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On this day in 1969, more than half a billion people around the world crowded to their television screens and watched with bated breath as Neil Armstrong took man’s first steps on the moon.  

To celebrate the anniversary of this giant leap for mankind, lose yourself in the cosmos with our Top 5 space reads. With a diverse mix of classic mysteries, sci-fi thrillers and fascinating nonfiction, prepare for lift-off into another world – whatever your taste!

1. Countdown to Terror by David Holman

Set against the backdrop of space race in 1969, this fast-paced, action-packed mystery follows former MI5 officer Alex Swan on the hunt for a group of loyal ex-Nazis determined to keep cutting-edge, scientific technology from the hands of the Allied superpowers – and killing anyone who gets in their way…

2. Child of Space by E. C. Tubb

This classic science fiction novel from prolific author E. C. Tubb features a group of scientists who have created a home away from home on the moon. However, when a strange object crash lands and threatens to destroy their hard-won way of life, Commander Regan and his team of scientists make a discovery that they never anticipated. Soon, it seems their very way of life on the Moon will be torn to pieces…

3. The Last Walk Out by David Helton

When a catastrophic virus wipes out all on Earth, except for a few scattered souls with natural immunity, the only other living humans are those who already inhabit other planets and moons in the solar system. Yet from the safety of space, these humans continue to secretly observe the survivors on Earth. A thousand years later, when a 70-year-old survivor leaves his Earth settlement for a solitary last journey, he unexpectedly meets a Skyman from one of the stations set up to observe Earth – and so begins an imaginative and compassionate story of what it is to be human, capped off with a cautionary twist…

4. Murder in Space by Sydney J. Bounds

When the lifeless body of an astronaut is found inside his rocket on its return from space, Detective Simon Brand is faced with the seemingly impossible task of solving an extraterrestrial murder that is – quite literally – out of this world. With no trace of the killer, things take an even darker turn when the chief technician also ends up dead. Follow Brand on his investigation to uncover a violent web of deceit in this gripping celestial thriller.

5. The Cosmic Origins of Life by John Gribbin

And finally, we step away from the science fiction and thrillers with this fascinating nonfiction title that seeks to explore the fundamental questions of life. As John Gribbin examines how, and when, life in our Solar System began, he takes readers on a journey through astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, genetics, physics and metaphysics – traveling from the smallest of cells to the entire Universe. This immensely readable study is perfect for fans of Neil deGrasse Tyson, Leonard Mlodinow and Stephen Hawking.

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