I have been reading more books this year at a rapid pace.
These are the astronomy books that I have been reading. If you would like to follow what I am reading (not just astronomy books) check out my Good Reads page (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/75557397-holly-mcclelland), if you only want some new astronomy reads see the list below:
Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt
I really loved this book and was a bit sad when I finished it. It is the story of the women computers who worked at JPL from its formation, when rockets were thought impossible, to the cold war making missiles and the first mission to the solar system planets. The story is about women who never thought they could have a career in science and with little to no support for working mothers. The story of how human computers went from doing all calculations by hand to the first computers being used to getting the title of engineers that the JPL women deserved.
Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military by Neil deGrasse Tyson
This really highlights the politics of Space exploration and science. The book goes through how everything from horoscopes, telescopes, radio astronomy and space stations all have ties to the military and political power.
Bright Star: Beatrice Hill Tinsley, Astronomer by Christine Cole Catley
This book is about the astronomer Beatrice Hill Tinsley who grew up in New Zealand went onto be a key influence in cosmology and galaxy evolution. It tells of her struggle with her marriage and adoption of children along with her dedication to her work, making connections and using her talents for science to make breakthroughs in her field. This is an interesting look into Beatrice’s life but is a bit dense in some parts, thoroughly researched though.
Forces of Nature by Brian Cox
An amazing look into simple questions with deep answers. From rainbows to space time this book covers it all. I read this in preparation to go to Brian’s Cox universal world tour show and it was a fascinating read conveying Brian’s love for the unknown.
Caesar’s Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us by Sam Kean
This is more of a chemistry book about gasses. It goes through the different stages of our planet’s history and how the air changed before taking though humanity’s discovery of the power of air and what we can learn about the ‘air’ of other planets at the end. With lots of stories and anecdotes to keep you engaged and interested this is a good read for anyone interested in what’s going on in the gasses around us.
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
This is the book that inspired one of my favorite movies by the same title. This is the story of the Aferican american women working at the Langley lab. It tells the history of the american civil rights movement through the lense of the careers of the women. With a big focus on NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the precursor to NASA) and their efforts to improve aircraft during World War 2 and the Cold War before the shift in phase to create NASA and get the first Americans into space. Another book I would highly recommend to anyone who is interested in Space, women or African american history.
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
A book about research and work on singularities in our universe: black holes and the big bang. Talking about the science on a deeper level along with Stephen Hawkings personal work and some of his life stories. Very good read for people wanting to know more about the big mysteries of the universe. I really enjoyed this one
George and the Blue Moon by Lucy Hawking and Stephen Hawking
This is my science fiction pick for this post. This book is aimed at children to get them interested in science, technology and space. George and the Blue Moon is actually the 5th book in the series with George’s Secret Key to the Universe being the first book, I just was reading the 5th book recently so included it on the list. With information written from scientists about the topics being discussed in the book and an entertaining story about traveling across the solar system as well I would recommend this for any children (or adults) who loven science or want to know more.