Books to Make the Most of Her Personal Space

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Gabrielle Giffords i

Gabrielle Giffords' attention is divided between her political race and the action in space. hide caption

itoggle caption
Gabrielle Giffords

Gabrielle Giffords' attention is divided between her political race and the action in space.

Gabrielle Giffords is having a busy summer. Here on Earth — specifically, in the state of Arizona — the former state senator is a Democrat in a wild six-way primary race. The winner will compete for the seat of U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe, a Republican who is retiring from Congress. Meanwhile, in space, her boyfriend Mark Kelly is piloting the shuttle Discovery and overseeing spacewalks.

In between knocking on doors, shaking hands and watching the skies, Giffords is finding a surprising amount of time for reading... much of it in airports. She tells Sheilah Kast what's in her bookbag.

Gabrielle Giffords' Book List

Cover of 'First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong' shows Armstrong in space helmet.

Boyfriend Mark Kelly gave Giffords this Neil Armstrong biography. Simon & Schuster hide caption

itoggle caption Simon & Schuster

Political candidate Gabrielle Giffords' book choices reflect two summer missions of interest: her race for Congress and boyfriend Mark Kelly's adventures aboard the space shuttle Discovery:

First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, by James R. Hansen. (Yes, it was a gift from Mark Kelly.) "As the book opens, it was very similar to what I experienced a couple of days ago. [The opening scene] takes place in 1969 on a warm day in July at the Kennedy Space Center... It's neat reading that book alongside what Mark is doing right now."

The Heartless Stone: A Journey Through The World of Diamonds, Deceit, and Desire, by Tom Zoellner. Zoellner, a journalist, had an engagement ring returned to him. His response? "He sets off across six continents to figure out where these diamonds come from, and why, in our culture, the diamond is considered a symbol of eternal love."

An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore. "Whether or not you like Al Gore or not, I strongly recommend everyone to read this book."

She would like to read The End of Faith, by Sam Harris... another work of non-fiction. "It's about religion and terror, and the future of our country and the future of our planet."

Books Featured In This Story

First Man

The Life of Neil A. Armstrong

by James R. Hansen

Hardcover, 769 pages | purchase

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Title
First Man
Subtitle
The Life of Neil A. Armstrong
Author
James R. Hansen

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The Heartless Stone

A Journey Through the World of Diamonds, Deceit And Desire

by Tom Zoellner

Hardcover, 293 pages | purchase

Purchase Featured Book

Title
The Heartless Stone
Subtitle
A Journey Through the World of Diamonds, Deceit And Desire
Author
Tom Zoellner

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

An Inconvenient Truth

The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It

by Albert Gore

Paperback, 325 pages | purchase

Purchase Featured Book

Title
An Inconvenient Truth
Subtitle
The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It
Author
Albert Gore

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

End of Faith

Religion, Terror, And the Future of Reason

by Sam Harris

Paperback, 348 pages | purchase

Purchase Featured Book

Title
End of Faith
Subtitle
Religion, Terror, And the Future of Reason
Author
Sam Harris

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

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