100 books like The Promise of Space

By Arthur C. Clarke,

Here are 100 books that The Promise of Space fans have personally recommended if you like The Promise of Space. 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 Carl Sagan's Cosmic Connection

Ian Ridpath Author Of Star Tales

From my list on that have inspired my writings on astronomy and space.

Who am I?

I am an author, editor, lecturer, and sometime broadcaster on astronomy and space. My early interest in the possibilities of extraterrestrial life and interstellar communication led me to write my first books, Worlds Beyond (1975) and Messages from the Stars (1978). This interest also led me to investigate UFO sightings, but I soon realized that their explanation lies in human misperception and not ETs. My investigation and explanation of the famous Rendlesham Forest UFO case of December 1980, widely regarded as one of the top-ten cases worldwide and sometimes known as Britain's Roswell, can be found hereIn conjunction with the outstanding Dutch celestial cartographer Wil Tirion, I have produced two standard observing guides for amateur astronomers. 

Ian's book list on that have inspired my writings on astronomy and space

Ian Ridpath Why did Ian love this book?

Carl Sagan was that most unusual of creatures: a top scientist who was also a lyrical writer. In an era when scientists were still wary of dealing with the press – an aversion that he helped overturn – his books were particularly influential in promoting the search for extraterrestrial life, both on the planets of our own Solar System (notably Mars) and on planets of other stars. In nearly 40 short, varied essays, The Cosmic Connection outlines our links with the cosmos around us, raises the possibility that we are not alone, and discusses what we might do if an extraterrestrial contact were to be received.

By Carl Sagan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Carl Sagan's Cosmic Connection as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1973, Carl Sagan published The Cosmic Connection, a daring view of the universe, which rapidly became a classic work of popular science and inspired a generation of scientists and enthusiasts. This seminal work is reproduced here for a whole new generation to enjoy. In Sagan's typically lucid, lyrical style, he discusses many topics from astrophysics and solar system science, to colonization of other worlds, terraforming and the search for extraterrestrials. Sagan conveys his own excitement and wonder, and relates the revelations of astronomy to the most profound human problems and concerns: issues that are just as valid today as…


Book cover of UFO Sightings: The Evidence

Ian Ridpath Author Of Star Tales

From my list on that have inspired my writings on astronomy and space.

Who am I?

I am an author, editor, lecturer, and sometime broadcaster on astronomy and space. My early interest in the possibilities of extraterrestrial life and interstellar communication led me to write my first books, Worlds Beyond (1975) and Messages from the Stars (1978). This interest also led me to investigate UFO sightings, but I soon realized that their explanation lies in human misperception and not ETs. My investigation and explanation of the famous Rendlesham Forest UFO case of December 1980, widely regarded as one of the top-ten cases worldwide and sometimes known as Britain's Roswell, can be found hereIn conjunction with the outstanding Dutch celestial cartographer Wil Tirion, I have produced two standard observing guides for amateur astronomers. 

Ian's book list on that have inspired my writings on astronomy and space

Ian Ridpath Why did Ian love this book?

Skeptical books about UFOs are rare, and this one is a particular treasure. Sheaffer, a Silicon Valley engineer, and amateur astronomer, has been documenting the UFO field since the 1970s, and continues to report on developments via his blog Bad UFOs. This book is an updated and expanded edition of his earlier work called The UFO Verdict of 1981 in which he concluded that "UFOs as real and distinct entities simply do not exist." Forty years on, nothing has emerged to change that conclusion. If you have ever wondered whether UFOs are worth taking seriously (and why scientists do not), then this thoughtful book will provide your answer.

By Robert Sheaffer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Engaging and entertaining, UFO Sightings: The Evidence is the most up-to-date overview of the UFO phenomenon, a controversy that gains strength with each new report of strange happenings in the sky. Written from the skeptical perspective, and applying the scientific method to the cases explored, this book differs greatly from the proparanormal tomes widely available today.

"Most broad survey UFO books contain absolutely uncritical presentations of sensational claims," says author Robert Sheaffer. "Typically, pro-UFO books deliberately omit all facts that tend to discredit the cases."

UFO Sightings is unique because it gives the reader a broad overview of the world…


Book cover of Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning

John M. Saul Author Of What the Stork Brought: African click-speakers and the spread of humanity's oldest beliefs

From my list on the origins of humanity's earliest beliefs.

Who am I?

As a geologist, I met and shared meals – occasionally under the stars – with individuals with strikingly different backgrounds. In time I realized that, whatever their DNA, they all shared certain beliefs, that the happy dead eventually go upward, for example, even if they start by going down or out to the horizon. Eventually, I concluded that the entire human adventure began in a single moment the day one of our forebears asked another "What shall we do about death?" and was understood. Humans have a single genetic heritage; we also have a single cultural heritage.

John's book list on the origins of humanity's earliest beliefs

John M. Saul Why did John love this book?

Allen (1838-1906) was described as a "walking encyclopedia" by people who knew him. It was only after acquiring a reprint of his great book, a decade before the internet, that my own research into ancient cosmology took off. Star Names was first published in 1899 and as Wikipedia notes "there is no direct modern equivalent." As is the case with the internet, large sections can also be plucked out and read for pleasure.

By Richard H. Allen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Here is an unusual book for anyone who appreciates the beauty and wonder of the stars. Solidly based upon years of thorough research into astronomical writings and observations of the ancient Chinese, Arabic, Euphrates, Hellenic, and Roman civilizations, it is an informative, non-technical excursion into the vast heritage of folklore and history associated with the heavenly bodies.
From his studies of the writings of scores of ancient astronomers, the author has come up with a fascinating history of the names various cultures have given the constellations, the literary and folkloristic uses that have been made of the stars through the…


Book cover of Universe

Ian Ridpath Author Of Star Tales

From my list on that have inspired my writings on astronomy and space.

Who am I?

I am an author, editor, lecturer, and sometime broadcaster on astronomy and space. My early interest in the possibilities of extraterrestrial life and interstellar communication led me to write my first books, Worlds Beyond (1975) and Messages from the Stars (1978). This interest also led me to investigate UFO sightings, but I soon realized that their explanation lies in human misperception and not ETs. My investigation and explanation of the famous Rendlesham Forest UFO case of December 1980, widely regarded as one of the top-ten cases worldwide and sometimes known as Britain's Roswell, can be found hereIn conjunction with the outstanding Dutch celestial cartographer Wil Tirion, I have produced two standard observing guides for amateur astronomers. 

Ian's book list on that have inspired my writings on astronomy and space

Ian Ridpath Why did Ian love this book?

I love books full of facts and figures, and for astronomers, this is one of the best. Now in its fourth edition (the first appeared in 2005), Universe (subtitled The Definitive Visual Guide) harnesses a team of expert writers with Dorling Kindersley’s designers, editors, and researchers to produce a sumptuously illustrated review of the Universe from the Earth to the Big Bang, including extensive sections on the night sky and how to view it. Dorling Kindersley’s books are natural successors to the great Reader’s Digest reference books of my childhood. If you want an encyclopedia of the Universe, this is the one to have.

By Dorling Kindersley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Marvel at the wonders of the Universe, from stars and planets to black holes and nebulae, in this exploration of our Solar System and beyond.

Universe opens with a look at astronomy and the history of the Universe, using 3D artworks to provide a comprehensive grounding in the fundamental concepts of astronomy, including the basic techniques of practical astronomy.

The core of the book is a tour of the cosmos covering the Solar System, the Milky Way, and galaxies beyond our own. Explanatory pages introduce different celestial phenomena, such as galaxies, and are followed by catalogues that profile the most…


Book cover of If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon

Katie Munday Williams Author Of Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America's First Published Poet

From my list on astronomy stories for children.

Who am I?

I am a nurse, mother, and writer, and as such, consider myself a life-learner. When my children come to me with questions, I love being able to grab a beautiful picture book to begin exploring whatever topic is on their minds. I can’t answer all their questions perfectly, but I enjoy searching for the answers with them and hope to impart that love of learning as they grow. Astronomy has always fascinated me, and the books I’ve picked do a fantastic job of discussing everything from gravity to aliens to the first African-American female in space. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have!

Katie's book list on astronomy stories for children

Katie Munday Williams Why did Katie love this book?

The title pretty much speaks for itself—I mean, who wouldn’t want to have their birthday party on the Moon? And what would it be like? This book makes the perfect birthday gift (or anytime gift!) for any child questioning what it’s like on the Moon. The reader discovers what it’s like to swing at a pinata in low gravity, make moon-angels, and discover what happens to candles and balloons in Moon’s atmosphere. There are tons of facts about space woven throughout the book, as well as a glossary of terms at the end.

By Joyce Lapin, Simona Ceccarelli (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Age range 7+

If you had your birthday party on the moon, what would it be like? Blast off to an extraterrestrial celebration and find out!

This cool picture book combines fun and facts to help kids learn all about outer space. Have your birthday party on the moon and everyone will come! After all, who wouldn't want to ride in a rocket and celebrate for a day that lasts as long as a month on Earth? Then, young partygoers could romp in a low-gravity playground; watch candles and balloons behave weirdly in the Moon's atmosphere; and see why the…


Book cover of The Mysteries of the Universe: Discover the Best-Kept Secrets of Space

Marion Dane Bauer Author Of The Stuff of Stars

From my list on the origins of our universe.

Who am I?

My expertise on the origins of our universe comes out of fascination, nothing more. I am a long-time children’s writer who began my approach to this topic with awe. Just awe. In order to write The Stuff of Stars I read widely to expand my own understanding. A single line in this text can come out of hours of reading. The books I’m suggesting here, though, are not the scientific ones that informed my telling. Rather, I have searched out books that are exceptionally creative, accessible, interesting. Some are for the very young and some for those who share their learning with the very young.  

Marion's book list on the origins of our universe

Marion Dane Bauer Why did Marion love this book?

The Mysteries of the Universe doesn’t focus on our Earth but rather on what we see when we look out from Earth. It takes on fascinating topics from moonwalking and Martian dust devils to cliffs on a comet and supernovas. A combination of amazing photographs and artists’ depictions accompanying an accessible text will hold even very young readers.  

By Will Gater,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Mysteries of the Universe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

Travel to the furthest reaches of the Universe and visit 100 remarkable objects along the way with this stunning space book for curious kids aged 7-9.

Space is so much bigger than young minds can fathom and there is always more to learn. The Mysteries of the Universe is a stunning space encyclopedia for young readers to explore, with reference pages packed with fascinating information, little learners will be captivated as they journey through the vastness of the Universe. From planets and asteroids to black holes and galaxies, every page of this enthralling space book reveals the secrets behind more…


Book cover of There's No Place Like Space: All about Our Solar System

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

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

Who am I?

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?

This is a great book to start your little ones on their very first space adventure. Tish Rabe takes the Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat character on a journey to teach children about the planets, the moon, and the sun. But it doesn’t stop there! The book also touches on famous constellations, the moon landing, and lots of cool and wacky facts about the solar system. Neptune’s bright blue color and Saturn’s incredible lightness are just a few of the fun snippets of space knowledge scattered throughout the book. Wonderful illustrations combined with whimsical prose will keep young readers turning the pages. 

“But there’s a lot to discover, and it might be you who looks up in the sky and finds something that’s new!”

By Tish Rabe, Aristides Ruiz (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked There's No Place Like Space as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

The Cat in the Hat takes readers on an out of this world reading adventure through outer space! The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library is a nonfiction picture book series that introduces beginning readers ages 5-8 to important basic concepts.

Learn about the solar system, planets, the constellations, and astronauts, and explore the wonders of space with the help of everyone' favorite Cat in the Hat! Perfect for aspiring astraunauts, or any kid who loves learning and science.

The universe is a mysterious place. We are only just learning what happens in space.

Featuring beloved characters from Dr. Seuss's…


Book cover of Moon's First Friends: One Giant Leap for Friendship

Katie Munday Williams Author Of Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America's First Published Poet

From my list on astronomy stories for children.

Who am I?

I am a nurse, mother, and writer, and as such, consider myself a life-learner. When my children come to me with questions, I love being able to grab a beautiful picture book to begin exploring whatever topic is on their minds. I can’t answer all their questions perfectly, but I enjoy searching for the answers with them and hope to impart that love of learning as they grow. Astronomy has always fascinated me, and the books I’ve picked do a fantastic job of discussing everything from gravity to aliens to the first African-American female in space. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have!

Katie's book list on astronomy stories for children

Katie Munday Williams Why did Katie love this book?

I absolutely adore this book for a few key reasons. I fell in love with the premise of a lonely Moon on the lookout for new friends--who hasn’t felt that way before? The author does an incredible job of weaving in facts about the first modes of transportation while keeping the book fun and relatable to children. The illustrations are beautiful and by the end of the book you’ll definitely be rooting for Moon to get her first visitors.

By Susanna Leonard Hill, Elisa Paganelli (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Moon's First Friends as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Bestseller!
A heartwarming story of a friendship-seeking moon that also celebrates the extraordinary 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing!
From high up in the sky, the Moon has spent her whole life watching Earth and hoping for someone to visit. Dinosaurs roam, pyramids are built, and boats are made, but still no one comes. Will friends ever come visit her?
One day a spaceship soars from Earth...and so does her heart.
Includes bonus educational pages about the moon mission!


Book cover of Moonbound: Apollo 11 and the Dream of Spaceflight

David Hitt Author Of Homesteading Space: The Skylab Story

From my list on for a graphic novel exploration of space.

Who am I?

When I was five years old, my father sat down with me in front of the television and we watched together as the Space Shuttle Columbia launched for the first time. Four decades later, I’ve authored a history of those early shuttle missions, been a part of developing future space missions, and, most importantly of all, watched several space firsts with my own son. Space exploration is humanity at its greatest – working together using the best of our abilities to overcome incredible challenges and improve life here on Earth – and I’m always grateful for the opportunity to share that inspiration with others.

David's book list on for a graphic novel exploration of space

David Hitt Why did David love this book?

If you’re exploring space history, Apollo 11 is THE moment above all others – the first footsteps on another world. In Moonbound, Fetter-Vorm both captures and contextualizes that moment brilliantly, using the words of the astronauts themselves to share the story of the mission, while also giving the big picture that got them there – in the process unpacking everything from Galileo to the layers of a spacesuit.

By Jonathan Fetter-Vorm,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On a summer night in 1969, two men climbed down a ladder onto a sea of dust at the edge of an ancient dream. When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first set foot on lunar soil, the moon ceased to be a place of mystery and myth. It became a destination.

Now, on the fiftieth anniversary of that journey, Moonbound tells the monumental story of the moon and the men who went there first. With vibrant images and meticulous attention to detail, Jonathan Fetter-Vorm conjures the long history of the visionaries, stargazers, builders, and adventurers who sent Apollo 11 on…


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.

Who am I?

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.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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