100 books like A Man on the Moon

By Andrew Chaikin,

Here are 100 books that A Man on the Moon fans have personally recommended if you like A Man on the Moon. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journeys

Nancy Atkinson Author Of Eight Years to the Moon: The History of the Apollo Missions

From my list on books about the Apollo missions to the moon.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an author and science journalist with a passion for telling the stories of people involved in space exploration and astronomy. I’ve written over 6,000 articles, sharing the latest news from space. My two books: Eight Years to the Moon: The History of the Apollo Missions, which shares little-known stories from the engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make the Apollo missions possible; and Incredible Stories From Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos shares compelling insights from over 35 NASA scientists and engineers, taking readers inside nine robotic missions that are exploring the solar system and beyond.

Nancy's book list on books about the Apollo missions to the moon

Nancy Atkinson Why did Nancy love this book?

This is one book I couldn’t put down. Even though Michael Collins might be considered one of the "forgotten” astronauts (as the lone astronaut from the seminal Apollo 11 mission who didn’t get to land on the moon), his book provides an amazing and amusing look at what it’s like to be an astronaut.

His conversational writing style is engaging, witty, and insightful, and I loved his self-deprecating humor. I classify this book as the best astronaut biography ever written and Collins as one of the most endearing icons in history.

By Michael Collins,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Carrying the Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Reissued with a new preface by the author on the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 journey to the moon

The years that have passed since Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins piloted the Apollo 11 spacecraft to the moon in July 1969 have done nothing to alter the fundamental wonder of the event: man reaching the moon remains one of the great events―technical and spiritual―of our lifetime.

In Carrying the Fire, Collins conveys, in a very personal way, the drama, beauty, and humor of that adventure. He also traces his development from his first flight experiences in the…


Book cover of Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon

Nancy Atkinson Author Of Eight Years to the Moon: The History of the Apollo Missions

From my list on books about the Apollo missions to the moon.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an author and science journalist with a passion for telling the stories of people involved in space exploration and astronomy. I’ve written over 6,000 articles, sharing the latest news from space. My two books: Eight Years to the Moon: The History of the Apollo Missions, which shares little-known stories from the engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make the Apollo missions possible; and Incredible Stories From Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos shares compelling insights from over 35 NASA scientists and engineers, taking readers inside nine robotic missions that are exploring the solar system and beyond.

Nancy's book list on books about the Apollo missions to the moon

Nancy Atkinson Why did Nancy love this book?

This children’s book about the Apollo program inspired *me*, so I can only imagine how inspirational it is for curious young minds. This book focuses on several non-astronauts, “the regular folks whose efforts made an impossible mission possible in the first place,” writes author Catherine Thimmesh.

This is a fascinating look at the dramatic story behind the Apollo 11 mission, the first to land humans on the moon. The personal stories from scientists, engineers, and even seamstresses portray how it took an army of people from around the world to successfully send three humans to the moon.

By Catherine Thimmesh,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Team Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For Apollo 11, the first moon landing, is a story that belongs to many, not just the few and famous. It belongs to the seamstress who put together twenty-two layers of fabric for each space suit. To the engineers who created a special heat shield to protect the capsule during its fiery reentry. It belongs to the flight directors, camera designers, software experts, suit testers, telescope crew, aerospace technicians, photo developers, engineers, and navigators. Gathering direct quotes from some of these folks who worked behind the scenes, Catherine Thimmesh reveals their very human worries and concerns. Culling NASA transcripts, national…


Book cover of Apollo Remastered: The Ultimate Photographic Record

Nancy Atkinson Author Of Eight Years to the Moon: The History of the Apollo Missions

From my list on books about the Apollo missions to the moon.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an author and science journalist with a passion for telling the stories of people involved in space exploration and astronomy. I’ve written over 6,000 articles, sharing the latest news from space. My two books: Eight Years to the Moon: The History of the Apollo Missions, which shares little-known stories from the engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make the Apollo missions possible; and Incredible Stories From Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos shares compelling insights from over 35 NASA scientists and engineers, taking readers inside nine robotic missions that are exploring the solar system and beyond.

Nancy's book list on books about the Apollo missions to the moon

Nancy Atkinson Why did Nancy love this book?

I’ve always wished I could have gone to the moon with the Apollo astronauts. This book is the next best thing!

Image restoration specialist Andy Saunders was able to get access to new digital scans of the original Apollo images, which have been stored in a frozen vault for decades, and with the latest technology and incredibly pain-staking work, has created the highest quality Apollo photographs ever produced. Under-exposed or over-exposed shots are now crystal clear, revealing new details and incredible views of the astronauts, the spacecraft, and the lunar surface.

I love the large, coffee-table-sized book, and it is a must-have for any space enthusiast, historian, or photographer. Simply stunning.

By Andy Saunders,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Apollo Remastered as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This definitive photographic book about the Apollo missions reveals hundreds of extraordinary, newly-restored, and all-new images from the NASA archives that provide a never-before-seen perspective on the Apollo endeavors more than 50 years after humankind first stepped foot on the moon. 

In Houston, Texas, there is a frozen vault that preserves the original NASA photographic film of the Apollo missions. For half a century, almost every image of the Moon landings publicly available was produced from a lower-quality copy of these frozen originals. Over the last few years, NASA image restorer Andy Saunders has been working hard. Taking newly available…


Book cover of Apollo: The Race to the Moon

Nancy Atkinson Author Of Eight Years to the Moon: The History of the Apollo Missions

From my list on books about the Apollo missions to the moon.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an author and science journalist with a passion for telling the stories of people involved in space exploration and astronomy. I’ve written over 6,000 articles, sharing the latest news from space. My two books: Eight Years to the Moon: The History of the Apollo Missions, which shares little-known stories from the engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make the Apollo missions possible; and Incredible Stories From Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos shares compelling insights from over 35 NASA scientists and engineers, taking readers inside nine robotic missions that are exploring the solar system and beyond.

Nancy's book list on books about the Apollo missions to the moon

Nancy Atkinson Why did Nancy love this book?

I love behind-the-scenes stories, and this book excels in that department! Apollo: The Race to the Moon shares everything from the political workings of Apollo to the NASA management hierarchy to a comprehensive look at the engineering required for the U.S. space program. The authors provide a remarkable narrative of the Apollo program based on hours of interviews with NASA administrators, managers, engineers, and mission controllers.

I felt like I personally got to know all these people, who helped achieve one of the greatest feats in human history. The book highlights the creativity, imagination, and genius it took to realize the dream of landing on the moon. 

By Charles Murray, Catherine Bly Cox,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Apollo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book tells the story of how a group of unheralded men and women accomplished the extraordinary feat of landing men on the moon and returning them safely to earth. Based on extensive interviews this book tells in rich, human and scientific deal how this dream was realized in less than ten years.


Book cover of Full Moon

Michael Soluri Author Of Infinite Worlds: The People and Places of Space Exploration

From my list on space exploration, astronauts, the moon, and beyond.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve followed the history of space exploration since I was a kid! Although I spent decades photographing assignments in exotic international locations and co-authored visually driven books on astronomical phenomena, my dream was to photograph in NASA’s restricted space exploration work cultures. Never giving up, I achieved unprecedented access into the shuttle mission that saved the Hubble Space Telescope and, for more than a decade, with the New Horizons team that first explored the Pluto system. I’ve been published in media like Smithsonian, Nat Geo, WIRED, New Scientist, and NPR. Honored that my photographs of astronaut space tools are in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum.   

Michael's book list on space exploration, astronauts, the moon, and beyond

Michael Soluri Why did Michael love this book?

As explorers carrying cameras, the Gemini and Apollo astronauts (1965-72) were like the pioneer photographers of the 19th century who, with their cameras, responded to the unknowns of the American West. These astronauts, however, were responding to the new and unexplored by photographing their experiences inside their spacecraft and outside in the vacuum of space. During the late 90s the photographer Michael Light gained access to NASA’s Apollo-era photo archive and made the first drum-scanned digital files from perfect copies of the original flight films. Light’s artful editing and juxtaposition of superbly reproduced full-page black and white, and color images creates a cinematic-like journey to the moon and back. In the annals of published space photography, there are very few well-designed books as timeless.

By Michael Light, Andrew Chaikin,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Full Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The most thrilling of all journeys--the missions of the Apollo astronauts to the surface of the Moon and back--yielded 32,000 extraordinarily beautiful photographs, the record of a unique human achievement. Until recently, only a handful of these photographs had been released for publication; but now, for the first time, NASA has allowed a selection of the master negatives and transparencies to be scanned electronically, rendering the sharpest images of space that we have ever seen. Michael Light has woven 129 of these stunningly clear images into a single composite voyage, a narrative of breathtaking immediacy and authenticity that begins with…


Book cover of Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Project Apollo

Stephen P. Maran Author Of Astronomy for Dummies

From my list on space from someone with 35 years at NASA.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve studied space for 60+ years, including spotting Sputnik from atop 30 Rock for Operation Moonwatch; monitoring an exploding star for a PhD at University of Michigan, leading the Remotely Controlled Telescope project at Kitt Peak National Observatory, hunting pulsars from Arizona and Chile, and helping develop scientific instruments for the Hubble Space Telescope. I worked for 5 years at Kitt Peak and 35 years for NASA. As Press Officer (now retired) of the American Astronomical Society, I organized press conferences on many notable cosmic discoveries. Minor Planet 9768 was named Stephenmaran for me, but I haven’t seen it yet. What I have spotted are five exceptional books on space.  Enjoy!

Stephen's book list on space from someone with 35 years at NASA

Stephen P. Maran Why did Stephen love this book?

When NASA’s manned spaceflight program began, engineers focused on technology to launch men, sustain them in orbit, and eventually take them to the Moon and back. But U.S. Presidents approved the program to improve America’s image, not for scientific purposes. They wanted to counter the successive shocks of the USSR’s first artificial satellite and first person in space. This wasn’t about bragging rights, but to deter emerging nations from choosing communism over democracy. NASA launches welcomed media and US astronauts were sent abroad, guided by the State Department. They gave unscripted speeches, so listeners could relate to them as regular folks. After John Glenn orbited Earth, his Friendship 7 capsule went on tour, drawing 4 million visitors in Bombay alone. Operation Moonglow explains the unspoken politics that drove early NASA.

By Teasel Muir-Harmony,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Operation Moonglow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On July 20th, 1969, over half of the world's population tuned in to witness the first lunar landing, waiting with bated breath as Neil Armstrong ventured outside the cabin door of Apollo 11 and declared "that's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." As the most expensive civilian scientific and technological program in American history, Project Apollo symbolised the unmatched prestige of American space exploration. Yet despite appearances, the project was never just about winning the Space Race, advancing scientific progress, or even conquering the final frontier. Instead, the ambitions of Project Apollo would ultimately reveal…


Book cover of Reaching for the Moon

Evonne Blanchard Author Of Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon

From my list on space books that will launch your kids into orbit.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a science fiction and fantasy children’s book author, who loves everything about space and science fiction. I’ve been fascinated by space ever since I was little; mesmerized by clips of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon. As a teenager, War of the Worlds by H.G Wells was my favorite book! My daughter’s complete lack of interest in space inspired me to write a space adventure series. How could I make space entertaining? When it comes to children, I’m a big fan of mixing space facts with a dollop of space fiction, so I hope you will enjoy the collection of books on this list!

Evonne's book list on space books that will launch your kids into orbit

Evonne Blanchard Why did Evonne love this book?

If there’s any book that deserves the title inspirational, it’s surely this children’s book narrated by astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Here he recounts his life story, beginning with his childhood and how he acquired the name Buzz⎯such a cute story! This is followed by the significant events that led him to become an astronaut, then eventually to his epic moon landing. Buzz believed in education, discipline and he felt strongly that any goal was possible. He certainly lived up to those ideals! On July 20, 1969, after blasting off in the Apollo 11, he and Neil Armstrong became the first people ever to set foot on the moon. An incredible achievement! Children will love Wendell Minor’s gorgeous paintings and enjoy reading about the personal story of a great American hero.

By Buzz Aldrin, Wendell Minor (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Reaching for the Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

I walked on the moon. This is my journey. But it didn't begin when I stepped on board Apollo 11 on July 1, 1969. It began the day I was born. Becoming an astronaut took more than education, discipline, and physical strength. It took years of determination and believing that any goal is possible-from riding a bike alone across the George Washington Bridge at age ten to making a footprint on the Moon. I always knew the Moon was within my reach-and that I was ready to be on the team that would achieve the first landing. But it was…


Book cover of Apollo: The Epic Journey to the Moon, 1963-1972

Alan Smale Author Of Hot Moon

From my list on the excellence behind the Apollo Moon missions.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hot Moon, my new alternate-Apollo thriller set entirely on and around the Moon, is my labor of love and the book I always wanted to write. I grew up in Yorkshire, England, far from Cape Kennedy and Mission Control, but was always obsessed with the Apollo Program and with astronomy and space in general. This passion (nudged along by shows like Doctor Who, UFO, and Star Trek) eventually led to degrees in Physics and Astrophysics from Oxford. I now live in the US and work for NASA studying black holes and other bizarre celestial objects.

Alan's book list on the excellence behind the Apollo Moon missions

Alan Smale Why did Alan love this book?

As a break from the two hardcore technical volumes above, my next pick is a coffee table book stuffed with awesome historical photos and graphics, that tells the story of the Apollo Program in a more straightforward and traditional fashion, but also delves into the politics, the science of what we learned about lunar geology, and so on. There’s no shortage of big glossy Apollo books, but for my money this is the most complete and absorbing, and has all the best pictures. 

By David West Reynolds,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Apollo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

 

Space expert David West Reynolds takes you on a historical journey through the world’s most renowned space program. Featuring a wealth of rare photographs, artwork, and cutaway illustrations, Apollo recaptures the excitement of the USA’s journey to the moon. From the adventurous astronauts to the scientists and engineers who designed and built the state-of-the-art spacecraft, Reynolds covers every aspect of this epic voyage. Through concise description, he introduces the uninitiated to this thrilling episode in U.S. history while also providing engaging details for the space aficionado. All of the key events and personalities are presented, creating a clear picture of…


Book cover of A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts

Christopher Gainor Author Of The Bomb and America's Missile Age

From my list on the exploration of space.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I was inspired by the feats of the first astronauts and cosmonauts, culminating with the Apollo expeditions to the Moon. As I grew up, I found that I was more of a historian than an engineer or a physicist. So, I began writing the stories of some of the people who were involved in the 1960s space race. I have since written about topics ranging from the strategic missiles that kicked off the space race to the Hubble Space Telescope, and today, I am the editor of Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly. 

Christopher's book list on the exploration of space

Christopher Gainor Why did Christopher love this book?

I have read many books about the Apollo astronauts and their journeys to the Moon, but this very readable book is the only one that took me along on the greatest human adventure in space.

Chaikin also left me knowing each one of these astronauts better than I did when I started.

By Andrew Chaikin,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked A Man on the Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'IMPRESSIVE AND ILLUMINATING' TOM HANKS

This is the definitive account of the heroic Apollo programme.

When astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their 'giant leap for mankind' across a ghostly lunar landscape, they were watched by some 600 million people on Earth 240,000 miles away.

Drawing on hundreds of hours of in-depth interviews with the astronauts and mission personnel, this is the story of the twentieth century's greatest human achievement, minute-by-minute, through the eyes of those who were there.

From the tragedy of the fire in Apollo 1 during a simulated launch, Apollo 8's bold pioneering flight around the…


Book cover of First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong

Christopher Mari Author Of Ocean of Storms

From my list on history of space exploration.

Why am I passionate about this?

My love of space exploration is an old one. I remember learning about the Apollo missions when I was very young, both from television and children’s books, and was amazed that people had worked together to achieve such a monumental task. I was also massively disappointed to discover that no one had been back to the Moon since 1972! Since then, I’ve read deeply on the history of space exploration and wished intensely that every new NASA plan would bring us back out to explore our solar system. Part of the reason I wrote Ocean of Storms with my buddy Jeremy K. Brown was to create a reality in which that return to the Moon actually came true. 

Christopher's book list on history of space exploration

Christopher Mari Why did Christopher love this book?

Neil Armstrong was an American hero not just because of his skills as a pilot during the Korean War or because of his prowess as an astronaut or by becoming the first man in history to touch the lunar surface. He is a hero because he did all of those things without ever bragging or seeking to make a profit from his success. His commitment to duty, as well as his sacrifice and humility, are lessons for every generation. 

By James R. Hansen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked First Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a major film starring Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy and Kyle Chandler, directed by Oscar-winner Damien Chazelle, First Man by James Hansen offers the only authorized glimpse into the life of America's most famous astronaut, Neil Armstrong - the man whose "one small step" changed history.

In First Man, Hansen explores the life of Neil Armstrong. Based on over 50 hours of interviews with the intensely private Armstrong, who also gave Hansen exclusive access to private documents and family sources, this "magnificent panorama of the second half of the American twentieth century" (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review) is an unparalleled biography…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in astronauts, the moon, and the Apollo program?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about astronauts, the moon, and the Apollo program.

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