(This review is based on the Polish language edition published a week earlier)
The "inventory" of the stuff in the book includes stories on training,
on equipment, on particular competition flights, on mental preparation issues,
on (lack of) doping in aviation, on risk and safety decisions and issues.
The first part is woven around "life story" of Sebastian Kawa, the second
is a richly illustrated (by stories and drawings) instruction manual.
The book is the most fun to read. It is perheaps least about Sebastian Kawa himself. The first part ot he book follows Kawa sports (sailing and aviation) path, but it really is mostly about flying (not about Kawa) and all it takes to fly at the elite level. Which turns out (or so Kawa presents it) is kind of normal - you
have a more or less normal life, you do the things you love (with due consideration
for the everyday chores and duties), you practice all elements until you feel you
do them well enough, you keep your curiosity unfettered - and somehow on the
way you find yourself among the best.
Or so Sebastian Kawa tells it. Anyway, what strikes when reading the first part of the book (which some describe - I think inprecisely - as "autobiography") is extreme intimacy and directness - as far as aviation and sports issues are concerned. It is (first part) NOT any type of a flight manual or career guide. It has the athmosphere of a private conversation (the text formula is that of an interview) with a close and trusted friend. We do not read ready and smoothed with use opinions and stories, it is more like Kawa shares his current state of thought on the conversation subject.
Perhaps not by coincidence, the very "official book introduction event" at the Mountain Gliding School "Żar" had a similar structure. There was no "official talk" by Sebastian Kawa. But he was there, ready to talk in the room corners with total strangers about any aviation related issue, with both modest and "still fascinated and awed" attitude perhaps more expected from a student-pilot than from somebody holding a title or two.
I should write about the second part of the book, which is partially an advanced
manual (interspersed with particular flight stories), but this would be pretending that "I read and undestood and internalized all there is". I did not. Kawa had put, very accessibly, a lot of stuff there. Perhaps a significant part of the ten years of experience he says one needs to fly well, at least the part that can be put in words. I have no illusions that in a week I had available so far to read the book I took in any of that. I plan to read and reread it together with my training, probably over the years. So just the chapter titles (my rendering of Polish edition titles, sorry for bad phraseology):
"The art of flying", "Thermal flights", "Standard thermal flights", "Blue thermals", "Ordered lifts", "Wind and thermals", "Mountain wind", "Ridge soaring",
"Wave", "Search for lift. Varios", "Cloud observation", "Birds", "Dust devils", "Employing of thermals", "Interthermal flights", "Final glide", "Pair flying", "Lessons from (nautical) sailing".
All this interleaved with flight (rather remarkable flights) stories.
The book has a requisite modest portion of Blood Chilling Aviation (Tall) Tales
(ok, not "tall" in this particular case). I did like for example a story
of the author being outside of his glider when the tug started the takeoff run.
But perhaps most impact in this aspect (at least on a barely-initiated person like me) have the reminiscences of particular flights as remembered by the author, of which the book have a fair number. These stories have been included for various reasons I think, like to give the background to some advanced instructions of the second book part, or just to give a sense of flying for people not familiar with it. But most of these stories are about (at least so seems to me) non-trivial flights. Although Kawa spuns the stories quite casually, pretty much never mentions any danger, just presents us with a very personal insight into his "problem-alternatives-solution" thought process, my conclusion was "well, these flights are FAR from casual". Somehow without explicitly saying so Kawa succeeds in telling "you better treat flying seriously".
What "seriously" means - well, perhaps this is what the book is about. I think that "Sky Full of Heat" reads pretty much like good nautical stories - one could never be at sea, but still relish them.