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What I'm reading, what I'm thinking of reading & what I've read. And stuff.

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Dessert divas
Christine Manfield
A Man on the Moon
Andrew Chaikin
Moondust (BBC Audio) - Andrew Smith This may not have been the best book to "read" (or rather listen to) at the start of my Apollo kick, coming as it does from the far more philosophical perspective of "What did it all mean?" rather than the prosaic "What happened?". I found myself, as the author reflected on the fact that he was about the same age as the astronauts he was interviewing were when they walked on the moon, realising that I myself am about the age he was when he was chasing these men down to interview them for this book. Does this mean something? Probably not. But Moondust makes us look for patterns and connections in the oddest of places.
Perhaps it would have been better if I had become more accustomed to the astronauts as they were at the time of the moon landings before meeting them as old men, as we do in this book. I have however sharpened my focus on what else I want to read most, and whose autobiographies I might skip altogether. I found that I had already formed some opinions of these men through watching documentaries line "In the Shadow of the Moon" and "When We Left Earth", some of which were overturned by this book, but some which were reinforced.
I very much enjoyed this book, and have had to fight off the urge to immediately go off and procure a print copy to thumb through and dip into. I felt privileged to accompany the author on his hunt for the moonwalkers, and to feel the passion/obsession he was possessed with. At times I found myself hooting with laughter, at others looking around for which of my family and friends I could share the latest bit of Apollo trivia with. I'm only sorry he didn't give us a bit more of the ones who didn't walk on the moon; the CM pilots, like Al Worden who wrote poetry while he orbited the moon, and those members of the crews of Apollos 8, 10 and 13, who did the trip but never landed. I know this is beyond the scope of Andrew Smith's intention - to find the remaining 9 moonwalkers - but I would have dearly loved to hear directly from Mike Collins, rather than just having his 30 year old memoirs quoted extensively. That aside, I just adored this book, with its curious mix of the past and present, and want to make everyone I know read it, if only to tell me I'm not mad for loving it so much.