Best Space Books and Sci-Fi: A Space.com Reading List
Space.com's editors present a reading list for space and sci-fi lovers, as well as children who are interested in astronomy and spaceflight.
Credit: Space.com/Jeremy Lips

There are plenty of great books out there about space — so many, in fact, that it can feel a little overwhelming to figure out where to start. So the editors and writers at Space.com have put together a list of their favorite books about the universe. These are the books that we love — the ones that informed us, entertained us and inspired us. We hope they'll do the same for you.

We've divided the books into five categories, which each have their own dedicated pages. On this page, we feature books we're reading now and books we've recently read, which we will update regularly. Click to see the best of:

We hope there's something on the list for every reader of every age. We're also eager to hear about your favorite space books, so please leave your suggestions in the comments, and let us know why you love them. You can see our ongoing Space Books coverage here.

By Stephen Baxter

"The Massacre of Mankind" (Crown, 2017) by Stephen Baxter
"The Massacre of Mankind" (Crown, 2017) by Stephen Baxter
Credit: Crown/Penguin Random House

In "The Massacre of Mankind," the Martian saga from H.G. Wells' classic "War of the Worlds" continues! After a mysterious phone call brings Julie Elphinstone to New York City's Plaza Hotel, she finds herself preparing for a second invasion from the Red Planet. In this new book, published in honor of Wells' 150th birthday, author Stephen Baxter makes a detailed homage to one of the classic works of science fiction. "Massacre of Mankind" is officially recognized as the sequel to "War of the Worlds" by the H.G. Wells Estate. ~Doris Elin Salazar

Read our Q&A with Baxter on this book and his other work on sequels to H.G. Wells' science fiction novels here.

By Tyler Nordgren

"Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets" (Basic Books, 2016) by Tyler Nordgren.
"Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets" (Basic Books, 2016) by Tyler Nordgren.
Credit: Basic Books

Throughout history, solar eclipses have transformed from terrifying omens to the subject of scientific study. In "Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets," astronomer-artist Tyler Nordgren traces the natural history of eclipses and how they have inspired eclipse chasers to travel the world and witness the natural phenomenon.

Nordgren's narrative also details how observations of total solar eclipses have contributed to scientific discoveries about the sun, moon and Earth's place in the universe throughout history. ~Samantha Mathewson

Read an interview with the book's author here

By Dean Robbins, Illustrated by Lucy Knisley

"Margaret and the Moon" by Dean Robbins, Illustrated by Lucy Knisley
"Margaret and the Moon" by Dean Robbins, Illustrated by Lucy Knisley
Credit: Knopf Books for Young Readers

In "Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing,"Dean Robbins outlines the pioneering software engineer's life, from the backyard of her childhood home, where she posed a million questions about the night sky, to the hallways of NASA, where she led a team from MIT to develop the onboard flight software that would land the first men on the moon. When an accident threatened to abort the Apollo 11 moon landing, Hamilton swooped in to save the day with her smarts and preparation. At a time when women were expected to stay in the home and raise children, Hamilton’s role in the Apollo program was "revelatory," according to Robbins. He said he hopes his young readers will find a strong role model in Hamilton, who solved problems large and small with creativity and fearlessness. "In my wildest dreams, readers of 'Margaret and the Moon'will grow up to make the next great breakthroughs in whatever they choose to do," he said. ~Jasmin Malik Chua

Read an interview with the book's author here.

By Tim Peake

"Hello, Is This Planet Earth?" by Tim Peake
"Hello, Is This Planet Earth?" by Tim Peake
Credit: Little, Brown and Co.

British astronaut Tim Peake's photo book takes its name from an unusual moment during his six months on the International Space Station — he tried to call his family on Christmas Eve in 2015, but dialed the wrong number instead, confusing the answerer with an unusual greeting: "Hello, is this Planet Earth?"

The book is filled with Peake's favorite photo selections of night and day, oceans and rivers, mountains and deserts,  towns and cities, and the Earth overall, as well as the satellites, cargo craft and other gear that made appearances during his time on the space station. His images are interspersed with descriptions of how he captured the photos and anecdotes about his time in space. ~Sarah Lewin

Read more about the book here, and see a gallery of some of the book's images here.

By Leland Melvin

"Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances" by Leland Melvin.
"Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances" by Leland Melvin.
Credit: Harper Collins Publishers

This astronaut's memoir tells a truly inspiring story of how one unsuspecting football player from a small town in rural Virginia wound up flying in the Space Shuttle Atlantis on missions to the International Space Station. Leland Melvin started his career playing professional football in the NFL, but when an injury prevented him from playing, he went to school to become an engineer. It wasn't until a recruiter from NASA grabbed his arm at a career fair that Melvin realized he could be an astronaut. He has since retired from the astronaut corps and now he dedicates his time to helping young women and minorities get involved in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) so they can realize and live up to their full potential.

There is also a young readers' edition of Melvin's book, adapted to be a shorter and easier read than the adult book. It includes 16 pages of color photographs and three do-it-yourself experiments for kids to learn how to build small rockets and study the chemistry of candy. ~Hanneke Weitering

Space.com spoke with Leland Melvin about his incredible life story and work to make STEAM more diverse and inclusive here.

Again, check out our full lists here:

Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+.