Want to know what books Christopher Riley recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Christopher Riley's favorite book recommendations of all time.
The first Moon landing in July 1969 captured the world’s imagination like no other space event before or after. Now, a half century later, the Owners' Workshop Manual series presents a fascinating insight... more
The first Moon landing in July 1969 captured the world’s imagination like no other space event before or after. Now, a half century later, the Owners' Workshop Manual series presents a fascinating insight into this unparalleled mission, from the raw, fire-breathing power of the mighty Saturn V rocket to the individual stitching on a pressure-suit glove. You'll also find a new look at the legacy of Apollo 11, how the Apollo missions inspired Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos to think big and create the current SpaceX and Blue Origin programs, and a look forward to future manned Moon missions and deep-space exploration.
The engaging, insightful text, accompanied by remarkable photos and technical images, bring arguably the greatest-ever feat of engineering and human endeavor to life. less
Christopher RileyYou’ve got to remember that honouring Kennedy’s challenge of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth required an enormous effort. It was the work of 400,000 people for a decade, so four million human years of work went into solving the elaborate daisy-chain of engineering challenges that allowed you to do this journey to the surface of the Moon, collect some rocks,... (Source)
When Apollo 11 touched down on the Moon’s surface in 1969, the first man on the Moon became a legend. In First Man, author James R. Hansen explores the life of Neil Armstrong. Based on over fifty hours of interviews with the intensely private Armstrong, who also gave Hansen exclusive access to private documents and family sources, this “magnificent panorama of the second half of the American twentieth century”... more
When Apollo 11 touched down on the Moon’s surface in 1969, the first man on the Moon became a legend. In First Man, author James R. Hansen explores the life of Neil Armstrong. Based on over fifty hours of interviews with the intensely private Armstrong, who also gave Hansen exclusive access to private documents and family sources, this “magnificent panorama of the second half of the American twentieth century” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) is an unparalleled biography of an American icon.
In this “compelling and nuanced portrait” (Chicago Tribune) filled with revelations, Hansen vividly recreates Armstrong’s career in flying, from his seventy-eight combat missions as a naval aviator flying over North Korea to his formative trans-atmospheric flights in the rocket-powered X-15 to his piloting Gemini VIII to the first-ever docking in space. For a pilot who cared more about flying to the Moon than he did about walking on it, Hansen asserts, Armstrong’s storied vocation exacted a dear personal toll, paid in kind by his wife and children. For the near-fifty years since the Moon landing, rumors have swirled around Armstrong concerning his dreams of space travel, his religious beliefs, and his private life.
A penetrating exploration of American hero worship, Hansen addresses the complex legacy of the First Man, as an astronaut and as an individual. “First Man burrows deep into Armstrong’s past and present…What emerges is an earnest and brave man” (Houston Chronicle) who will forever be known as history’s most famous space traveler. less
It wasn't just the astronauts who'd changed; the world was changing, too. As the Apollo program wound down, the wild & happy experimentations of the 60s gave way to the cynicism & self-doubt of the 70s, & the Moonwalkers faced what was, in some ways, their greatest challenge: how to find meaning in life when the biggest adventure you could possibly have was a memory. Some traded on past glories; others tried to move on. Some found God; some sought oblivion; some reinvented themselves & discovered a measure of happiness in a completely unexpected place. Smith sees them thru the eyes of the boy who flung down his bike on a summer evening to hear Neil Armstrong utter his fateful words--& thru the eyes of a grown man balancing myth against reality & finding the truth infinitely richer & more moving. A thrilling blend of history, reportage & memoir, Moondust rekindles the hopeful excitement of an incandescent hour in American history & captures the bittersweet heroism of those who risked everything to hurl themselves out of the known world--& who were never again quite able to accept its familiar bounds.--Nat'l Review Bookservice less
Christopher RileyHe writes beautifully and it’s very readable. The words in the story just leap off the page into your mind and memory. It’s about tracking down these 12 men who had this extraordinarily unique and rare experience of standing on another world, 400,000 kilometers from Earth, looking back at their home planet. (Source)
Christopher RileyAndrew Chaikin writes about all the difficulty of trying to invent all of this stuff at that time. He’s a brilliant writer and journalist. He took the time, back in the early 1990s, to go around and interview as many of the key players—including the astronauts themselves—who turned this dream into a reality. That, to me, is what makes A Man on the Moon the really definitive biography of Apollo,... (Source)
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