The Mars Challenge: The Past, Present, and Future of Human Spaceflight, by Alison Wilgus & Wyeth Yates (First Second, 2020)

A student and mentor discuss the logistics of a crewed mission to Mars. Detailed and accessible, this graphic novel-style approach usefully dramatizes some key questions and explains how difficult it is to mount a deep space mission. Topics range from dealing with Mars gravity to the practicalities of maintaining life support systems and mental health over long voyages. Useful and informative: recommended.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Moonbound: Apollo 11 and the Dream of Spaceflight, by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm (Hill and Wang, 2019)

The story of the Apollo 11 moon mission, juxtaposed with a history of human engagements with the moon. An excellent graphic novel retelling, finding ways to add new detail and texture to a well-known story. Clear on the contexts of Apollo, and of its relationships to wider US society, while drawing on mission logs for authenticity. Recommended.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

In Praise of Walking, by Shane O’Mara (Vintage, 2020)

Why walking is good for you, and why we should all walk more. An interdisciplinary popular science approach is offered, linking health in both physical and mental terms, town planning, social interactions, and evolutionary theory. Basically, humans are built and socialized to walk – it’s a key distinction between homo sapiens and other animals – and so we should. Takes a little time to settle into its pace, but worth your perseverance. Recommended.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Universe, by Jorge Cham & Daniel Whiteson (John Murray, 2021)

A series of physics FAQs explored for non-scientists. An excellent second primer from the podcasting duoDaniel & Jorge Explain the Universe – delving into areas such as the possibility of time travel, teleportation, the multiverse, the Big Bang theory, and the practicalities of terraforming and of interstellar exploration. Lots of fun, some good jokes, and zippy illustrations throughout. Recommended.

My own books here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Science Tales: Lies, Hoaxes and Scams, by Darryl Cunningham (Myriad Editions, 2019)

A brisk overview of a range of science topics, with a focus on both quackery and on denialism. Chapters explore subjects from homeopathy to arguments against the science on climate change: accessible and clear throughout, with complex ideas explained well, and attention given to understanding why easy lies are often a comfort. Recommended.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

The Ten (Food) Commandments, by Jay Rayner (Penguin Books, 2016)

The food journalist and restaurant critic offers ten simple rules for the good food life. A mix of personal philosophy, common sense, accessible nutritional science, and autobiography with a few decent recipes thrown in to illustrate the points being made. All good stuff, and the pork, butter bean and chorizo stew offered is a belter.

My own books here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Your Simple Guide to Reversing Type 2 Diabetes, by Professor Roy Taylor (Short Books, 2021)

As promised, a pacy and straightforward overview of the relationship between excess pancreatic fat and type 2 diabetes, and how a direct no-nonsense approach to dieting can address this health issue. Perhaps easier said than done, but the book makes a clear case for action, outlines what’s needed to be achieved and why, and tells you how to do it. That’s pretty good going. Recommended.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Quantum Mechanics, by Jim Al-Khalili (Ladybird Expert, 2017)

An overview of quantum mechanics, taking a largely historical approach. Another excellent, clear, uncluttered primer on a key topic. Just enough information to challenge and to get the reader enthused about the topic so that they go and find out more: the useful bibliography of accessible texts helps too.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.