‘It’s impossible to look down on Earth from space and not be mesmerised by the fragile beauty of our planet.’
I’m pretty sure in this day and age that everyone has heard of Tim Peake- first British astronaut to complete a spacewalk, first astronaut to run the London Marathon, most distant person to read the CBeebies bedtime story… the list goes on!
This book of photographs was released In November of last year, a few months after Peake landed in Kazakhstan after having completed 185 days in space!
Consisting of over 150 photographs that Peake took during his time on the ISS, the book also contains his personal commentary which elevates this onto a different level than the usual ‘coffee table’ tomes you can find.
Split into five chapters of images and a decent introduction, this gives a good insight into Tim Peake’s time up there. The images themselves are frequently stunning, often breathtaking and always awe-inspiring. The accompanying text adds context and a decent amount of education without being patronising or jargon-filled. The inclusion of little maps to show where over the world Peake was is a nice touch, particularly if you’re sharing the experience of this book with youngsters.
The thing I loved the most about this book was that Tim Peake declared on the back cover that despite being 400kn up, he had never felt such a connection to this planet. And this sentiment shines through every page and every comment. Whether it be the largest iceberg ever captured by an astronaut (the size of London… LONDON), or the bright lights of a teeming metropolis, or even the hushed glow of the fishing fleets so numerous they defy expectations, the sheer wonder and beauty of this world is obvious and apparent to everyone who cracks open this book.
I defy anyone to look at this book and not be stunned by the world in which we live.
It is perhaps apt then that I review this book on Earth Day. What better time to appreciate the magnificence of this world than on a day dedicated to saving it from ourselves. The contrast between the untouched natural word, and the encroachment of mankind is not hard to discern in Peake’s photos.
5 bites. A marvellous, thought-provoking book!