HBO recently showed Ron Howard’s outstanding film Apollo 13, and I was reminded that it was inspired by a book by Jim Lovell, the mission’s commander, and Jeffrey Kluger, an editor and columnist at Discover.   The book, Lost Moon, was published in 1994 (the film came out in 1995) and is Lovell’s account of the 1970 ill-fated Apollo mission to the moon.  So I visited the catalogs of both the Sarasota and Manatee County libraries and found that Sarasota had it.   It’s now in my possession until April 20.

I have vague memories of the of the Gemini program and the Apollo 1 fire, but I absolutely remember seeing Apollo 8 orbiting the moon on Christmas, 1968 and will never forget being allowed to stay up late enough to watch Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon in July, 1969.  And, of course, the almost-tragedy of Apollo 13 is something that almost everyone alive at the time remembers.

Lovell and Kluger give us quite a bit of background on the inner workings of the early days of the space program (not quite like “The Right Stuff”), along with Lovell’s perspective on these people and events.  Based on what I’ve read so far (which is, admittedly, not much because I only got it from the library yesterday afternoon), I am really enjoying it, and can recommend it to anyone who is interested in NASA and the space program, or who wants to know the “story behind the story” of the movie, Apollo 13.