Christopher Riley's Top Book Recommendations

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.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 20th century’s greatest flight achievement, this book chronicles how 400,000 men and women across the US worked to transport human beings across a quarter million miles of hostile space to an unexplored world, and how they ensured that the seven million engineered parts invented to fly this single mission all worked perfectly.

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...
Recommended by Christopher Riley, and 1 others.

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)

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Soon to be a major motion picture, this is the first—and only—definitive authorized account of Neil Armstrong, the man whose “one small step” changed history.

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”...
Recommended by Christopher Riley, and 1 others.

Christopher RileyFirst Man by James Hansen is this wonderfully detailed portrait of Neil Armstrong. It’s a very, very thorough insight into who this man was. It’s not for the faint-hearted—there is a lot of detail—but I have a soft spot for this book. (Source)

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The Apollo Moon landings have been called the last optimistic act of the 20th century. Twelve astronauts made this greatest of all journeys & all were indelibly marked by it. In Moondust, journalist Andrew Smith reveals the stories of the nine still living men caught between the gravitational pull of the Moon & the Earth's collective dreaming: Here, we relive the flashbulbs, the 1st shocking glimpse of Earth from space, the sense of euphoria & awe. This was the 1st global media event, after all, & the astronauts were its superstars. They had been schooled by NASA for every... more
Recommended by Christopher Riley, and 1 others.

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)

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This acclaimed portrait of heroism and ingenuity captures a watershed moment in human history. The astronauts themselves have called it the definitive account of their missions. On the night of July 20, 1969, our world changed forever when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. Based on in-depth interviews with twenty-three of the twenty-four moon voyagers, as well as those who struggled to get the program moving, A Man on the Moon conveys every aspect of the Apollo missions with breathtaking immediacy and stunning detail. less

Marcus ChownIt’s a series of interviews with all the astronauts that have been to the moon. (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)

Philip PlaitIt’s a history of the Apollo missions, telling why we went to the moon, what happened when we got there, and why we stopped going after Apollo 17. I could not put it down. (Source)

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