On the Reading List: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield and Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood


This week my reading list features An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth and Stone Mattress: Nine Tales.

Stone Mattress: Nine Tales, by Margaret Atwood

I’ve been on a short story kick lately. I love reading them before I go to sleep or if I want to read something but not delve in for hours at a time. Margaret Atwood’s Stone Mattress is my perfect short story companion this week. Twice already, I’ve had to bring a flashlight outside as it would get too dark to keep reading on my back porch in the evenings. Totally worth it. Seriously – the first three stories left me out of breath they were so good!

A collection of highly imaginative short pieces that speak to our times with deadly accuracy. Vintage Atwood creativity, intelligence, and humor: think Alias Grace.

Margaret Atwood turns to short fiction for the first time since her 2006 collection, Moral Disorder and Other Stories, with nine tales of acute psychological insight and turbulent relationships bringing to mind her award-winning 1996 novel, Alias Grace. A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband in “Alphinland,” the first of three loosely linked stories about the romantic geometries of a group of writers and artists. In “The Freeze-Dried Bridegroom,” a man who bids on an auctioned storage space has a surprise. In “Lusus Naturae,” a woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire. In “Torching the Dusties,” an elderly lady with Charles Bonnet syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. And in “Stone Mattress,” a long-ago crime is avenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion-year-old stromatolite. In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood is at the top of her darkly humorous and seriously playful game.

Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me about Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything by Chris Hadfield

I’m listening to this on Audible as Chris Hadfield narrates it himself. Clearly I can’t get enough of listening to memoirs after As You Wish by Cary Elwes, Yes Please by Amy Poehler and Bossypants by Tina Fey. Keep ‘em coming!

Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4,000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft.

In his bestselling An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories, his vivid and refreshing insights will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth — especially your own.

Chris Hadfield An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

I just started listening to this and am already captivated by his story – and entertained by his very pronounced Canadian accent.

Rachel Yeomans on twitterRachel Yeomans on linkedinRachel Yeomans on instagram
Rachel Yeomans
Editor at Lit with a Twist
I'm a writer, reader and dreamer. I'm proud to be the editor and creator of Lit with a Twist. My co-editors, Ella and Fitzgerald, can't be trusted. Probably because they're cats.