San Francisco Public Library
Español中文

Fabulous Space Books that Mary Roach Loves & Why

animals in space book cover
Colin Burgess and Chris Dubbs
Extremely thorough history of the topic, including section on the little known French space cats.
another science book cover
Megan Prelinger
Prelinger is a space historian and collector of space ephemera, including the early aerospace industry journals whose ads form the visual spine of this unusual book. Don’t just look at the pictures, though. It’s one of the best histories of the early push to space.
astronaut cookbook book cover
Charles Bourland
Bourland was director of the NASA space food program for decades. His stories, not the recipes, are the yummy part of this book. Learn here why the Russians refused to ship Twinkies to Mir, and why tourists are the only people eating “astronaut ice cream.”
pre astronauts book cover
Craig Ryan
These are the guys who really went first --back in the 1940s and 50s, when no one had a clue what would happen to a human being in the deadly cold airlessness of space.  So parachutists donned oxygen masks and pressure suits, floated up in helium balloon, and then parachuted back down.  Unsung lunatic heroes of the space era!
Riding Rockets book cover
Mike Mullane
You have to love an astronaut who refers to the space shuttle’s elaborate emergency abort procedures as “busy-work while dying.” Being an astronaut takes balls, but maybe the bravest thing Mullane ever did was publish this book.