This book took me forever to read. I’m not really sure why — it was fairly interesting and the pacing was good. I think it was just so supremely technical in places that I just started to kind of glaze over. But the rest of it — the more personal parts — kept me hooked.
Everyone has probably seen the movie, but in case you somehow missed it (I think I watched it 2-3 times in class alone): astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise went into space in the Apollo 13 with the mission of landing on the moon. Instead, early into their flight something exploded in their shuttle. As a result, they have a harrowing few days as the moon mission is scrapped and they simply try to get home.
The book is written by astronaut Jim Lovell and writer Jeffery Kluger. I feel like they hit the right balance of Lovell’s first hand experience and someone who actually knows how to write. Or maybe Lovell is a gifted writer as well — who knows.
The book covers all of the events leading up to Apollo 13’s mission. Since it’s Lovell’s book, quite a bit of his own personal history is detailed. There’s also some interesting insight into the life of an astronaut’s wife, as demonstrated by his wife Marilyn.
There’s a lot of technical details about the ship and its flight, like I said, and YMMV on your interest in it. I probably could have done with less, but it was definitely a learning experience.