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The Sky Below

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  4,547 ratings  ·  442 reviews
“Scott Parazynski’s drive, curiosity, inventiveness, and great humor shine through the pages of The Sky Below and will certainly inspire future generations to pursue their dreams with every fiber in their being.” —John Glenn, NASA astronaut

An epic memoir from a man whose life is defined by exploration and innovation, The Sky Below re-creates some of the most unforgettable
Kindle Edition, 286 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Little A
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Scott Great question - and I do speak to this a bit in the book... I didn't really expect to be hired by NASA the first time around (while I was in my ER re…moreGreat question - and I do speak to this a bit in the book... I didn't really expect to be hired by NASA the first time around (while I was in my ER residency), and nor did the ER training program leadership. I expected NASA would have wanted me to have completed residency training first, but they thankfully took me early, at a time when the program was beginning to ramp up medical science support for the ISS (my class had a record 4 docs and 1 vet). My selection did catch my residency training program off guard, not to mention me!(less)

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  4,547 ratings  ·  442 reviews

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Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked the book until the last few sections. All along, I was fine with the author's sort of bragging about the things he did, but they ARE quite an achievement. But I lost respect for him when he took out a 40K home equity loan to take of again for months, leaving his wife home again with the kids, including one who needed extra attention. He just seemed to discount the amount of effort his wife (by this time estranged) did for him. Then to top it off, at the very end, I had to read his gushin ...more
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really loved reading this book.

Reason for the five stars is my curiosity about space and how the astronauts train and do what they do.
Scott Parazynski, grow up outside the United States, he is determined, creative, knowledgeable human being. His determination made him selfish and made a bad choice to get home improvement loan to climb Everest. Didn't think about what kind of pressure he was putting on his wife.
Enjoyed his humorous writing, learned how astronauts train and physical impact on thei
Jul 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Seriously the worst. I hope I never meet Scott Parazynski.

I got this as a Kindle First book because I wanted to try out the Kindle in Motion feature. That part was cool (though I hate reading with the Kindle app on my phone). I liked the photos and movies added in.

The rest was awful. I realize that people write memoirs when they've done great things with their lives but I came away thinking that my life is crap and I'll never amount to anything. I think a memoir should leave you in awe and exc
Nancy Scofield
Jul 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017-read
Disappointed. I've read 1/3 of the book, and the first several chapters felt completely unrelated to one another or to life as an astronaut, more about "look at the amazing places I've lived, mountains I've climbed, brilliant achievements I've made." Everything about him is so much larger-than-life that it's hard to relate to him as being a mere human. Also, I'm very distracted by it all being written in present tense. Ugh. At least it was a freebie and I didn't spend any money on it.
Osvaldo Pensado
Jul 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
I agree with the less positive reviews. It is difficult to like Scott. He is the egotistical cool dude that will get his way no matter what. I was wondering about his marriage, and of course his first marriage was doomed to end, when all he cared was jumping from one adventure to the next. He feels shallow. I have been wondering about the deeper meaning of this book, and I do not find much. Be persistent and always get your way? To show you care about your family, take a picture of your kids and ...more
Noah Nichols
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: digitally-honed
The most important factoid to latch onto with this nonfic is that Scott Parazynski's an even bigger self-involved ignoramus than I am! And that's saying (typing) a lot. Hey, dude...just a thought here: maybe—in the moment—it's super duper cool climbing Mount Everest to further boost your already inflated ego, but being with your kids is actually way cooler. You should've tried it out some more! Oh; I forgot. That would have cut into your all-encompassing me time. Two stars only for throwing in a ...more
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Didn't finish it. Spoiler alert.

Frankly, gave up on this memoir because, even though I did read most of it, the personality of the author just started to turn me against any sympathy for him at all. Perhaps if I were a guy, and not a mom, I could have overlooked his selfishness.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science, biography
I enjoyed reading about Parazynski's life, from his childhood to his love for mountain climbing to his career as an astronaut. I learned a lot of interesting information about the life of an astronaut and the space program. However, toward the end, I had to force myself to keep reading. I lost interest in Parazynski as a person because he seemed to always put his wanderlust ahead of his family, twice leaving his wife to care for their two children, one autistic, while he went to try to "make pea ...more
Schuyler Wallace
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing

There’s no following in Scott Parazynski’s footsteps because he doesn’t leave any tracks. He’s floating in space, slogging upslope through snow and ice, scuba diving in deep water, sliding on his back down an icy track, climbing on perpendicular rock cliffs, or piloting an airplane high above the rest of us. He’s never in one spot long enough to even leave an apparition.

In his memoir, “The Sky Below,” he mainly talks about his spectacular career as a NASA astronaut but also shares his other adve
Sep 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
I got this book for free for Kindle as an Amazon Prime member and it was worth what I spent on it. The animations and video clips inside the book were cool and my favorite part. The actual autobiography, not so much.

Maybe you have to be the kind of selfish that would take out a 40K second mortgage on a house you own with your soon-to-be ex wife, leaving her with your kids for months so you can go try to fulfil your dream of climbing Mount Everest to be a successful physician and astronaut. The t
Don Alesi
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: High School kids and anyone who could use some motivation in life
Before I began reading "The Sky Below", I read several of the reviews. Most were very positive. A few were condescending and said more or less that the author was full of himself. I had a completely different opinion.
Scott Parazynski tells a story about a major portion of his life from growing up with parents who moved to different parts of the world, to going to medical school, mountain climbing, becoming an astronaut, and climbing Mt Everest.
Although he discusses his five Space Shuttle flight
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring story!

Really enjoyed this book, from the heartwarming story to the video snaps, the diagrams and photos. Many of my early years were lived in Central Florida, from 1959 to 1993. I've seen many launches, from a distance yes, but going up, seeing the Earth and the immense universe was a fantasy dream. Thank you, Scott, for sharing, and thanks to every one who made this book happen.
Claudia Turner
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I can see why Scott Parazynski wrote a book. If you spent your childhood traveling the world from Iran to Greece, then became a doctor and astronaut, climbed Everest and lived or trekked through parts of Russia, Antarctica and space then you have to write a book.

I didn’t really love his writing style...while I’d immediately be the first to recommend astronauts Chris Hadfield and Mike Massimino as brilliant writers, I wouldn’t say Scott’s writing alone would make a book.

I also didn’t like the w
Paul Anderson
Aug 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
I received this as a free Kindle download from Amazon, and even then, the price was far too high. In order for a memoir to be worthwhile, I feel like there are 3 necessary factors: 1) that the material be interesting, 2) that the author be likable, and 3) that it be well written. In fact, if you can achieve 2 of those three, it can still be a success. Well, space flight and adventuring can certainly be interesting, but when the author is so appallingly unlikable and selfish in every single act o ...more
Ellen Trautner
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another free book from Amazon Kindle first. My Kindle is old so I couldn't watch the videos and other animations, but the pictures were great! I loved most of the book. Learning more about astronauts was cool, but I wish he had described his experience in the neutral buoyancy pool in greater detail. That's where astronauts train for specific tasks. Instead, the end focused on climbing Mt Everest. I thought too much emphasis was placed there. I realize he's very proud of that accomplishment, but ...more
Tim Healy
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Possibly because of my age, I'm very interested in the space program. I remember the end of the Apollo flights, and the beginnings of the Space Shuttle flights. This is a nice enough entry in the literature of the program. Scott is one of the guys who came into the space program early in the shuttle era who didn't come in via the military. He's a science guy. He's an MD, and also a creator of specialty medical gear. He was John freakin' Glenn's personal doctor when he returned to space on the sh ...more
Morghan Chambers
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
I got this to my Kindle, in advance of publication date. I must say, I liked the book for its detailed yet understandable look at becoming an Astronaut with NASA. I have to say, I did not find the author especially likable. I realize that it was his childhood dream to pursue this career path, but he did so at some personal cost. He does take pains to explain in detail abbreviations for the NASA lingo, thus not leaving us totally in the dark (no pun re: space travel) as to what the terms mean. He ...more
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very motivational

I ended up picking this book off the Kindle first and I don't regret it. What brought me to choose it was the videos included in it, so I let go of my Kindle Paperwhite and started reading on my tablet or my phone. What ensued was pure joy for me.

At time I did wonder why I was reading this book, why I cared about a man who kept seeking thrills of life that were completely in the dark for me. I kept reading, though, because I saw a man that kept challenging himself and had a grow
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderfully written story about a fascinating man. Scott has a very interesting and busy life, full of adventures. Lots of travel and mountain climbing and multiple trips to space and the ISS. He tells his story in a way that makes you feel excited, not jealous to learn about everything. You are happy with his highs and sad with his lows. A great book!

The coolest part of the book is Amazon's Kindle in Motion! I am so excited to see where this technology goes. Watching mini-videos and s
Megan Holstein
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
The reason this book gets 4 and not 3 stars is that the kindle edition was excellently developed, with great graphic design and multimedia.

As for the writing... Scott P is a very impressive guy, no doubt. But in many places this felt less like a reflection on his life and more of a rote retelling. Retellings can be exciting, but his lacked both emotional depth and scientific depth, making it neither a good textbook nor a good memoir.

I don't want to come down too hard on the guy; he admits in the
Jul 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
This guy is so full of himself, and his vanity book is unreadable. His annoying use of present tense verbs is very awkward, his disregard for anyone but himself bleeds from every page, and it's not worth reading for free.
Lis Carey
This is an excellent first-person account of a doctor, astronaut, and inventor who had a really impressive career in the space program.

Oh, yeah, and he climbs mountains a lot.

I wish I could care more about that. I really do. It's not a fair criticism of the book to say that he talks too much about that. Objectively, I don't think he does. It's not his fault that for me, climbing the world's major peaks for the heck of it pushes a lot of buttons--particularly after he marries and has two kids.

Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is rather inspiring if you're at all interested in doing adventuring in your life. Scott has had a remarkable life and it was a fascinating read. He certainly has the personality type that allows for remarkable achievements and his tenacity is an inspiration. I also liked how he was a bit self-reflective in this book, realizing he isn't perfect and could have done some things better--especially in regards to his first marriage. But, the book isn't overwhelmed with self-reflection, and ...more
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an incredibly life that Scott has had! Learning about the training and trials of a NASA Astronaut was well worth the read.
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This fascinating read combines two of my greatest interests: Space exploration and mountaineering. A very interesting book.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was captivated by this read from the first few pages, and couldn't put it down. I highly recommend it anyone who like real-life adventure, space, mountaineering, or just a damn good, entertaining read.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Light, easy reading - nothing very challenging or noteworthy. 3.5 stars.

I read the Kindle in Motion version so there were lots of cool pictures and animations that I really enjoyed.
Paul Kurtz
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was really fun to read. Scot Parazynski has had some grand adventures and his story is well told.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this memoir by NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski. One of the best features was the Kindle in Motion aspect of the Kindle version I read. When astronaut Parazynski recounted his first Space Shuttle launch, you didn't just see a picture of the space shuttle, but there was a movie embedded of the actual lift-off. It's like what happens in a book in a Harry Potter film!
Besides this inventive technology, the story of Scott's life unfolded in a very interesting way, and the language w
Debbie's Book Vlog
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
True story about one man's trips into space!

Well written book about Scott's life and what drove him to become an astronaut. How he sought adventure as a youth, moved frequently as a child, and got a medical degree that was a great asset in the astronaut program. How all these things ended up leading him into his life's journey.

Really enjoyed his stories about space travel, hiking, rock climbing, Mt Everest, and finally to Antarctica.

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Dr. Scott Parazynski is a highly decorated physician, astronaut, and tech CEO, recently inducted into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame. His first book, a memoir entitled "The Sky Below," is slated for launch on August 1, 2017.

He is a widely sought after keynote speaker on innovation, risk management, mentorship and leadership under extreme adversity.
Scott has lived and traveled all over the world, sp

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