Earth: Spirit of Place
Featuring the Photographs of Chris Hadfield
Magic Light Publishing, 192 pages, $35
FIRST, be aware that this is not the seasonal Chris Hadfield book. That would be An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth.
But this collection of Hadfield photographs is purely wow and beyond amazing.
There's a little bit of text here, a perfunctory bio of Canada's favourite astronaut, Wikipedia-level stuff about the various space agencies involved, which you can skip and just look, and marvel, at the photographs taken from space.
Consider the chapter Earth as Art. It contains pictures of artesian basin in Queensland described as comparable to Jackson Pollock, twisted Algerian rock that Hadfield speculates looks like Alfred Hitchcock, and Mauritanian rock swirls reminiscent of an all-day sucker.
Hadfield turns his camera to the cosmos too, and stunning doesn't begin to describe what he saw and captured. But before doing anything else, turn to page 182 to see the northern lights from above. The word "awesome" was invented for just such a photo.
-- Nick Martin