26 October 2018

5 Books for Space Lovers

Here's a little-known fact about me: when I was in junior high, I saved all my baby-sitting, birthday, and holiday money to buy a good-quality telescope, which I still own. At one time I dreamed of becoming an astronomer. Although my life went in a different direction I haven't lost my love of looking into the night sky and learning about space. This week's roundup is all about books that will take us to the far reaches of the universe or maybe just into orbit around Earth.

For Adults

first lines from Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance between Astrophysics and the Military by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Avis LangAccessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance between Astrophysics and the Military by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Avis Lang (Norton, September 2018). What's it about? As indicated by the subtitle, this book is about the tight connections between the Defense Department and space research, especially during the cold war. I'm never disappointed with deGrasse. Opening lines:

On February 10, 2009, two communications satellites—one Russian, the other American—smashed into each other five hundred miles above Siberia, at a closing speed of more than 25,000 miles an hour. Although the impetus for building their forerunners was war, this collision was a purely peacetime accident, the first of its kind. Someday, one of the hundreds of chunks of resulting debris might smash into another satellite or cripple a spaceship with people on board.
First lines from Into the Black: The Extraordinary Untold Story of the First Flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia and the Astronauts Who Flew Her by Rowland WhiteInto the Black: The Extraordinary Untold Story of the First Flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia and the Astronauts Who Flew Her by Rowland White (Touchstone, April 2016). What's it about? Again, the subtitle reveals the contents, but what's different about this book is its reliance on declassified materials and firsthand accounts. I don't know if you remember this flight, but there were some majorly tense moments. Opening lines:
Dottie Lee's mother thought it was unusual for her ten-year-old daughter to display such a love of classical music. That, though, seemed positively conventional next to Dottie's keen interest in astrophysics. Growing up in New Orleans in the 1930s, Dottie and known that there would one day be men on the moon.
For Young Adults

First lines from It's a Question of Space: An Ordinary Astronaut's Answers to Sometimes Extraordinary Questions by Clayton C. AndersonIt's a Question of Space: An Ordinary Astronaut's Answers to Sometimes Extraordinary Questions by Clayton C. Anderson (University of Nebraska Press, July 2018): What's it about? Written by a man who spent almost a half year on the International Space Station, this book reveals everything you always wanted to know about life in orbit and being an astronaut. The questions range from scientific to fun and silly, and Anderson's answers reveal his engaging personality and zest for life. Sample question:
Question: What is NASA hiding from the world about aliens?

Answer: What is NASA hiding from the world about aliens? Beats the heck outta me! [and then he goes into his own thoughts on the subject]
For Middle Grade Readers

first lines from Space, Stars, and the Beginning of Time: What the Hubble Telescope Saw by Elaine ScottSpace, Stars, and the Beginning of Time: What the Hubble Telescope Saw by Elaine Scott (HMH Books for Young Readers, August 2018). What's it about? The author explains how scientists have used the data and images obtained from the Hubble Space Telescope to study the nature of the universe, the birth of stars, and more. Includes a history of the Hubble mission, short biographies of inventors and scientists, and stunning photographs. Opening lines:
Have you ever wished you could travel back in time? Or visit another planet? Or see a star close up? Have you ever wondered about the mysteries of the universe, and whether other life forms, similar to humans, exist somewhere? These are important questions that people have been asking for hundreds of years.
first lines from Space, Stars, and the Beginning of Time: What the Hubble Telescope Saw by Elaine ScottPath to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist by Sylvia Acevedo (Clarion, September 4, 2018). What's it about? In her memoir, Acevedo pays tribute to the Girl Scout program for fostering her interest in math and science and giving her the confidence, despite her underprivileged background, to eventually become a rocket scientist for NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab. Also available in Spanish. Opening lines:
My Papá wasn't much for telling stories. He liked facts and information. if you asked him about the Mexican Revolution or about the freezing point of water, he'd go on all day, sounding grown-up and important, like the men who read the news on television. Mami was the storyteller in our family--as long as the subject was people. I thought she must know everybody in the world--who their family was, where they came from, and what they did all day.

6 comments:

Mae Travels 10/26/18, 8:04 AM  

Very appealing books! Your interest in astronomy and space exploration is neat. Do you ever try to photograph objects seen through the telescope?

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

bermudaonion 10/26/18, 8:31 AM  

I'll pass this list on to my sister.

rhapsodyinbooks 10/26/18, 9:25 AM  

I have the deGrasse Tyson book - can't wait to read it!

Tina 10/26/18, 12:47 PM  

Perfect list for my husband. He has been into astronomy for over 20 years and loves reading about it.

Vicki 10/26/18, 1:29 PM  

I don't think I've ever been attracted to a book about space so it's strange to me that all of these book sound interesting.

Daryl 11/5/18, 8:18 AM  

love deGrasse Tyson so i am sure i would enjoy his new book ...

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