|Magnitude: The scale of the universe by Kimberly K ArcandIn a book featuring full-colour illustrations and infographics throughout, the authors take readers on an expansive journey to the limits of size, mass, distance time and temperature in our universe.
Light of the stars: Alien worlds and the fate of the Earth by Adam FrankWhat it's about: According to author Adam Frank, civilizations are "just another thing the universe does." By his calculations, there exist some 10 billion trillion planets with the potential for civilizations to develop. What can such planets tell us about ourselves -- and our fate?
Spying on whales: The past, present, and future of Earth's most awesome creatures by Nick PyensonWhat it's about: Paleontologist Nicholas Pyenson recounts the evolution of whales from four-legged, dog-sized, land-dwelling creatures to today's aquatic leviathans, while contemplating their uncertain future.
Why you might like it: part natural history, part travelogue, Spying on Whales offers a glimpse at a hidden underwater world.
Still waters: The secret world of lakes by Curt StagerWhat it is: a deep dive into the ecology of lakes, ponds, and inland seas by science writer Curt Stager, who reveals the "secret worlds within worlds hiding in plain sight."
Read it for: a highly literate and philosophical tour of the world's lakes, from Walden Pond to Lake Victoria.
For fans of: Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.
The secret life of cows by Rosamund YoungWhat it's about: Author Rosamund Young of Kite's Nest farm in Worcestershire, England introduces readers to her cattle and their personalities, while advocating for the humane treatment of animals and sustainable farming practices.
Read it for: the friendly and conversational writing style, and a herd of charmingly named cows ("Baby Jane," "Red Rum," and "The Bishop of Durham," among others.)
You might also like: Alice Walker's The Chicken Chronicles, in which the award-winning writer chronicles life with a flock of hens.
Leaving orbit: Notes from the last days of American spaceflight by Margaret Lazarus DeanWhat it's about: Margaret Lazarus Dean travels to Florida's Space Coast to witness the final days of the Shuttle program and reflects on America's retreat from human spaceflight.
Why you might like it: Eschewing technical jargon, Dean's behind-the-scenes tour of NASA focuses on the people who made space exploration a reality.
Book buzz: Leaving Orbit won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize in 2015.
Rise of the rocket girls: The women who propelled us, from missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia HoltIntroducing: Barby Canright, Macie Roberts, Helen Yee Chow, Barbara Lewis, Janez Lawson, Susan Finley, and others.
Why they matter: This talented group of women calculated rocket trajectories, designed satellites, and analyzed massive amounts of experimental data for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
For fans of: Margot Lee Shetterly's Hidden Figures, another collective biography of the unsung heroines of the U.S. space programme.
Beyond: Our future in space by Chris ImpeyWhat it's about: Astronomer Chris Impey chronicles human space travel, from the Cold War "space race" to the rise of private space companies such as Space X and Virgin Galactic.
Why you might like it: In engaging fashion, Beyond describes our species' ongoing efforts to explore, colonize, and inhabit the final frontier.
You might also like: Neil deGrasse Tyson's Space Chronicles, which considers our future in space.
Sally Ride: America's first woman in space by Lynn SherrWhat it is: a biography of the first American woman astronaut to go to space, written by a journalist who followed Sally Ride's career for decades.
Did you know? That Ride was a nationally ranked college tennis player? That she was the first (known) gay astronaut? That on her famous first flight she suffered from space sickness?
Want a taste? "Sally was very good at keeping secrets."
Contact your librarian for more great books!