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Sully: My Search for What Really Matters

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  7,843 ratings  ·  986 reviews
Now a major motion picture from Clint Eastwood, starring Tom Hanks—the inspirational autobiography by one of the most captivating American heroes of our time, Capt. ‘Sully’ Sullenberger—the pilot who miraculously landed a crippled US Airways Flight 1549 in New York’s Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew.

On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed a re
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 9th 2016 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 2009)
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Shinjini Saha I don't have the book in PDF but highly recommend reading the book! Extremely touching account of his life before and after Flight 1549. Much more tha…moreI don't have the book in PDF but highly recommend reading the book! Extremely touching account of his life before and after Flight 1549. Much more than what the movie has to offer. (less)
Anush Hariharan Yes, as you can see, it says at the bottom of the cover "Previously Published as Highest Duty."…moreYes, as you can see, it says at the bottom of the cover "Previously Published as Highest Duty."(less)

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Will Byrnes
Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger has written (with the help of Jeffrey Zaslow) a very readable memoir that details not only the specifics of his memorable Hudson River landing of flight 1549, but a very convincing explanation of how he was able to get it done.

Captain Sullenberger - image from Time Magazine

The book’s subtitle is “My Search for What Really Matters,” and while what Sullenberger reports may be aeronautical, it ain’t rocket science. It was a combination of his own talent as a p
Jul 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Popsugar Challenge 2021 - A book from your TBR list that you meant to read last year but didn't

This has sat on my kindle since 2017 and I barely even remember buying it. Or even why I brought it.  Am glad I finally decided to pick this one up as I really enjoyed it.

This is a non fiction memoir about the flight that landed in the Hudson. I didn't know ANYTHING about flight 1549 so this was all new information for me and I was really engrossed. This is extremely readable, informative and I felt
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"For a pilot, LaGuardia, is a more challenging environment than the average airport. The volume of traffic in the New York area makes it a complicated airspace, with so many planes vying for slots to take off and land. There are three major airports in close proximity---JFK, Newark and LaGuardia--pluse smaller facilities such as Westchester County Airport in White Plains and Teterboro in New Jersey."

All this just adds to the challenge of a normal takeoff, but Flight 1549 was not about to have a
Although the extraordinary brave feat successfully achieved by pilot Sully was so big when it happened and a great movie was successfully made to honour this brave man... I personally found this book about his life in general and the incident when his plane came down in the river Hudson in particular... rather dry and heavy going. I'm sure there will be many others though, especially pilots who will really enjoy the book. ...more
Betsy Robinson
Aug 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a ride! Sully Sullenberger’s life and experiences that prepared him to do the right thing at the right time, landing US Air 1549 on the Hudson River and saving all 155 souls aboard, is an exercise in diligence, integrity, and introspection. Sully is a cerebral guy, and you get to hear every thought he didn’t have time to think in the 208 seconds between getting hit by birds and landing in the water. I feel as if I’ve had a peek into the life of a pilot. There is a lot to learn here.
I rea
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyable story, told in a humble, no nonsense way. It reinforced my belief, ordinary people, living a life of preparation, may do extraordinary things.
May 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
On January 15, 2009, I was at my house, watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I stopped it in the middle, not because I didn't like it, but because, due to being raised on sitcoms and other half-hour television programs, I often have to watch movies, especially longer ones, in more than one sitting. When I turned off my DVD player, a shocking scene was on our local CBS affiliate: an airplane that had gone down into the Hudson River. Miraculously, everyone survived...which made me ve ...more
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: other
The book is great & describes Captain Sully Sullenburger's life more than his heroic successful landing of US Airway flight 1549 into the cold NY Hudson River on January 15, 2009 when birds destroyed both engines after takeoff. LaGuardia or Newark airports were not alternatives with no engines. He "glided" into the Hudson & saved everyone.

It describes his life & the commercial airlines. Orville Wright's first flight was in 1903, 106 years before Flight 1549 & people expect no flight accidents. 3
Mar 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have profound respect and admiration for Captain Sullenberger. Because of his lifetime of hard work and dedication, his clear thinking and his respect for life, a tragedy was averted that day on the Hudson.
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Hudson River landing is absolutely riveting! I watched tv coverage at the time and have seen the movie twice and those few minutes between the bird strike and the landing were still breathless reading. A true American hero, the book goes into his early love of flying, lessons and his career as a pilot.
Oct 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
Most people when they see this book will probably think that it is only about the now famous "Miracle on the Hudson" airplane accident that captivated the nation in Jan. 2009. But it is actually a lot more than that. Mr. Sullenberger, with the aid of Mr. Zaslow, have written a fine autobiography about his life, the love of flying he has had since he was a young boy, and the values and life experiences that prepared him for this one-in-a-billion emergency. As Mr. Sullenberger admits, he is just a ...more
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Reading this is like sitting down and hearing some anecdotes from the author, not quite enough for a full biography. Liked the emphasis on preparation and doing the job right; the later chapters were far better than the earlier ones. Wanted to read this before seeing the upcoming film.
I enjoyed this book. The author makes the case that his miraculous landing of the disabled plane on the Hudson last January was a culmination of a life lived paying attention to what he was doing (especially flying) and carefully following the rules. I enjoyed reading about his passion for flying starting at age 5 and how he began lessons at age 16. It's wonderful to read about someone who is so focussed that he never had any doubt about his direction in life. His time at the Air Force Academy a ...more
 Li'l Owl
An Excellent book! An education in history, humanity, and humility for sure. But this is not just a thrilling story about a plane crash. No. I am left with an overall sense of..... a kind of peace? A warm feeling around my heart? Yes. But the grace in which Sully lived, and lives still, and his love of flying.... It's a very unexpectedly different, but fantastic, book then I thought it would be. You simply MUST READ THIS BOOK! I will be forever changed, gratefully so, because Sully, The Crew, an ...more
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, non-fiction
An interesting enough guy with an interesting enough life (eventually) caught in an extraordinary situation. It was all a bit self-professed and preachy - love my family, love my job, love my country - for me to enjoy it more. Nearly gave up halfway through when the "miracle on the Hudson" was still no more than a passing mention. I can see how this would be more appealling if I was American. ...more
Feb 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had the pleasure of meeting this very humble man, and was glad to have the opportunity to thank him for sharing his story, of what it was like to "live through" an airline incident, as the person behind the throttles. ...more
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
I imagine most people have heard about the jet that was forced to land in the Hudson River in January of 2009 { wow was it that long ago?} Chesley B. Sullengerger was the pilot of that jet. He instantly became famous after that historic landing. He wrote a memoir later that year. Not only does he devote a few chapters to the six minute flight where the jet hit a bunch of large birds and was forced to land in the Hudson river. He also shares about the rest of his life. Growing up in Texas. Joinin ...more
April Williams
Having not seen the film adaptation, I wanted to read Sully's account of landing his plane on the Hudson, along with finding out more about him as an individual. The writing in the book does tend to skip around and circle back to different topics. I was a bit disappointed that after describing the events leading up to and during the landing of his plane, he did not go into any great detail about the investigation that was done following; instead mainly addressing the cockpit conversation. Overal ...more
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I purchased this book having loved the movie and wanted to find out more.
Like most autobiographies the events that the person your intreated in doesn't occur until the second half of the novel, so it was fascinating to learn more about Sully's career which also included many aviation statics.
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved it! How he's explaining what he does, his thoughts, his life up to this incident. People may not think to much of pilots and that but they do an amazing job day in day out without them we couldn't get anywhere ...more
The Bursting Bookshelf of a Wallflower
4 stars!

While I was always fascinated by the story of the Hudson river plane landing, it was a pleasure to read this biography and to get a better understanding of all the happening! Very catchy, couldn't stop reading!
menna hafez
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I loved both the book and the movie specially that Tom Hanks is the Actor
Aug 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, history
This is not the story of a hero. Sullenberger does not call himself a hero. Nor does his wife. His actions were not voluntary. He did not run into a burning building to save someone.

He reacted to circumstances for which he was over-trained and over-experienced. A pilot with regular training, who had not had Air Force training on jets, 40 years of experience flying, years of study of what went wrong in airplane disasters as well as how to prevent them, and military training and discipline, would
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Sometimes in own lives, we have the distinct privilege of seeing a miracle in our life, yet on January 15, 2009, 155 people on US Airways flight 1549 and the world watched as one man saved the lives of everyone on board when a flock of birds took out both engines on the plane and forced Captain "Sully" Sullenberger to make a decision to ditch the plane in the Hudson River. It couldn't have been a more text book crash landing and one that saved the lives of everyone on board the plane.

But what l
Jerry Peterson
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the pilot who brought an airliner in for a dead-stick landing on the Hudson River in 2009. Lots of television footage of the event. We all saw it multiple times. One hundred fifty-five passengers and Sullenberger’s crew all came out of it safe, with only a few sustaining minor injuries.

Darn spectacular considering, if a wingtip had caught in the water, the jet would have cartwheeled and been torn apart, killing all.

The incident happened on January 15, 2009, and William Morrow brought out
Dec 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: evryone who wants to cheer for the good guys!
What a miracle ... and what a life! One of the good guys ... and gives tribute to all those that helped saved the 155 people as he performed a perfect water landing in the NY Hudson River last January. He stated many memorable quotes but one that really stuck out was" Everyone's reputation is made on a daily basis. There are little incremental things - worthwhile efforts, moment you were helpful to others - and after a life time, they add up to something. You can feel as if you lived and it matt ...more
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ben got this for his birthday--what a great book for a pilot! But also--what a great book for anyone!

In some ways, Ben could have written this book. In other ways, of course, he couldn't--it was a wonderful combination of the story of Capt. Sullenberger's life and the successful landing of Flight 1549 into the Hudson. It was in his review of other famous flights/crashes and the importance of safety and integrity and pilot personalities where I thought it could have been written by Ben. It made m
Oct 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an enjoyable read, but you had to go through 200 pages until he really starts talking about flight #1549 and I found the first part of the book somewhat slow. But by the end, I liked learning about how his attention to detail and personal commitment to safety really made the difference between life and death for those 155 passengers. I also liked learning all the different meanings people placed on the whole event.
I thought the first 60% of the book went very sllllllooooowwww - I think that entire first part should have been condensed into half the number of pages. The last 40% is where he finally describes the actual crash into the Hudson and the ensuing celebrity status afterwards. I'd give the first part of the book 2* and the second part 3.5*. ...more
Rod Brown
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-real-books
Much of this autobiography is as heavy handed as its subtitle, and I'd normally rate it three stars, but it gets an extra star because its Sully, dammit, and even though he's a bit of a dork, he landed that plane like a steely-eyed motherfucker just doing some shit that needed to get done. I cried gallons, even more than when I watched the Tom Hanks movie last fall. ...more
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Chesley Burnett "Sully" Sullenberger III is an American airline transport pilot (ATP), safety expert, and accident investigator from Danville, California,who successfully carried out the emergency ditching of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, offshore from Manhattan, New York City, on January 15, 2009, thus saving the lives of the 155 people on the aircraft. He is an international speake ...more

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  Mary Roach is a science author who specializes in the bizarre and offbeat. With a body of work ranging from deep-dives on the history of...
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“We all have heard about ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations. They act courageously or responsibly, and their efforts are described as if they opted to act that way on the spur of the moment... I believe many people in those situations actually have made descisions years before.” 10 likes
“Everyone’s reputation is made on a daily basis. There are little incremental things—worthwhile efforts, moments you were helpful to others—and after a lifetime, they can add up to something. You can feel as if you lived and it mattered.” 8 likes
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