Too Far From Home by Chris Jones
This is supposed to be the story of the astronauts on the International Space Station at the time of the Columbia space shuttle disaster. The disaster led to an indefinite delay in further shuttle flights that could have brought them home and/or sent supplies to them. In terms of what fills most of the pages, it's really more a book for space enthusiasts who want as much trivia as possible about the space program history, preparations for space flights, day-to-day life in space, etc.
The book begins during the preparations for the flight that took those astronauts to the station and about the first quarter of the book deals with what takes place before the Columbia disaster.
In that first section of the book, some things of note do occur. However, we have lots and lots of details, including individual astronaut's food preferences and how certain of these foods can be most neatly eaten in space. Even before any crisis, while describing relatively mundane matters, the narrative sometimes sounds like a documentary a bit on the melodramatic side. At other times the minutia made it seem to me like it was mostly atmospheric without much more.
I'm sure there are readers whose intense interest in space will make them savor facts such as astronauts wash themselves with moist wipes and then leave the used moist wipes out so the moisture can evaporate into the air and then be recycled out of the air. But I am not such a reader. Fortunately, the comments about the problems of defecating in space were relatively brief and in limited detail.
Then after telling of the Columbia disaster (rather briefly compared to the tiny details of everything else), the book shifts back to telling us all about the earlier lives of the two American astronauts on the space station. (Apparently, the author thinks the Russian astronaut on the station is not of as much interest to anyone and we need not wade through his school days as we do with the Americans.) Maybe those who like reading biographies will find this more rewarding than I did.
Next it goes into the history of Skylab, the space shuttle, Soyuz, Mir and the International Space Station. Then telling us about what NASA expects from astronauts' wives and some about these two American astronauts' wives.
Finally, the book starts talking about the space station astronauts after the Columbia disaster and press coverage of them. Much of this is what they might have done on the station in any case, but we are at least talking about those people at that time and place. This supposed focus of the book begins perhaps two-thirds of the way through the volume.
We don't get as much tension as one might expect over how or when the astronauts might be brought back to Earth. This is at least partly because the astronauts are presented as enjoying being in space, not in a hurry to leave. Then when a Soyuz spacecraft arrives to replace the astronauts with two Russians, things seem to be moving smoothly. However, their descent does not go as smoothly, so there is more than just atmosphere and detail description here towards the end of the book. The book does not end the moment the astronauts are returned to the ground, but it is not dragged out the way parts of the book may have made one suspect.