekly on Wednesday mornings), you can do so here, or simply check the box on the Google Form that indicates you’d like to be signed up for it. If not, you still can and should enter the giveaway. It’s open to U.S. mailing addresses only. To enter, fill out the form below in its entirety (I won’t follow up to ask for a full mailing address, but you can rest assured that I will delete the form containing your address once the giveaway is over. You will not be signed up for any newsletter without your consent, email or print) by Wednesday, April 27 at 11:59 PM ET. I’ll draw 5 winners on Thursday and will notify them via email. Make sure your mailing address details are correct, because that’s where your book will be going!

Good luck!



Book Giveaway: Gone Girl Paperback + Visa Gift Card

Gone Girl movie posterYou, of course, have heard of Gone Girl, the Gillian Flynn novel that has pretty much exploded in its popularity. I reviewed Gone Girl back when it came out in hardcover, and I highly recommended it. Now, the film starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike is releasing on October 3, and one lucky winner will have a chance to win a Gone Girl prize pack: a movie tie-in edition of the paperback and a $25 Visa gift card to use towards seeing the movie in theaters.

This giveaway is being offered and fulfilled by 20th Century Fox. Because of this, U.S. mailing addresses only, please.

To enter: Fill out the form below completely (including zip code). Incomplete entries will not be considered. This giveaway will be open until midnight ET on Thursday, October 2. On Friday, October 3, I’ll pick a winner and email them privately.

Good luck!

Father’s Day Book Giveaway: James Madison – Lynne Cheney

I have a very special book giveaway for you guys today. In honor of Father’s Day, Viking Books has offered me one copy of James Madison: A Life Reconsidered by Lynne Cheney to give away to one of you lucky readers. A bit about this biography from the publisher’s summary:

james madison coverThis majestic new biography of James Madison explores the astonishing story of a man of vaunted modesty who audaciously changed the world. Among the Founding Fathers, Madison was a true genius of the early republic.
Outwardly reserved, Madison was the intellectual driving force behind the Constitution and crucial to its ratification. His visionary political philosophy and rationale for the union of states—so eloquently presented in The Federalist papers—helped shape the country Americans live in today.
Along with Thomas Jefferson, Madison would found the first political party in the country’s history—the Democratic Republicans. As Jefferson’s secretary of state, he managed the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the size of the United States. As president, Madison led the country in its first war under the Constitution, the War of 1812. Without precedent to guide him, he would demonstrate that a republic could defend its honor and independence—and remain a republic still.”

This giveaway works a bit differently than previous giveaways, so please read all the information before entering.

Viking will send a hardcover copy of this book and guarantee that it will arrive before Father’s Day. Please be aware of this when entering your shipping name and address; does it need to go directly to dad’s house?

To enter: Fill out the form below completely; incomplete entries will be disqualified. This giveaway will run through Thursday, June 5. On Friday, June 6, I will pick a winner and notify them privately, via the email address provided. Because this giveaway is being fulfilled by the publisher, U.S. mailing addresses only please, and no P.O. boxes.

Good luck!

Book Giveaway: The Comfort of Lies

You may remember that I reviewed The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers when it was released in hardcover. I said, “If you want to lose yourself in someone else’s life, then The Comfort of Lies is a great choice. It’s a quick read, but one that will leave you thinking about the characters […]

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Book Giveaway: The Diviners – Libba Bray

If you haven’t heard of Libba Bray, chances are you don’t read much YA fiction. But Bray’s novels appeal to a wide range of ages; that’s why I was excited when approached to do a giveaway celebrating the paperback release of her latest book, Diviners, which released on December 3, 2013. This book would make […]

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Book Giveaway: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays

Pioneer Woman autograph

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you probably know how much I love Ree Drummond, better known as The Pioneer Woman. I’ve been following her for a long time, since she was a small-time blogger. Now, Ree’s everywhere: on TV (she has a show on The Cooking Channel), in print (The Pioneer Woman: […]

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Book Giveaway: The Girl You Left Behind & Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

Jojo Moyes is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors; her novel Me Before You is one of my favorite books of 2013. So I was thrilled when Moyes’ publisher approached me about doing a giveaway: one hardcover copy of The Girl You Left Behind and one paperback copy of Me Before You are up for grabs! The rules […]

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