The best 35 Space books

Space has always captivated human imagination and fueled our desire to explore the cosmos. As our understanding of the universe expands, so does our curiosity. Our curated list of books on this fascinating topic aims to satisfy that curiosity.

These books cover various aspects of space, from astronomy to space travel, offering insights into the wonders of the universe. Whether you're a novice stargazer or an avid space enthusiast, this list has something for everyone. So, are you ready to embark on a cosmic journey and uncover the mysteries of the universe?
On the Origin of Time

On the Origin of Time

Thomas Hertog
Stephen Hawking's Final Theory
4.7 (300 ratings)

What's On the Origin of Time about?

On the Origin of Time (2023) guides you through the humbling, stranger-than-fiction theories that the late physicist Stephen Hawking developed in the last two decades of his life. With quantum physics, holograms, and inspiration from Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory, it reveals what the great scientist came to believe about the origins of the universe.

Who should read On the Origin of Time?

  • Those curious about the origins of space and time
  • People fascinated by the multiverse

Anyone familiar with A Brief History of Time

A Brief History of Time

A Brief History of Time

Stephen Hawking
From the Big Bang to Black Holes
4.5 (425 ratings)

What's A Brief History of Time about?

A Brief History of Time (1988) takes a look at both the history of scientific theory and the ideas that form our understanding of the universe today. From big bangs and black holes to the smallest particles in the universe, Hawking offers a clear overview of both the history of the universe and the complex science behind it, all presented in a way that even readers who are being introduced to these ideas for the first time will understand.

Who should read A Brief History of Time?

  • Anyone who wonders how the universe began
  • Anyone who wonders what quantum mechanics is
  • Anyone interested how black holes work

Why the Universe Is the Way It Is

Why the Universe Is the Way It Is

Hugh Ross
Using Science and Scripture to Answer Humanity’s Big Questions
3.8 (65 ratings)

What's Why the Universe Is the Way It Is about?

Why The Universe Is the Way It Is (2008) takes you on a cosmic journey from the Big Bang to the mysteries of time, all while exploring the universe's beauty and complexity. With a perfect balance of science and theology, it's a must-read for the curious and contemplative.

Who should read Why the Universe Is the Way It Is?

  • Curious cosmic explorers
  • Theological scientists
  • “Big picture” modern philosophers

Starry Messenger

Starry Messenger

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization
4.4 (384 ratings)

What's Starry Messenger about?

Starry Messenger (2022) is about a way of looking at the world called the cosmic perspective. It’s the view that opens up when we think about human life in its largest possible context – that of the universe itself. This isn’t an exercise in making our worldly affairs seem small and trivial, though. It’s about unlocking insights that can help us live more happily and meaningfully on the cosmic anomaly we call Earth.

Who should read Starry Messenger?

  • Thinkers and stargazers
  • Politicos interested in new ways of looking at old questions
  • Scientists and rationalists

The Big Picture

The Big Picture

Sean M. Carroll
On the Origins of Life, Meaning and the Universe Itself
4.1 (329 ratings)

What's The Big Picture about?

The Big Picture (2016) is an ambitious look at the world as we know it and how scientific thinking can be used to make sense of most of it. An insightful examination of the origins of life, consciousness and the universe itself, this book gives readers a deductive way of considering the most challenging questions that philosophy, physics and biology have to offer.

Who should read The Big Picture?

  • Philosophical buffs
  • Students and fans of physics
  • Anyone interested in biology and evolutionary theory

Welcome to the Universe

Welcome to the Universe

Neil deGrasse Tyson
An Astrophysical Tour
4.8 (335 ratings)

What's Welcome to the Universe about?

Welcome to the Universe (2016) is a mind-blowing and breathtaking introduction to astrophysics, based on the popular course the three authors cotaught at Princeton University. It takes everyone –⁠ even the nonscience-minded –⁠ on a trip through the known universe, stopping to examine stars, galaxies, black holes, and more, all while presenting fascinating theories regarding time travel, the big bang, and the prospect of life in other galaxies.

Who should read Welcome to the Universe?

  • Star-gazers who want to explore the far reaches of the universe
  • Budding astrophysicists and astronomers
  • Anyone curious about space, physics, and time

The Grand Design

The Grand Design

Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow
How science unlocked the secrets of the universe
4.4 (241 ratings)

What's The Grand Design about?

The Grand Design (2010) tells the fascinating story of how humans came into being and how we began to use the scientific method to explain both our remarkable growth as a species and the world around us. From the foundational laws of Newton and Einstein to the mind-bending science of quantum physics, find out how far we’ve come and how close we are to answering life’s big questions.

Who should read The Grand Design?

  • Armchair philosophers
  • Science geeks who are into astronomy and physics
  • Anyone who’s ever wondered about the mysteries of life

Brief Answers to the Big Questions

Brief Answers to the Big Questions

Stephen Hawking
Hawking's final thoughts on the biggest questions facing humankind
4.5 (318 ratings)

What's Brief Answers to the Big Questions about?

Brief Answers to the Big Questions (2018) addresses some of our universe’s most fundamental questions from a uniquely humanist perspective. By merging scientific history with humanity’s future, the book dashes from the origins of the universe and the inside of black holes, to human space exploration and the dangers of artificial intelligence in a grand and sweeping narrative.

Who should read Brief Answers to the Big Questions?

  • Anyone curious about what came before the Big Bang
  • People wondering what a black hole is
  • Humans concerned about superintelligent AI

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Carlo Rovelli
A mind-bending introduction to modern physics
4.4 (275 ratings)

What's Seven Brief Lessons on Physics about?

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics (2014) is an informative guide to how we arrived at the two pillars of modern physics: Einstein’s theory of general relativity and quantum mechanics. Author Carlo Rovelli describes the wondrous world opened up by these two theories, including the secrets they’ve revealed and the mysteries and paradoxes they’ve exposed.

Who should read Seven Brief Lessons on Physics?

  • Curious people who want to know more about how the universe works
  • Students who want an introduction to quantum physics
  • Scientists, physicists and mathematicians



Carl Sagan
One small step toward understanding the greatness of the universe
4.4 (196 ratings)

What's Cosmos about?

Cosmos (1980) is a milestone in popular science. It shows us the basic concepts behind our understanding of the universe, what the planets and the stars look like and how our comprehension of them has changed and evolved.

Who should read Cosmos?

  • Humanities students unsure of what gets scientists going
  • Lovers of science fiction
  • Anyone who’s ever looked up at the sky

The God Equation

The God Equation

Michio Kaku
The Quest for a Theory of Everything
4.6 (301 ratings)

What's The God Equation about?

The God Equation (2021) is an approachable look at the history and present of theoretical physics. This primer untangles the science behind relativity, string theory, and the search for the elusive “theory of everything.”

Who should read The God Equation?

  • Science enthusiasts interested in the tiniest scales of physics
  • Freethinkers asking the big question about the universe
  • Anyone curious about the structure of reality

Reality Is Not What It Seems

Reality Is Not What It Seems

Carlo Rovelli
The Journey to Quantum Gravity
4.5 (196 ratings)

What's Reality Is Not What It Seems about?

Reality Is Not What It Seems (2014) offers a quick overview of the long journey modern science has taken from the cosmic observations of ancient Greece to the heady theories of quantum mechanics. These blinks offer an easily digestible take on the many twists and turns that have occurred in the history of modern physics, as well as an overview of the tricky questions physicists continue to grapple with today.

Who should read Reality Is Not What It Seems?

  • Science geeks and curious minds
  • Students and practitioners in the field of physics
  • Anyone who wants to know the secrets of the universe



Frank Herbert
An Epic Science Fiction Novel on the Politics of Humanity
4.3 (173 ratings)

What's Dune about?

Dune (1965) is a modern epic, often considered the greatest sci-fi novel of all time. Set in a distant future, it follows the story of Paul, son of the noble Duke Leto of Atreides, as he adapts to life on Arrakis – his family’s new dominion. The desert planet is highly contested as it’s the source of a valuable commodity called spice. Soon, Paul must join the native desert people in an epic battle against the power-hungry enemies of Arrakis. 

Who should read Dune?

  • Sci-fi and fantasy devotees 
  • Anyone interested in stories about politics, ecology, and power 
  • Timothée Chalamet superfans

The Magic of Reality

The Magic of Reality

Richard Dawkins
How We Know What’s Really True
4.4 (124 ratings)

What's The Magic of Reality about?

The Magic of Reality (2011) offers an introduction to scientific thinking by going through the ways scientists have explained natural phenomena once thought to be supernatural. Whether shedding light on the building blocks of the universe or explaining the origins of life, scientific reasoning has an answer.

Who should read The Magic of Reality?

  • Those curious about what the world is made of
  • People who like to look at stars
  • Skeptics wondering how we can be sure of what we know

The Biggest Ideas in the Universe

The Biggest Ideas in the Universe

Sean Carroll
Space, Time, and Motion
3.9 (65 ratings)

What's The Biggest Ideas in the Universe about?

Space, Time, and Motion (2022) is the first of a three-part series titled The Biggest Ideas in the Universe. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sean Carroll began producing videos that explained some of the biggest ideas and concepts of modern physics – and the equations which support them. He produced 24 videos in all and then developed the book series from that material.

Who should read The Biggest Ideas in the Universe?

  • Physics buffs
  • Paradoxical twins looking for an answer
  • Anyone looking for an overview of the concepts of space, time, and spacetime

Physics of the Impossible

Physics of the Impossible

Michio Kaku
A Scientific Exploration of the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation and Time Travel
4.5 (104 ratings)

What's Physics of the Impossible about?

Just how unrealistic is the technology we see in sci-fi novels and television shows? In Physics of the Impossible (2008), renowned physicist Michio Kaku takes a mind-bending look into how far away we really are from such fantastical notions as starships traveling faster than the speed of light or teleporting to different planets.

Who should read Physics of the Impossible?

  • Anyone interested in the future of technology
  • Sci-fi fans curious about the science behind their favorite TV series and movies
  • Anyone interested in astrophysics

The Future of Humanity

The Future of Humanity

Michio Kaku
Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth
4.4 (86 ratings)

What's The Future of Humanity about?

The Future of Humanity (2018) explores the challenges we face finding new homes on other, potentially hostile, planets. As physicist Michio Kaku shows us, this scenario is no longer science fiction, but rather a very pressing concern for scientists and future-minded entrepreneurs. Kaku presents the options currently being explored as well as the many problems that are on the verge of being solved.

Who should read The Future of Humanity?

  • Fans of speculative science
  • Students of physics and planetary science
  • Astronomy enthusiasts

The Order of Time

The Order of Time

Carlo Rovelli
A trip through time with a leading theoretical physicist
4.6 (165 ratings)

What's The Order of Time about?

The Order of Time (2017) unpacks the latest research in physics to turn our everyday concept of time on its head. What we perceive and experience as a linear movement, from past to present and into the future, is little more than a trick of the mind. The reality, Carlo Rovelli shows, is a whole lot more interesting and bizarre.

Who should read The Order of Time?

  • Science lovers, physicists and philosophers
  • Anyone curious about the world
  • Those seeking to understand what time is and what it isn’t



John Hands
Human Evolution from the Origin of the Universe
3.9 (67 ratings)

What's Cosmosapiens about?

Cosmosapiens (2015) is about the evolution of scientific theory – from the origin of matter and the universe to the emergence of life on Earth and the evolution of human consciousness. For centuries, we’ve been struggling to find out who we are and why we’re here. Learn about the progress we’ve made toward answering these important questions – and about the barriers that still stand in our way.

Who should read Cosmosapiens?

  • Science nerds of all kinds
  • Students and teachers of physics, biology and scientific theory
  • People curious about our universe and how we got here

Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs

Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs

Lisa Randall
The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe
4.4 (59 ratings)

What's Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs about?

Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs (2015) takes a close look at the remarkable interconnections between Earth and the universe around it. These blinks explain how dark matter, the invisible stuff that makes up most of the universe, relates to the mass extinctions of the past and to the comets that might one day bring about another.

Who should read Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs?

  • Scientists and students of science
  • Anyone interested in how the dinosaurs became extinct
  • People curious about Earth’s early history

The Particle at the End of the Universe

The Particle at the End of the Universe

Sean Carroll
How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World
4.7 (68 ratings)

What's The Particle at the End of the Universe about?

The Particle at the End of the Universe gives you a crash course in particle physics by explaining the basics of what has become known as the “standard model.” The book also details the fascinating and exciting journey that eventually led to the discovery of the elusive Higgs boson.

Who should read The Particle at the End of the Universe?

  • Anyone interested in physics
  • Anyone who wants to learn about the origin and the characteristics of our universe
  • Anyone curious about the Large Hadron Collider and how it works



Frank Close
A must-read classic of modern science
4.5 (243 ratings)

What's Antimatter about?

Antimatter (2010) is a detailed look at one of the most mysterious and misunderstood topics in physics: antimatter. This accessible guide explains what antimatter is, how it works, and what it can teach us about the universe.

Who should read Antimatter?

  • Stargazers curious about the makeup of the universe
  • Sci-fi fans interested in the facts behind their favorite fiction
  • Anyone who has ever felt flummoxed by advanced physics

Bedtime Biography: Shoot for the Moon

Bedtime Biography: Shoot for the Moon

James Donovan
The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage of Apollo 11
4.7 (35 ratings)

What's Bedtime Biography: Shoot for the Moon about?

Narrated by Oliver Mains

Music by Federico Coderoni

Shoot for the Moon (2019) provides a riveting, wide-ranging account of the early space race. It guides you through the historic Apollo 11 mission which first landed humans on the moon, and sheds light on the legacy of the preceding missions that paved its way.

Who should read Bedtime Biography: Shoot for the Moon?

  • Anyone interested in the space race and the Cold War
  • Science geeks interested in NASA’s early endeavors
  • Future astronauts who need to do their homework

Until the End of Time

Until the End of Time

Brian Greene
Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe
4.5 (97 ratings)

What's Until the End of Time about?

Until the End of Time (2020) is an accessible, informal look at the loftiest topics of all time: time, the universe, and humanity’s never ending quest for meaning. Physicist Brian Greene begins at the very beginning – the big bang that set off this whole crazy spectacle – then zooms in to examine the evolution of human culture, from religion, language, and the arts. Finally, he zooms back out to examine what might become of the universe, and whether there might ever be a reemergence of life.

Who should read Until the End of Time?

  • Exploratory minds
  • Science buffs with a poetic streak
  • Far-futurists

The End of Everything

The End of Everything

Katie Mack
(Astrophysically Speaking)
4.5 (71 ratings)

What's The End of Everything about?

How will the universe end? Will it cool down, tear apart, or even collide with a parallel universe? The Blink to The End of Everything (2020) peers into the furthest reaches of time and space, shedding light on the ultimate end of the universe and everything in it. Drawing on the latest cutting-edge research in cosmology and particle physics, the book introduces us to five of the most likely cosmic doomsday scenarios proposed and describes what it would actually be like to experience them.

Who should read The End of Everything?

  • Casual science readers who love to probe the nature of the world we live in
  • Doomsday fanatics
  • Space enthusiasts who have a taste for cosmic weirdness

What If? 2

What If? 2

Randall Munroe
Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
4.1 (197 ratings)

What's What If? 2 about?

What If? 2 (2022) is Randall Munroe’s follow-up to the New York Times best-selling What If? Like its predecessor, it comprises Munroe’s serious scientific answers to the absurd, funny, and whimsical questions submitted to him by readers, ranging from “How big would a snowball be if rolled from the top of Mt. Everest to the bottom?” to “Could a person eat a cloud?”

Who should read What If? 2?

  • Fans of xkcd’s nerd-culture humor
  • People who love science but don’t take it too seriously
  • Anyone who’s ever wondered what would happen if Jupiter were shrunk to the size of a suburban house



Avi Loeb
The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth
4.5 (134 ratings)

What's Extraterrestrial about?

Extraterrestrial (2021) is an examination of ‘Oumuamua, the first interstellar object ever detected. This provocative overview argues that this strange object could be a piece of alien technology. 

Who should read Extraterrestrial?

  • Amateur astronomers fascinated by ‘Oumuamua
  • Sci-fi fans interested in a little science fact
  • Anyone who wants to believe in life beyond Earth



Guido Tonelli
The Ultimate Origin Story
4.4 (85 ratings)

What's Genesis about?

Genesis (2019) lays out a gripping, blow-by-blow account of the first 13.8 billion years of our universe. From the mysterious initial void to the birth of the very first stars, it conjures up vistas no less dizzying than the grand creation myths of old.

Who should read Genesis?

  • Star-gazers and armchair cosmologists
  • Sci-fi fans interested in the reality of the great expanse
  • Those who wonder how everything began



Ben Moore
Past, Present and Future
4.4 (62 ratings)

What's Moon about?

Moon (2019) is a biography of the moon. It traces our relationship with our nearest interstellar neighbor – from early lunar rituals and mythology to the stunning revelations of the ancient Greeks; from the science fiction reveries of the nineteenth century all the way to the Apollo landing in 1969.

Who should read Moon?

  • Budding astronauts and astronomers
  • Buffs of human history and its relation to the moon
  • Anyone who has gazed in wonder at the night sky



Eric Berger
Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX
4.5 (119 ratings)

What's Liftoff about?

Liftoff (2021) tells the story of SpaceX’s beginnings – from the day that Elon Musk resolved to send rockets to Mars, through the first failed launch attempts on the tropical island of Omelek, to the make-or-break fourth flight. From a scrappy new venture to the world-renowned rocket company we know today, Liftoff has the inside scoop on SpaceX.

Who should read Liftoff?

  • Fans of SpaceX and Elon Musk
  • Tech enthusiasts and budding aerospace engineers
  • Would-be space explorers

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

Chris Hadfield
What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything
3.9 (60 ratings)

What's An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth about?

Test pilot and astronaut Chris Hadfield was the first Canadian to space walk, and this is his story. He offers insight into life in the space business, from training and lift-off to space research and coming home. He outlines the surprising challenges astronauts face, both off and on this planet, and offers some of the wisdom he gained from leaving our natural home and coming back down to Earth. Even if you never make it to the stars, you’ll find that we have a lot to learn from spacemen.

Who should read An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth?

  • Anyone interested in astronauts
  • Anyone who wants to know what an astronaut actually does
  • Anyone interested in space exploration

Shoot for the Moon

Shoot for the Moon

Richard Wiseman
Achieve the Impossible With the Apollo Mindset
4.4 (66 ratings)

What's Shoot for the Moon about?

Shoot for the Moon (2019) looks at the life lessons we can learn from the extraordinary people that accomplished the seemingly impossible mission of bringing mankind to the moon in 1969. This is practical and actionable advice that anyone can put to use today in order to do focused and purposeful work and achieve extraordinary things.

Who should read Shoot for the Moon?

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Project managers
  • Psychologists

Rocket Men

Rocket Men

Robert Kurson
The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon
4.5 (14 ratings)

What's Rocket Men about?

Rocket Men (2018) tells the riveting story of Apollo 8, the moon mission that put the United States ahead of the Soviet Union in the Space Race. In 1968, NASA chose to risk everything. They had to beat the Soviets to the moon, and they had just four months to do it.

Who should read Rocket Men?

  • Amateur astronomers
  • Space-exploration enthusiasts
  • People with an interest in politics and social issues of the 1960s

Rise of the Rocket Girls

Rise of the Rocket Girls

Nathalia Holt
The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars
4.5 (18 ratings)

What's Rise of the Rocket Girls about?

Rise of the Rocket Girls (2016) reveals the intriguing and enlightening stories of the women who worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It traces the laboratory from its earliest days through to modern times, from its quirky beginnings to its role as one of NASA’s most important component parts. These women were responsible for crunching numbers and the important calculations that kept the United States in the space race and helped launch rockets, satellites and probes into the farthest corners of the solar system. Their influence cannot be denied. And, more than that, it must be acknowledged.

Who should read Rise of the Rocket Girls?

  • Readers who seek strong female role models
  • Science geeks
  • Space enthusiasts

Shoot for the Moon

Shoot for the Moon

James Donovan
The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage of Apollo 11
4.6 (31 ratings)

What's Shoot for the Moon about?

Shoot for the Moon (2019) provides you with a riveting, wide-ranging account of the early space race, culminating with Apollo 11 – the mission that first landed humanity on the moon. Blasting through twelve years of space exploration, these blinks guide you through Apollo 11’s historic mission and the preparatory ones that made it happen.

Who should read Shoot for the Moon?

  • Anyone interested in the space race and the Cold War
  • Science geeks interested in NASA’s early endeavors
  • Future astronauts who need to do their homework

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