THE SCIENCE SHELF REVIEWS OF SPACE AND ASTRONOMY BOOKS
This page of the Science Shelf is a subset of the
full list of books reviewed by date for people who love books about space and astronomy.
Dear Science Readers,
This site is a continuously growing archive of my book reviews. It is self-funded, with part of the cost covered by your purchases through my Amazon.com links. Thanks to an increasing number of visitors, revenues now cover most of my cost. I appreciate your support.
As of now, not all past reviews have been added, but I will be adding them and activating their links at a steady pace. If you see the name of a book without an active link and would be interested in my review, or if you click on a link and and get an error message, please
For a time, I added books that I had seen and could recommend, but had not written reviews for. Those books are designated with an asterisk (*) below.
Readers are encouraged to
subscribe to the Science Shelf e-mail newsletter (sent roughly once a month) to tell you about new books and features added to the site. If you add your e-mail address to the Science Shelf mailing list, please be assured it will be not be shared with anyone or used for any other purpose exept to mail you information about the website.
Note: All materials on this site are the copyrighted property of Alfred B. Bortz. Individuals may print single copies of reviews or columns for their own use. For permission to publish or print multiple copies of any of the materials on this site,
please contact the author by e-mail.
Return to Science Shelf Home Page
Space book lovers may want to visit children's science writer and former NASA flight controller Marianne Dyson's webpage of reviews of children's space books.
Reviews of books in reverse chronological order by year of publication.
For the current year, the newest additions to the site are listed first.
For previous years, they are listed alphabetically by title (neglecting initial "a/an" or "the") within each year.
[Space Art] [2011 and later]      [World Year of Physics 2005]       [Before 2000]
SPACE ART BOOKS
2011 and later
Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe by Lisa Randall
First Contact: Scientific Breakthroughs in the Hunt for Life Beyond Earth by Marc Kaufman
Near-Earth Objects: Finding Them Before They Find Us by Donald K. Yeomans
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach
Pluto Confidential: An Insider Account of the Ongoing Battles Over the Status of Pluto by Laurence A. Marschall and Stephen P. Maran Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon by Craig Nelson
Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone
The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets by Alan Boss
The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Beyond UFOs: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Its Astonishing Implications for Our Future by Jeffrey Bennett
Is Pluto a Planet? A Historical Journey Through the Solar System by David A. Weintraub
Civilized Life in the Universe: Scientists on Extraterrestrial Intelligence by George Basalla
The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God by Carl Sagan, edited by Ann Druyan
Life As We Do Not Know It: The NASA Search for (and Synthesis of) Alien Life by Peter Ward
The Planets by Dava Sobel
Stargazer: The Life and Times of the Telescope by Fred Watson
Books for the World Year of Physics, 2005
Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons by George Pendle
Astro Turf: The Private Life of Rocket Science by M. G. Lord
Centauri Dreams: Imagining and Planning Interstellar Exploration by Paul Gilster
Archives of the Universe: A Treasury of Astronomy's Historic Works of Discovery edited and with Introduction by Marcia Bartusiak*
Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith*
Out of Gas: The End of the Age of Oil by David Goodstein
The Real Mars by Michael Hanlon
Alpha and Omega: The Quest for the Beginning and End of the Universe by Charles Seife
The Path: A One-Mile Walk Through the Universe by Chet Raymo
Rocket Dreams: How the Space Age Shaped Our Vision of the World Beyond by Marina Benjamin
Column published November 10, 2002, A Tale of Two Planets reviewing books about the mapping and measurement of Earth and Mars.
Column published July 14, 2002 (Books about the World of 2050) supplemented by links to reviews of related books.
Column published February 3, 2002 (Books about Extra-solar Planets and Extraterrestrial Life) supplemented by additional material about older books on those fields and the people who work in them.
Distant Wanderers: The Search for Planets Beyond the Solar System by Bruce G. Dorminey
Mapping Mars: Science, Imagination, and the Birth of a World by Oliver Morton
The Next Fifty Years: Science in the First Half of the Twenty-First Century edited by John Brockman
Seeing in the Dark: How Backyard Stargazers Are Probing Deep Space and Guarding Earth From Interplanetary Peril by Timothy Ferris
Strange Matters: Undiscovered Ideas at the Frontiers of Space and Time by Tom Siegfried
What Does a Martian Look Like? The Science of Extraterrestrial Life by Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart
The Hole in the Universe: How Scientists Peered Over the Edge of Emptiness and Found Everything by K. C. Cole
Imagining Space: Achievements * Predictions * Possibilities 1950-2050 by Roger D. Launius and Howard McCurdy with foreword by Ray Bradbury
An Intimate Look at the Night Sky by Chet Raymo
The Magic Furnace: The Search for the Origin of Atoms by Marcus Chown
Mission Jupiter: The Spectacular Journey of the Galileo Spacecraft by Daniel Fischer
Nearest Star: The Surprising Science of Our Sun by Leon Golub & Jam M. Pasachoff
Sputnik: The Shock of the Century by Paul Dickson
The 23rd Cycle: Learning to Live with a Stormy Star by Sten Odenwald
The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking
The Worlds of Galileo: The Inside Story of NASA's Mission to Jupiter by Michael Hanlon with Foreword by Arthur C. Clarke
Failure is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond by Gene Kranz
The Infinite Journey: Eyewitness Accounts of NASA and the Age of Space by William E. Burrows with foreword by Walter Cronkite
The Neptune File: A Story of Astronomical Rivalries and the Pioneers of Planet Hunting by Tom Standage
Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe by Peter D. Ward and Donald Brownlee
Stardust: Supernovae and Life -- The Cosmic Connection by John Gribbin with Mary Gribbin
Turn Right at Orion: Travels Through the Cosmos by Mitchell Begelman
Universal Foam: From Cappuccino to the Cosmos by Sidney Perkowitz
Voyage to Mars: NASA's Search for Life Beyond Earth by Laurence Bergreen
Captured by Aliens: The Search for Life and Truth in a Very Large Universe by Joel Achenbach
Carl Sagan: A Life by Keay Davidson
Carl Sagan: A Life in the Cosmos by William Poundstone
Deep Time: How Humanity Communicates Across Millennia by Gregory Benford
The Five Ages of the Universe: Inside the Physics of Eternity by Fred Adams and Greg Laughlin
The Last Man on the Moon by Eugene Cernan with Don Davis
Comets: Creators and Destroyers by David H. Levy
Heavenly Knowledge: An Astrophysicist Seeks Wisdom in the Stars by Dr. Fiorella Terenzi
Managing Martians by Donna Shirley with Danelle Morton
Other Worlds: the Search for Life in the Universe by Michael D. Lemonick
The Search for Life on Other Planets by Bruce Jakosky
Sharing the Universe: Perspectives on Extraterrestrial Life Seth Shostak
This New Ocean: The Story of the First Space Age by William E. Burrows
Billions and Billions by Carl Sagan
Countdown: A History of Space Flight by T. A. Heppenheimer
The Dancing Universe: From Creation Myths to the Big Bang by Marcelo Gleiser
Goodbye, Descartes: The End of Logic and the Search for a New Cosmology of the Mind by Keith Devlin
Mars: The Living Planet by Barry E. DiGregorio
Planet Quest: The Epic Discovery of Alien Solar Systems by Ken Croswell
Probable Tomorrows: How Science and Technology Will Transform our Lives in the Next Twenty Years by Marvin Cetron and Owen Davies
Space and the American Imagination by Howard E. McCurdy
Venus Revealed: A New Look Below the Clouds of Our Mysterious Twin Planet by David H. Grinspoon
The Whole Shebang: A State-of-the-Universe(s) Report by Timothy Ferris