Wind, Sand and Stars

By Antoine de Saint-Exupery,

Book cover of Wind, Sand and Stars

Book description

The National Book Award-winning autobiographical book about the wonder of flying from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of the beloved children's classic The Little Prince.

A National Geographic Top Ten Adventure Book of All Time

Recipient of the Grand Prix of the Académie Française, Wind, Sand and Stars captures the grandeur,…

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Why read it?

6 authors picked Wind, Sand and Stars as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Saint-Exupery’s descriptions of what he sees and feels during enthralling activities amid stunning landscapes left me enchanted. The feelings he captures extend beyond the mere act of flying and into human relationships and our quest for meaning, written in beautiful, often philosophical prose. He approached flying as a metaphor for life and the human condition. Even if I will never fly, he made me care. 

Wind, Sand and Stars is one of the most beautiful and poetically-written memoirs of all time. The centerpiece of the book is a crash-landing made by Saint-Exupéry and his co-pilot in the Egyptian Sahara, in December 1935. Unsure of their precise location, and without means of radioing for help, the two men, seemingly without any hope of rescue, faced desperate fear-filled days in the desert, plus unimaginable thirst, hunger, and imminent death, before their almost miraculous deliverance: “All other pleasures seem trivial to those of us who have known the joy of a rescue in the Sahara.” Saint-Exupéry is the…

This book, by the author of The Little Prince, is an autobiographical account of Antoine’s adventures during WWII – as a pilot, reflecting on the meaning and significance of life from a humanistic philosophy and how perceptions of life are shifted when you are tested to your limits. A good lesson for anyone grappling with their existence and purpose in life.

From Christopher's list on making sense of our existence in the Universe.

This is the book for those who dream of big open skies, adventure, danger. This book made me want to become a pilot, see the world, fly over Africa. The first time I read it, I was so young, I remember that incredible, overwhelming feeling of “big,” of vastness it gave me. But this book is also about fear and courage, about that tiny pang in the chest before leaving; that part took some living, traveling, and growing up for me to get.

From Yara's list on to read while taking a flight.

Better known for his children’s book The Little Prince, the aristocratic Saint-Exupéry was also a pioneering aviator with the legendary Aeropostale mail service which connected France with North Africa and, later on, South America. This vivid, poetically written memoir of these early open-cockpit days of aviation brings alive the people, heroism and danger, the lure of faraway places, the camaraderie among pilots, and the beauty and romance of flight in its golden age. A book one can read many times and still find something new. A favourite.

From Roff's list on the golden age of globetrotting.

As an aviation pioneer, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry flew some of the first mail routes across Africa and South America, piloting planes without instruments and navigating by the landmarks of mountains, rivers and coastlines. Wind, Sand and Stars is an autobiographical account of his life as a pilot, but is also a paean to the stark beauty and deadly dangers of the Sahara: the book culminates with his crash landing in the Libyan desert, near-death from dehydration and exposure, and miraculous rescue by a passing Bedouin. The experience went on to inspire The Little Prince, a book about a character who,…

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