Hey, guess what? Astronauts!

First on the Moon: A Voyage with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. by Gene Farmer and Dora Jane Hamblin

I found this book while browsing the shelves at the library. (Man, I don’t do enough of that!)
And here’s what the book jacket flap* says: “Life senior editor Gene Farmer and Life staff writer Dora Jane Hamblin have spent many months with—indeed, living with—the astronauts and their families.” I had an ecstatic little moment in which I savored this word: voyeurism.Photo credit: NASA
Oh, yes. I’m not ashamed to confess it. (Admit it—when you’re a passenger in a car after dark, you oh-so-casually glance in people’s windows, too. Right? Right?!)
Then, about 10% of the way through the book, I was liking it so darn much, I wondered: Am I just a lazybutt, to be liking journalists’ writing so much? (You hear those scary things about newspapers being written at a 4th grade level. You know?)
Then I decided, To heck with it. I don’t give a crap. I just like this book, and I’m going to keep liking it, and so there.
(Plus, it vindicated itself; I had to look up the meaning of the word “tocsin.”)
So here’s the thing:
If you read only one book about the space program, probably it should be The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe. But—if you read only one book about the Apollo program, this one here is the one I recommend.
Here’s why:
First, it gives a terrific behind-the-scenes perspective, including interviews with the astronauts and their wives. It feels very up-close and personal. (As up-close as you could get to those close-lipped fellows, anyway.)
Another good thing about this book is that it’s informal in tone, yet it provides a great overview of Apollo 11. It’s one of those books that you enjoy so much, you don’t realize you’re learning stuff. Photo credit: NASA

* Yes, I read the flap, in spite of protesting yesterday that I Do Not Do That. But this was one of my bizarro browsing instances, when all rules fly out the window. Truly.