Ground control to all avid readers… This is For Reading Addicts calling. Are you ready for an adventure of a lifetime?
Human beings have been looking up at the stars and wondering how to explore the universe for centuries. The 20th century saw the first steps of Man upon the moon, and since then giant strides have been made in the quest for further knowledge of the universe.
For many of us Earthbound Reading Addicts, we will never get the chance to explore space, but we have the next best thing: books.
Here are 7 space themed books for all ages, to inspire awe and wonder and take you into space without leaving your chair.
1. Universe: The Definitive Visual Guide
“From the fiery mass of the Sun’s core to the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, Universe takes you on the ultimate guided tour of the cosmos. Full of stunning out-of-this world images reflecting recent advances in space imagery, you’ll go on a journey from our solar system all the way to the farthest limits of space.“
2. Sun, Moon, Earth
“In Sun Moon Earth, astronomer Tyler Nordgren illustrates how this most seemingly unnatural of natural phenomena was transformed from a fearsome omen to a tourist attraction. From the astrologers of ancient China and Babylon to the high priests of the Maya, Sun Moon Earth takes us around the world to show how different cultures interpreted these dramatic events.”
3. National Geographic First Book of Space
“This beautiful book is the latest addition to the National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book series. These colourful pages will introduce young children to the wonders of space, with colourful illustrations by David Aguilar and simple text that is perfect for beginning readers or for reading aloud. The book will explain basic concepts of space, beginning with what is most familiar to kids and expanding out into the universe.”
4. An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth
“In An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerising wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don’t visualise success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff. “
5. Dark Mission: The Secret History of NASA
“The New York Times bestseller about the strange history of NASA and its cover-ups regarding its origins and extraterrestrial architecture found on the moon and Mars is even more interesting in its new edition. Authors Richard C. Hoagland and Mike Bara include a new chapter about the discoveries made by ex-Nazi scientist and NASA stalwart Wernher von Braun regarding what he termed “alternate gravitational solutions,” or the rewriting of Newtonian physics into hyper-dimensional spheres.”
6. Astronaut Academy
“What’s it really like to be an astronaut on a mission to Mars? Well, kids will not only find out but can also train for their own missions in this exciting activity book. Once enrolled at the academy, they face a variety of challenges and missions that mimic the real-life tasks astronauts may have to perform in space. Specific activities include hand-eye coordination exercises, obstacle courses, building a balloon rocket, basic first-aid skills, how to deal with weightlessness, and doing fiddly things while wearing big gloves! A jam-packed Space Goodies section includes stickers, a poster, board game, press-outs, and a model space shuttle. Informative, interactive, and fun, this book will appeal to all aspiring astronauts!”
7. Earth and Space
“Take a tour of the universe with this breathtaking collection of photographs from the archives of NASA. Astonishing images of Earth from above, the phenomena of our solar system, and the celestial bodies of deep space will captivate readers and photography lovers with an interest in science, astronomy, and the great beyond. Each extraordinary photograph from the legendary space agency is paired with explanatory text that contextualises its place in the cosmic ballet of planets, stars, dust, and matter—from Earth’s limb to solar flares, the Jellyfish Nebula to Pandora’s Cluster. Featuring a preface by Bill Nye, this engaging ebook offers up-close views of our remarkable cosmos, and sparks wonder at the marvels of Earth and space.”
The novel is a dual-narrative story which follows an asylum-seeker (Little Bee) from Nigeria and a British magazine editor, who meet during the oil conflict in the Niger Delta, then re-unite in England many years later. The Other Hand humanises asylum-seekers in the UK and the struggles they go through. Cleave examines the asylum system in Britain, and how the country treats refugees. He also touches upon the very relevant subjects of British colonialism and globalisation.
Amazon Studios plan to adapt this passionate and humane book, and Hollywood star Julia Roberts has also jumped at the chance to get involved.
The Wonder actor will play the character Sarah O’ Rourke, the magazine editor who meets Little Bee during the oil conflict in the Niger Delta. She is also producing the project with Red Om Films.
Don’t let the name of the genre put you off though- young adult is a mere label and does not mean we fully grown and ‘mature’ (hahahah) crowd cannot read them too.
Check out the list below- something may grab your fancy.
The hall of fame for sci-fi and fantasy has been going since 1996 and Lee will be the first comic book writer to be included. Both he and Rowling have made a significant impact on the world of pop culture this past decade, with a stream of books and movies and an ever-expanding universe for both Marvel and the Potter fandom.
As many good writers know one key to great writing is a lot of reading- and Gaiman is no different. His love for writing goes hand-in-hand with reading, so the BBC asked for his favourite science fiction novels.
These are the books he decided upon…
The 16 original books were read and discussed by the panel of judges- Sarah Sands, Katy Brand, Anita Anand, Catherine Mayer, and Imogen Stubbs- and whittled down to a final fantastic 6. After much deliberation those 6 were discussed and debated until one winner was decided upon.
Congratulations to the winner- Kamila Shamsie with Home Fire.
Fingers crossed something emerges in the future…
Several famed authors have been revealing titles which changed their lives and impacted them as a writer. Dolly Alderton, author of Everything I Know About Love, opted for The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Banks. “It taught me so much about men and women – about love and relationship dynamics and the myths we’re fed about romance,” she said. Read More