The best books about gravity

Many authors have picked their favorite books about gravity and why they recommend each book.

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Raft

By Stephen Baxter,

Book cover of Raft

Raft is an amazing hard sci-fi story that one cannot help but binge-read. It's set in a fascinating, intricately-crafted universe that is sci-fi gold. It immerses readers in an alternate reality where the very laws of physics are different; the effects of which manifest in strange, unexpected ways throughout the story. There are dynamic characters, artistic unity, and real-life social parallels despite the story's dystopian society.


Who am I?

As a massive nerd from a very young age, I have always gravitated towards science and sci-fi stories. When it comes to YA and NA novels, most tend to be dystopian fiction or borrow heavily from fantasy. Hard sci-fi scenarios and real scientific speculation are hard to come by. When well-researched science meets an awesome storyline, that is my definition of perfection—what I love reading and also what I strive for as a writer


I wrote...

Komoreby

By Su Vida,

Book cover of Komoreby

What is my book about?

Follow the tale of Evanna, a petite gamer girl, when she moves to a glamorous eco-city called Komoreby. Reunited with her childhood bestie at the prestigious Komoreby High, it's the adventure of her life!

When the very first day spirals to rock bottom, she thinks life can't get any worse—until a school tour of the city's gargantuan particle collider takes a bizarre turn. Now she's zipped into a warped new reality with draconian rules that control her every move. To find her way home, she must delve into a rabbit hole of quantum physics and navigate a social web with a mysterious rocker guy she's relentlessly drawn to. 

The Cloudspotter's Guide

By Gavin Pretor-Pinney,

Book cover of The Cloudspotter's Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds

Everything about this book is wonderful. It is science and philosophy and joie de vivre and sarcasm and a mad appreciation for nature’s vagaries and human foibles, and if you have a garden or a terrace or even a window in your life, you need it. The sky will never be the same. Gravity-defying because…well, just look up.


Who am I?

My book is ostensibly about rape. But it’s mostly about breaking out of the way we are taught to think, about turning things inside-out and checking out the hidden parts, about joy and rage and unexpected twists. So I am attracted to anyone who does this: defies gravity, finding monsters in clouds, and salvation in birds.


I wrote...

What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape

By Sohaila Abdulali,

Book cover of What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape

What is my book about?

After surviving gang-rape at seventeen in Mumbai, Sohaila Abdulali was indignant about the deafening silence that followed and wrote a fiery piece about the perception of rape--and rape victims--for a women's magazine. Thirty years later, with no notice, her article reappeared and went viral in the wake of the 2012 fatal gang-rape in New Delhi, prompting her to write a New York Times op-ed about healing from rape that was widely circulated. Now, Abdulali has written What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape--a thoughtful, generous, unflinching look at rape and rape culture.

Planet Kindergarten

By Sue Ganz-Schmitt, Shane Prigmore (illustrator),

Book cover of Planet Kindergarten

In this brilliant book, the author draws parallels between the first day of kindergarten and a space mission – it turns out the two are not that different, after all. There are gravity issues in kindergarten as well, with kids trying hard to stay in their seats, and hands flying up. There’s the equivalent commander in the teacher, mission control in the principal, crewmates, experiments, and a flight plan! Peppered with space lingo, this charming book is double the reading pleasure, with its combined introduction to space and kindergarten. I am all set for kindergarten now. Can’t wait! Again, a great read for little humans.

Who am I?

Who doesn’t like space? I love learning about space! Tip: Picture books are easier to comprehend compared to graduate courses – there’s only so much of Newton-Euler dynamics, inertia tensors, eccentricity vectors, etc. one can handle. Plus, there are no nasty mind-boggling equations in picture books. I mean, do you really want to calculate the maximum flight path angle and the true anomaly at which it occurs? Or solve Kepler’s equations for hyperbolic eccentric anomaly? No, right? Always stick to the picture book if you have a choice! I mentioned some fun picture books (fiction and non-fiction) with amusing or complementing illustrations that helped me on my journey to understanding space. Enjoy!


I wrote...

Simon's Skin

By Nidhi Kamra, Diane Brown (illustrator),

Book cover of Simon's Skin

What is my book about?

Simon thinks his skin is bo-rring. Simon doesn't like boring. So, he tries on different skins, and to his surprise, each comes with its own challenge. Simon soon makes a pleasant discovery about his own skin. This book is about a little boy who discovers he is perfect the way he is.

If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon

By Joyce Lapin, Simona Ceccarelli (illustrator),

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

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.


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!


I wrote...

Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America's First Published Poet

By Katie Munday Williams, Tania Rex (illustrator),

Book cover of Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America's First Published Poet

What is my book about?

The inspiring story of a Puritan woman whose passion for writing poetry broke barriers. Late at night, with her children tucked into bed and her husband away on business, Anne Dudley Bradstreet composed poems by candlelight. She let her thoughts from the day tumble out, memorizing each poem line by line before daring to shape the words onto scraps of scarce parchment. Puritan women in the 1600s weren't allowed to be writers. But when the world learned about Anne's poetry, even she was astonished by what happened next.

This charmingly illustrated picture book tells the inspiring story of how a Puritan woman overcame the obstacles facing women of her era to become one of the most famous poets in history. A gifted writer of deep faith, Anne Bradstreet blazed a trail for the rights of women to study, write, and achieve.

An Egg Is Quiet

By Dianna Hutts Aston, Sylvia Long (illustrator),

Book cover of An Egg Is Quiet

It’s amazing to think about a bird’s egg, so fragile, often defying gravity from great heights in a nest, as the life force necessary for a bird’s survival. Stopping to note the little and magnificent things in the natural world truly inspires a sense of curiosity and wonder, and that is what the picture book, An Egg is Quiet, brings to readers.  There’s no better way to get to know a bird’s egg  - really know the genius of nature – as shared by Dianna Aston’s poetic words and Sylvia Long’s detailed and stunning illustrations.


Who am I?

I’m the author of more than 25 award-winning books for children, including Mama Built a Little Nest, illustrated by Steve Jenkins, and I Love Birds! 52 Ways to Wonder, Wander and Explore Birds with Kids, illustrated by Alexander Vidal. When not writing, I help rehabilitate injured and orphaned songbirds, I study bird behavior, and I further my knowledge about birds through books and scholarly journals. Birds offer a constant source of discovery and wonder. I hope the books I’ve recommended offer a source of discovery and wonder for your young readers, too!


I wrote...

How to Find a Bird

By Jennifer Ward, Diana Sudyka (illustrator),

Book cover of How to Find a Bird

What is my book about?

This book is about the many wonderful ways a child may find a bird. They may begin by watching for them. And listening for them. And staying quiet, so quiet they can hear their own heartbeat. Children will soon discover that birds are everywhere - up in the sky, down on the ground, and sometimes right in front of them, just waiting to be discovered! This book features more than fifty species of birds, lushly illustrated by Diana Sudyka, and is a joyful and informative story to inspire budding young birders.

Awakening the Spine

By Vanda Scaravelli,

Book cover of Awakening the Spine: Yoga for Health, Vitality and Energy

Visually enticing, this book provides an innovative approach to yoga based on gravity and the spine. Care for your spine and you care for yourself. Scaravelli, a student of Desikachar, Iyengar, and the philosopher Krishnamurti connects the body to nature. The spine of a leaf resembles the human spine, an ocean wave, or the undulation of a back bend. We are nature, not separate from it. This book is full of stories, ancient myths, and her own blunt advice: “Do not kill the instinct of the body for the glory of the pose.” The yoga photos of Scaravelli in her later years will inspire you to keep up your practice. This book reminds me that yoga can be serious, joyful, and immediate all at once. Everything I need is already here.


Who am I?

A writer, yoga teacher, and somatic psychologist, I’ve been passionate about yoga and the sacred arts ever since I encountered, on my parent’s bookshelf, the awe-inspiring art catalogue, The Manifestations of Shiva, an exhibit curated by the late, great art historian Stella Kramrisch. An adjunct faculty member in the Somatics MA program at the California Institute of Integral Arts, I have lived and traveled extensively throughout India, studying yoga there, and teaching in the U.S. In Berkeley, I write fiction and maintain a private psychology practice, incorporating yoga as a tool for nervous system regulation and embodied wellbeing. I also lead local and international yoga retreats. 


I wrote...

365 Yoga: Daily Meditations

By Julie Rappaport,

Book cover of 365 Yoga: Daily Meditations

What is my book about?

365 Yoga is a daily companion for your yoga practice. Filled with thought-provoking and inspiring quotations from the greatest yogic texts and spiritual teachers throughout history, as well as invaluable instruction on specific practices, it is an essential resource for anyone who practices yoga or meditation. A celebration of the powerful practice that is yoga, this book guides readers - day by day - through centuries of philosophy and themes. 365 Yoga infuses yoga practice with a deeper understanding of the intricate connection of mind, body, and spirit.

Stalking the Wild Pendulum

By Itzhak Bentov,

Book cover of Stalking the Wild Pendulum: On the Mechanics of Consciousness

It is possible to understand a fact intellectually while being unable to viscerally believe it, such as the proven reality that time slows down in conditions of extreme velocity or gravity (thanks, Dr. Einstein). In a scholarly yet friendly and appealing manner, Bentov explains and illustrates some of these surreal realities, including the myth of linear time, the existence of multiple dimensions, and the infinitude of the psyche.


Who am I?

I'm a PEN Award-winning historian of alternative spirituality and a writer-in-residence at the New York Public Library. I track the impact and substance of supernatural beliefs—a source of fascination since my Queens, NY, boyhood—in books including Occult America, The Miracle Club, and Uncertain Places. I often say that if you do not write your own history, it gets written for you—usually by people who may not care about or even understand the values that emanate from your work. Given my personal dedication to the spiritual search, I call myself a believing historian (which most historians of religion actually are). I labor to explore the lives, ideas, and practices behind esoteric spirituality.


I wrote...

Daydream Believer: Unlocking the Ultimate Power of Your Mind

By Mitch Horowitz,

Book cover of Daydream Believer: Unlocking the Ultimate Power of Your Mind

What is my book about?

My latest book is Daydream Believer. In it, I consider—from the perspective of both intellectual history and practical methodology—the prospect of thought causation, or what is sometimes called New Thought. This is the philosophy behind pop-spiritual ideas like the Law of Attraction and the power of positive thinking—flawed notions that nonetheless display an instinct for some of the underlying abilities of human nature, as seen in today’s most ambitious studies of the placebo response, neuroplasticity, psychical research, and interpretations of quantum mechanics and inter-dimensionality. Daydream Believer responds to the ablest critics of New Age ideas, such as social historian Christopher Lasch, and explores the validity of academic ESP research, which forms the basis for some of the books listed here.

Bookshelves related to gravity