100 books like The Last Man on the Moon

By Eugene Cernan, Donald A. Davis,

Here are 100 books that The Last Man on the Moon fans have personally recommended if you like The Last Man on the Moon. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ 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

Robert M. Brantner Author Of Skyheist: An Aviation Thriller

From my list on pilots in the greatest profession known to man.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I was a child, I wanted to be a pilot. I started flying when I was in high school, and now I am a captain for one of the world’s largest airlines. My journey has been the greatest adventure I could ever imagine, but so many others are out there. Far too many adventures for one person to experience. Through great books, I have been able to visit so many facets of the profession I love so much. I treasure so many of the amazing books about flying that have been written and greatly anticipate the many more that are just beyond the horizon.

Robert's book list on pilots in the greatest profession known to man

Robert M. Brantner Why did Robert love this book?

I read every book I could find on space flight. However, none meant more to me than this one. It wasn’t necessarily the story of the two flights Collins made that touched me. What set this book apart for me was the fact that he wrote it himself. What resulted was a first-hand experience as an astronaut. 

When I was a kid, I was able to pass enough math and physics to become a professional pilot, but I had nowhere near the aptitude required to be an astronaut. I always found this a disappointment in my life. After spending hours with this book, I was taken on a journey no other author was ever able to fulfill. For that, I will always be grateful.

By Michael Collins,

Why should I read it?

6 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 Into That Silent Sea: Trailblazers of the Space Era, 1961-1965

Michelle Evans Author Of The X-15 Rocket Plane: Flying the First Wings Into Space

From my list on to contemplate our place in the universe.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for science and technology is the fault of my father, who first took me to Edwards AFB when I was five years old. He would pawn me off on a colleague to keep me busy while he would do the work he needed to do. That meant that I got to wander around the hangars, watching all the fascinating things happening to take the X-15 into space, and getting to meet the people who made it all happen. That passion spilled over into science fiction as well, along with the idea of trying to discover what the universe was not only like, but what it could be.

Michelle's book list on to contemplate our place in the universe

Michelle Evans Why did Michelle love this book?

This book is written by two dear friends who are the reason I am a published author myself. However, I don’t recommend it just because they are close to me, but because it is a wonderful book that kicked off the entire Outward Odyssey series, of which my book is a part. This magnificent book set a new standard for historical work on space exploration by focusing on the people instead of the hardware. The stories you’ll read here will show you why we are who we are and why humans will always strive for the unknown.

By Francis French, Colin Burgess,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Into That Silent Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It was a time of bold new technology, historic moments, and international jousting on the final frontier. But it was also a time of human drama, of moments less public but no less dramatic in the lives of those who made the golden age of space flight happen. These are the moments and the lives that Into That Silent Sea captures, a book that tells the intimate stories of the men and women, American and Russian, who made the space race their own and gave the era its compelling character. These pages chronicle a varied and riveting cavalcade of human…


Book cover of Quantum Night

Mark Morton Author Of The Headmasters

From my list on experiencing the Canadian city of Winnipeg if you can’t actually go there.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an author who’s published historical nonfiction, science fiction, and poetry—all genres that are represented in the five books I’ve recommended! I also lived in Winnipeg between 1993 and 2002 and loved being there. It’s a great city with lots of history, a thriving arts community, two beautiful rivers, lots of diverse cultures, and a determination to undo some of the wrongs that have happened there. (Admittedly, Winnipeg also gets to minus 40 in the winter and has a tad too many mosquitoes in the summer!). But it’s also where I met my amazing wife! ☺

Mark's book list on experiencing the Canadian city of Winnipeg if you can’t actually go there

Mark Morton Why did Mark love this book?

This book pulls together three things that I love in fiction: big ideas, compelling characters, and a plot that keeps you guessing.

The big ideas really are “big” ones: What’s the nature of consciousness? How do memories create or distort our sense of identity? And how does our physical biology as “creatures” determine our inner psychology?

As for the city of Winnipeg itself, the novel leverages it in all kinds of ways. One example: A riot after a Winnipeg Jets hockey game leads to such national violence that the US President calls for an invasion of Canada to “help” restore order.

And, in one of the novel’s prescient plot points, this US invasion prompts Vladimir Putin to plan his own attack (keep in mind that this book was published six years before Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine!). 

By Robert J. Sawyer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With such compelling and provocative novels as Red Planet Blues, FlashForward and The WWW Trilogy, Robert J. Sawyer has proven himself to be “a writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation” (New York Times). Now, the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author explores the thin line between good and evil that every human being is capable of crossing…

Experimental psychologist Jim Marchuk has developed a flawless technique for identifying the previously undetected psychopaths lurking everywhere in society. But while being cross-examined about his breakthrough in court, Jim is shocked to discover that he has lost his memories of six months…


Book cover of Always Another Dawn: The Story of a Rocket Test Pilot

Michelle Evans Author Of The X-15 Rocket Plane: Flying the First Wings Into Space

From my list on to contemplate our place in the universe.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for science and technology is the fault of my father, who first took me to Edwards AFB when I was five years old. He would pawn me off on a colleague to keep me busy while he would do the work he needed to do. That meant that I got to wander around the hangars, watching all the fascinating things happening to take the X-15 into space, and getting to meet the people who made it all happen. That passion spilled over into science fiction as well, along with the idea of trying to discover what the universe was not only like, but what it could be.

Michelle's book list on to contemplate our place in the universe

Michelle Evans Why did Michelle love this book?

Crossfield wrote one of the first books about what it means to be a test pilot of a powerful rocket plane, and I consider it the best. This book is an autobiography that delves into the nature of the personality of someone who can climb into the cockpit of an experimental aircraft, light off the engines, and climb high into the desert sky at multiples of the speed of sound. It also is the book that began my deeply personal 30-year journey to write my own book on the North American X-15. Scotty was one of the first pilots I spoke to in order to get insights into how these people think and react. I know you’ll enjoy meeting him through his book as much as I did sitting with him in person.

By Albert Scott Crossfield, Clay Blair,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Always Another Dawn: The Story of a Rocket Test Pilot is the story of NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) and Albert Scott Crossfield's work in the post-war years and beyond pioneering the use of rocket-powered planes. Crossfield and his team paved the path for space exploration making this, his autobiography, essential reading for aviation buffs.


Book cover of The City and the Stars

Michelle Evans Author Of The X-15 Rocket Plane: Flying the First Wings Into Space

From my list on to contemplate our place in the universe.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for science and technology is the fault of my father, who first took me to Edwards AFB when I was five years old. He would pawn me off on a colleague to keep me busy while he would do the work he needed to do. That meant that I got to wander around the hangars, watching all the fascinating things happening to take the X-15 into space, and getting to meet the people who made it all happen. That passion spilled over into science fiction as well, along with the idea of trying to discover what the universe was not only like, but what it could be.

Michelle's book list on to contemplate our place in the universe

Michelle Evans Why did Michelle love this book?

Those who know me, understand that Arthur C. Clarke has been my favorite author for as long as I can remember, and they would probably be surprised at my pick of this novel over his most well-known book 2001: A Space Odyssey or even Childhood’s End. Let me put it this way, I’ll recommend anything written by Clarke, but this book stands out for me because of its profound look at the far future of humanity, which has fallen nearly to the point of extinction. It is a work that serves as a warning to us all, but also shows how one person can change the trajectory of an entire society, bringing it back from the brink in order to move once again among the stars.

By Arthur C. Clarke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The City and the Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Clarke's masterful evocation of the far future of humanity, considered his finest novel

Men had built cities before, but never such a city as Diaspar. For millennia its protective dome shut out the creeping decay and danger of the world outside. Once, it held powers that rule the stars.

But then, as legend has it, the invaders came, driving humanity into this last refuge. It takes one man, a Unique, to break through Diaspar's stifling inertia, to smash the legend and discover the true nature of the Invaders.


Book cover of How Apollo Flew to the Moon

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?

You’ll find a thousand books that tell the Apollo story, describing the missions and the astronauts and the drama, and A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin is most people’s gateway drug. It’s a great book. But being on the technical side myself–and needing all those messy in-depth technical details to get my own book right–I found Woods’ book perfect for delving deep into the scientific and technical ingenuity of the missions, of all the procedures and maneuvers from launch through splashdown, and many other fascinating aspects that other books leave out. If you’ve ever read an Apollo history and wondered: “But how did that really work, how long did it take, what was the process, why did they do it that way?” or even just “Uh, they did what, now?” then this is totally the book for you.

By W. David Woods,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Stung by the pioneering space successes of the Soviet Union - in particular, Gagarin being the first man in space, the United States gathered the best of its engineers and set itself the goal of reaching the Moon within a decade. In an expanding 2nd edition of How Apollo Flew to the Moon, David Woods tells the exciting story of how the resulting Apollo flights were conducted by following a virtual flight to the Moon and its exploration of the surface. From launch to splashdown, he hitches a ride in the incredible spaceships that took men to another world, exploring…


Book cover of Apollo 13 Owners' Workshop Manual: An insight into the development, events and legacy of NASA's 'successful failure'

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?

Haynes Manuals: they’re not just for cars anymore. Haynes also publishes books dedicated to the technical details of planes you’ll never own or service, and spacecraft you’ll never fly in. They’re detailed, they’re technical, and they’re geek gold. With a million color pictures and cutaway diagrams, and text crammed with comprehensive engineering details, the Haynes' Apollo 13 volume is a perfect companion to my Woods pick, or a great standalone in getting literally beneath the skin of the Apollo spacecraft and seeing exactly how all the moving parts worked. By all means buy the Haynes' Apollo 11 Manual too (I did), but I think this one has the edge in terms of technical depth–and you obviously get the full backstory of this aborted and almost disastrous Lost Moon mission too.

By David Baker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Apollo 13 Owners' Workshop Manual as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A special new edition of Apollo 13 Manual, published to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the Moon mission launched in April 1970, which very nearly turned into a catastrophe. New content includes an expanded look at what was learned from the analysis of the problems that precipitated the crisis, and how these lessons affected the future space programme, and also a look at the worldwide reaction to the crisis, as the the international community held its breath. This Haynes Manual tells the story of the complex technical challenges involved in returning the crippled spacecraft safely to Earth, explained in…


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?

7 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 Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight

Slava Gerovitch Author Of Soviet Space Mythologies: Public Images, Private Memories, and the Making of a Cultural Identity (Russian and East European Studies)

From my list on astronauts and cosmonauts.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in space history began with stamp collecting and continued much later with visits to Russian archives, Star City, and aerospace companies, and interviews with cosmonauts and space engineers, who often told their personal stories for the first time. As a historian of science and technology teaching at MIT, I was especially interested in cases where technology and society intertwined: cosmonauts and engineers lobbied politicians with competing agendas, personal rivalries tore apart ambitious projects, and pervasive secrecy perpetuated public myths and private counter-myths. My digging into tensions and arguments that shaped the Soviet space program resulted in two books, Soviet Space Mythologies and Voices of the Soviet Space Program.

Slava's book list on astronauts and cosmonauts

Slava Gerovitch Why did Slava love this book?

The book interweaves the human story of risk and decision-making and the technological account of successes and failures of onboard computing in the Apollo program. It makes a fascinating comparison with the parallel story of techno-human systems in the Soviet space program explored in my book. While Soviet cosmonauts routinely served as a backup for automatics, American astronauts successfully fought to seize control of their missions from the computer and to perform manually each of the lunar landings.

By David A. Mindell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The incredible story of how human pilots and automated systems worked together to achieve the ultimate achievement in flight—the lunar landings of NASA’s Apollo program
 
As Apollo 11’s Lunar Module descended toward the moon under automatic control, a program alarm in the guidance computer’s software nearly caused a mission abort. Neil Armstrong responded by switching off the automatic mode and taking direct control. He stopped monitoring the computer and began flying the spacecraft, relying on skill to land it and earning praise for a triumph of human over machine. In Digital Apollo, engineer-historian David Mindell takes this famous moment as…


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Interested in astronauts, space race, and astronautics?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about astronauts, space race, and astronautics.

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