100 books like Two Sides of the Moon

By David Scott, Alexei Leonov, Christine Toomey

Here are 100 books that Two Sides of the Moon fans have personally recommended if you like Two Sides of 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 Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module

Don Eyles Author Of Sunburst and Luminary: An Apollo Memoir

From my list on by Apollo insiders.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have read most of the books written about Apollo, especially those ostensibly written by my fellow participants. I have read these books for pleasure, to find out about parts of the moon effort that I did not see first-hand, and to learn what I could from the authors’ mistakes and successes — with a view to the writing of my own book. The books I have come to value the most are the books that seem to have been created for some other reason than commercial gain, the books unmarred by ghostwriting or heavy-handed editing, the books where the author’s authentic voice speaks from the page.

Don's book list on by Apollo insiders

Don Eyles Why did Don love this book?

I visited Grumman in Bethpage, New York after Apollo 14 and had the rare privilege of entering the cavernous cleanroom where the final moon landers were being assembled. Grumman loved me because my software fix had kept their defective switch from ruining the mission. I believe Tom Kelly was at the table in the executive dining room that day. His book is a gritty account of how, finally, after many failures, many frustrations, NASA pressure, managerial chest-thumping, test and retest, the lunar modules were finally delivered. Even the book’s flaws are interesting, such as how he spins certain inflight events, of which I believe my own account is more balanced.

By Thomas J. Kelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Chief engineer Thomas J. Kelly gives a firsthand account of designing, building, testing, and flying the Apollo lunar module. It was, he writes, “an aerospace engineer’s dream job of the century.” Kelly’s account begins with the imaginative process of sketching solutions to a host of technical challenges with an emphasis on safety, reliability, and maintainability. He catalogs numerous test failures, including propulsion-system leaks, ascent-engine instability, stress corrosion of the aluminum alloy parts, and battery problems, as well as their fixes under the ever-present constraints of budget and schedule. He also recaptures the exhilaration of hearing Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong report…


Book cover of Journey to the Moon (Library of Flight)

Don Eyles Author Of Sunburst and Luminary: An Apollo Memoir

From my list on by Apollo insiders.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have read most of the books written about Apollo, especially those ostensibly written by my fellow participants. I have read these books for pleasure, to find out about parts of the moon effort that I did not see first-hand, and to learn what I could from the authors’ mistakes and successes — with a view to the writing of my own book. The books I have come to value the most are the books that seem to have been created for some other reason than commercial gain, the books unmarred by ghostwriting or heavy-handed editing, the books where the author’s authentic voice speaks from the page.

Don's book list on by Apollo insiders

Don Eyles Why did Don love this book?

Eldon Hall led the development of the Apollo Guidance Computer, that one-cubic-foot device with 76kb of memory that navigated, guided, and controlled each of the Apollo spacecraft — the machine that I helped program. His book is both a detailed description of the Apollo computer and a history of its development. The most dramatic chapter chronicles the bold decision to use integrated circuits in the design of the computer — all of the same type, to encourage the vendor to keep making them — although that technology was then anything but reliable. 

By Eldon C. Hall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Journey to the Moon (Library of Flight) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first of its kind, Journey to the Moon details the history and design of the computer that enabled U.S. astronauts to land on the moon. The book recalls the history of computer technology, both hardware and software, and the applications of digital computing to missile guidance systems and manned spacecraft. The book also offers graphics and photos drawn from the Draper Laboratories' archives that illustrate the technology and related events during the Apollo project. Written for experts as well as lay persons, Journey to the Moon is the first book of its kind and a must for anyone interested…


Book cover of All-American Boys

Don Eyles Author Of Sunburst and Luminary: An Apollo Memoir

From my list on by Apollo insiders.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have read most of the books written about Apollo, especially those ostensibly written by my fellow participants. I have read these books for pleasure, to find out about parts of the moon effort that I did not see first-hand, and to learn what I could from the authors’ mistakes and successes — with a view to the writing of my own book. The books I have come to value the most are the books that seem to have been created for some other reason than commercial gain, the books unmarred by ghostwriting or heavy-handed editing, the books where the author’s authentic voice speaks from the page.

Don's book list on by Apollo insiders

Don Eyles Why did Don love this book?

Cunningham was one of those mean little SOBs, and his attitude was hardly improved when his astronaut career was torpedoed by the bad behavior of his mission commander on Apollo 7, Wally Schirra, which tainted the entire crew for the NASA brass. It turns out that Cunningham could also write, and the result is this pungent memoir — the title is loaded with irony. It is the least constrained of all the astronaut memoirs, unmistakably in Cunningham’s own pugnacious voice. 

By Walter Cunningham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All-American Boys as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

EDITORIAL REVIEW: *The All-American Boys* is a no-holds-barred candid memoir by a former Marine jet jockey and physicist who became NASA's second civilian astronaut. Walter Cunningham presents the astronauts in all their glory in this dramatically revised and updated edition that was considered an instant classic in its first edition over two decades ago. From its insider's view of the pervasive "astropolitics" that guided the functioning of the astronaut corps to its thoughtful discussion of the Columbia tragedy, *The All-American Boys* resonates with Cunningham's passion for humanity's destiny in space which endures today. This is a story of the triumph…


Book cover of The Hiding Place

M.H. Sargent Author Of Seven Days From Sunday

From my list on take you to a place you’ve never been with memorable characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had been a long-time screenwriter in March of 2003 when the US invaded Iraq with overwhelming air power, and the TV news showed footage of the “shock and awe.” But I remember thinking, what is it like for the Iraqi people? Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, your country is at war. What is your life now like? Seeking to focus on an ordinary Iraqi family caught up in the war, I soon realized it was too layered for a spec screenplay and wrote it as a novel. It was the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had. 

M.H.'s book list on take you to a place you’ve never been with memorable characters

M.H. Sargent Why did M.H. love this book?

Set in Holland during WWII, this autobiography gives an up close and personal look at life in a German concentration camp.

The vivid descriptions of the horrid living conditions and prevailing illnesses made me feel like I was there. Most memorable was the discussion of the flea-infested straw bedding and the notion of being thankful for the fleas. The author and her sister were devout Christians, but why be thankful for fleas? However, the guards left the women alone because of the fleas.

I will also always remember how the author was given a small bottle of liquid vitamin D and how she never hesitated to share it with the sick, yet it never ran dry. She makes it clear this was God’s work. 

By Corrie Ten Boom, Elizabeth Sherrill, John Sherrill , Tim Foley (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked The Hiding Place as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

The True Story of a Real-Life Hero

It's World War II. Darkness has fallen over Europe as the Nazis spread hatred, fear and war across the globe. But on a quiet city corner in the Netherlands, one woman fights against the darkness.

In her quiet watchmaking shop, she and her family risk their lives to hide Jews, and others hunted by the Nazis, in a secret room, a "hiding place" that they built in the old building.

One day, however, Corrie and her family are betrayed. They're captured and sent to the notorious Nazi concentration camps to die. Yet even…


Book cover of Smiley's People

Ray C Doyle Author Of The Defector's Diary

From my list on mystery thrillers ripped from news headlines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I guess my real interest in writing about the good and bad in crime and politics and the good and bad characters involved started with my first job as a junior in a local newspaper. The 60s was a time of great change. I was in the right place at the right time and got involved in reporting local government politics. I graduated later to cover Britain’s role within the EU in Brussels. I was fascinated, not so much by the politics but by the politicians and fellow news reporters involved. They inspired the creation of my fictional character, Pete West, a hardboiled political columnist. 

Ray's book list on mystery thrillers ripped from news headlines

Ray C Doyle Why did Ray love this book?

The first and best of my list from the master spy himself.

It is a complicated plot that is skillfully and gradually laid bare in what starts as a murder investigation by a retired MI6 agent and ends as a political coup for the ‘Circus’ (MI6).

A great read from the start; I think this is one of Le Carre’s best and one that helped influence me in my writing. The book is much better than the TV or movie versions, and le Carre’s characterisation of Smiley is superb.

By John le Carré,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Smiley's People as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Our Kind of Traitor; and The Night Manager, now a television series starring Tom Hiddleston.

Tell Max that it concerns the Sandman...

A very junior agent answers Vladimir's call, but it could have been the Chief of the Circus himself. No one at the British Secret Service considers the old spy to be anything except a senile has-been who can't give up the game-until he's shot in the face at point-blank range. Although George Smiley (code name: Max) is officially retired, he's summoned to identify the body now…


Book cover of Armed Truce: The Beginnings of the Cold War 1945-1946

Robert D. Kaplan Author Of In Europe's Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond

From my list on the Cold War from a journalist who lived it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my career as a foreign correspondent in Cold War Eastern Europe, under communist domination. I lived in Greece, a Cold War battleground, in the 1980s, from where I made regular forays into the Balkans and Central Europe. Those journeys left a vivid, lifelong impression on me.

Robert's book list on the Cold War from a journalist who lived it

Robert D. Kaplan Why did Robert love this book?

This is a somewhat obscure work, a massive book that apparently did not sell well. But it offers a blow-by-blow description by a great British historian about how the Cold War started, and demonstrates how it was principally Stalin's actions that led to World War II morphing into a cold war.

By Hugh Thomas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Provides an account of the first years of the Cold War, with insights into the state of the world after the Second World War and vivid portraits of such personalities as Stalin, Beria, Churchill, Roosevelt, deGaulle, and Truman


Book cover of The Cold War: A World History

Robert D. Kaplan Author Of In Europe's Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond

From my list on the Cold War from a journalist who lived it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my career as a foreign correspondent in Cold War Eastern Europe, under communist domination. I lived in Greece, a Cold War battleground, in the 1980s, from where I made regular forays into the Balkans and Central Europe. Those journeys left a vivid, lifelong impression on me.

Robert's book list on the Cold War from a journalist who lived it

Robert D. Kaplan Why did Robert love this book?

This is a thick history of the Cold War that breaks new ground in that it shifts the emphasis from Europe, where the Cold War started and ended, to the Third World where it was actually fought in a bloody manner through a series of proxy wars, large and small.

By Odd Arne Westad,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Cold War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Odd Arne Westad's daring ambition, supra-nationalist intellect, polyglot sources, masterly scholarship and trenchant analysis make The Cold War a book ofresounding importance for appraising our global future as well as understanding our past' Richard Davenport-Hines, TLS, Books of the Year

As Germany and then Japan surrendered in 1945 there was a tremendous hope that a new and much better world could be created from the moral and physical ruins of the conflict. Instead, the combination of the huge power of the USA and USSR and the near-total collapse of most of their rivals created a unique, grim new environment: the…


Book cover of The Bedford Incident

James G. Stavridis Author Of To Risk It All: Nine Conflicts and the Crucible of Decision

From my list on to help you make decisions under extreme pressure.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired 4-star Admiral who spent over forty years at sea, rising from Midshipman at the Naval Academy to Supreme Allied Commander at NATO. Along the way, I served in and commanded destroyers, cruisers, and aircraft carriers in combat, and I have faced many very difficult decisions under extreme pressure. In addition, I’ve been in the Pentagon for many assignments, including as Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense – which also created countless high-pressure decisions. What I learned in the Navy has helped me again and again in calculating risk and making the right decisions. 

James' book list on to help you make decisions under extreme pressure

James G. Stavridis Why did James love this book?

Set in the days of the full US-Soviet Cold War, this novel shows us a cat-and-mouse game played in the icy waters of the North Atlantic between an American destroyer and a Russian nuclear submarine. Nuclear weapons, the possibility of global war, and the extreme stress of decision-making under pressure are featured in a highly readable story. When I was an anti-submarine officer on a destroyer in the Cold War, I would literally wake up at night in a cold sweat about the possibilities of this kind of nightmare scenario unfolding due to a junior officer making a tragic mistake.

By Mark Rascovich,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is a novel of the sea, and it is told with a skill that merits comparison with the best. It consists of three parts:

The War is the cold war of the 1960’s, but on a little-publicized and bleakly isolated front where opposing naval forces secretly maneuver against each other in the eternally empty reaches of the Arctic Ocean. Here they contest for strategic stakes as vital as those of Berlin or Viet Nam.

The Chase is by a modern American destroyer on the track of a Soviet submarine whose mission is to probe NATO defenses based on Greenland.…


Book cover of Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security--From World War II to the War on Terrorism

Andrew Payne Author Of War on the Ballot: How the Election Cycle Shapes Presidential Decision-Making in War

From my list on the politics of war.

Why am I passionate about this?

I take great pride in having somehow turned a passion for visiting presidential libraries into an academic career. I’ve now conducted extensive research at eight of them, and have future projects lined up to get me to the rest. This experience means I can and frequently do ruin family gatherings by challenging distant relations to quizzes about obscure details involving presidential pets. But it has also left me well-placed to write a number of articles and books exploring how domestic politics shapes the development and execution of U.S. foreign policy. I’ve done this while affiliated with the University of Oxford and, more recently, at City, University of London. 

Andrew's book list on the politics of war

Andrew Payne Why did Andrew love this book?

This book expands the horizon to include coverage of many of the crises and conflicts of the post-Cold War era. In doing so, it draws on an unusually rich range of primary sources for a book of this scope.

Its treatment of the role played by Congress is particularly notable, which should perhaps be no surprise given the author’s expertise in chronicling several of the major legislative battles in U.S. history. Somehow still coming in around the 500-page mark, the book’s briskly paced narrative makes it possible to devour it in one sitting. Indeed, you might find it hard not to. 

By Julian E. Zelizer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Arsenal of Democracy , historian and public intellectual Julian Zelizer shows how internal politics have influenced American foreign policy since the Cold War. Rejecting the notion that, prior to the presidency of George W. Bush, politics stopped at the water's edge," Zelizer exposes the partisan fighting that shaped the foreign policies of presidents from FDR to Kennedy to Reagan, revealing the extent to which the GOP and Democratic party have alternately sought to define themselves as the party of war and the party of peace as the political mood shifted. Republicans, he shows, have not always been hawks during…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Cold War, space race, and presidential biography?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Cold War, space race, and presidential biography.

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