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The Daily Mail and the Spectator Book of the Year (2017)

‘Perfect inflight reading … Brilliant’ The Sunday Times

‘This couldn’t be more highly recommended’ Alain de Botton

‘Explains simply and clearly the abiding mysteries of flight’ Daily Mail

‘A work of humorous and outright poetic travel geekery’ National Geographic Traveler

‘Illuminates the practical reality of piloting in a concise and useful manner’ Times Literary Supplement

Do something amazing and learn a new skill thanks to the Little Ways to Live a Big Life books!
By the author of the acclaimed international bestseller Skyfaring, the Economist’s ‘Best book of the Year’ and a New York Times ‘Notable Book‘, and a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week

So, hello! Welcome! Honestly, you look surprisingly relaxed. That’s great to see. Have a seat on the left side of the cockpit – that’s the captain’s seat. Yes, that’s right, you’re now the captain, and yes, that’s the runway down there. Fasten your seatbelt, order yourself a cup of tea, and let’s get cracking.

Mark Vanhoenacker, the airline pilot who makes poetry out of the science of flight technology, hands over the controls. Walking and talking us through the nitty-gritty of an approach and touchdown, he builds our understanding of flight from the ground up (or rather from the sky down), offering a new perspective of one of the more challenging and rewarding tasks ever.


In our relentless pursuit of a fulfilled life, we've become a knowledge-hungry nation. The Little Ways To Live A Big Life series will feed your yearning for learning
Red Magazine
perfect inflight reading...brilliant
The Sunday Times
Vanhoenacker is a remarkable writer. In Skyfaring he reveals his passion for flight, the mechanics of planes, the weightless, meaningful geography of the skies and the scent of the cities he flies to. He creates a still, almost poetic point in the turning, travelling world. This mesmerising book will make you view the world differently. All aboard!
Helen Davies, Sunday Times
[An] ode to the wonder of flight in the tradition of the great pioneer pilot-author Antoine de Saint Exupéry and Charles Lindbergh... flying remains a magical business
Charles Bremner, The Times
Mr Vanhoenacker, fortunately for his readers, has lost none of his sense of wonder at the miracle of flight itself... a beautifully observedcollection of details, scenes, emotions and facts from the world above the world
the Economist
A description of what it's like to fly by a commercial pilot who is also a master prose stylist... This is a man who is at once a technical expert - he flies 747s across continents - and a poet of the skies. This couldn't be more highly recommended
Alain de Botton
How to Land a Plane explains simply and clearly the abiding mysteries of flight.
Peter McKay, the Daily Mail
A good choice for anyone who's fantasized about suddenly having to get an aircraft safely down on the ground ... walks you through some of the basics of flight and landing, from how to recognize a cluster of instruments known as the 'six pack' to knowing what purpose the PAPI lights near the runway serve.
Popular Science
A work of humorous and outright poetic travel geekery.
National Geographic Traveler
Charming and chuckle-filled, this little primer explains much of what goes into the act of flying - from takeoff to touchdown.
Air & Space Smithsonian
With a unique wit and immense expertise, Vanhoenacker illuminates the mysteries of flight in a straightforward manner that even beginners can enjoy ... Readers will feel like they are in the captain's seat as the author ... does an excellent job of making air-travel accessible and enjoyable.
Hook magazine
Explains simply and clearly the abiding mysteries of flight.
Daily Mail