16 Best Neil deGrasse Tyson Books

Neil deGrasse Tyson is the author of more than a dozen books about the cosmos and universe.

He has one of the most brilliant minds in the world. He has dedicated his career to educating people about science and space, and he has inspired countless people with his knowledge and intellect.

He also has an easy-going style and uses wit and humor to explain complex concepts in an easy-to-understand manner.

These books are perfect for those just getting started and those with quite a bit of knowledge about astronomy. 

Books by Neil Degrasse Tyson

1. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Published: 2017

Pages: 208

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry is a book by Neil deGrasse Tyson that makes astrophysics accessible to the average reader. The book spans a wide range of topics, from the Big Bang to the universe's future.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry is an engaging and enjoyable read despite its dense subject matter. Tyson's wit and clear prose make complex concepts easy to understand, and his passion for astronomy shines through on every page.

2. Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

Death by Black Hole

Published: 2007

Pages: 384

This is an exciting read for anyone that loves Neil deGrasse Tyson's writings. It's a collection of his essays originally published in Natural History magazine from his monthly column "Universe."

It covers everything, including details about black holes and what it would feel like if you fell into one, the unnecessary conflict between science and religion, and other vital topics.

The articles are easy to read and written to appeal to a mass audience.

>> Read books by Stephen Hawking

3. Merlin's Tour of the Universe

Merlin's Tour of the Universe

Published: 1989

Pages: 299

This is a fun book that features a fictional character from the Andromeda Galaxy (which is real and 2.5 million light-years away). Tyson uses this fictional character to explain more about galaxies and answer frequently asked questions.

The fictional character is a close friend of influential people throughout the science world including, Einstein, Hubble, and Magellan.

4. Just Visiting This Planet

Just Visiting This Planet

Published: 1998

Pages:  352

This is a complimentary book to Merlin's Tour of the Universe. It's the second set of questions answered by our fictional character from the Andromeda Galaxy, Merlin.

It’s more about the earth, the sun, and the world of light. You will also learn even more about our galaxies and those that are far, far away.

5. Universe Down to Earth

Universe Down to Earth

Published: 1994

Pages: 277

This is another essential book by Neil deGrasse Tyson. It covers a wide range of topics about the universe, including gravity, the conservation of energy, and the Big Bang Theory. Other issues in this book include black holes, syzygy, and the life of stars from birth to death.

It’s another easy-to-read book that covers complex and sometimes misunderstood topics.

6. One Universe: At Home in the Cosmos

One Universe: At Home in the Cosmos

Published: 2000

Pages: 218

This book takes you home and explains how the cosmos around us impact our everyday lives. You will learn about the existence of life and where the universe comes from, including its future path.

Tyson does a fantastic job relating everything we do, from cooking in the kitchen to heading off to work each day back to the universe and cosmos.

7. Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution

Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolutions

Co-authored: Donald Goldsmith

Published: 2004

Pages: 345

This book offers a look at some of the fascinating scientific discoveries of our time. You'll learn more about what we've learned from exploring Mars and finding water on one of Jupiter's moons.

You'll not only learn about these discoveries but why they are important to us and how we go about learning more about our cosmos.

8. The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist

The Sky is not the Limit

Published: 2004

Pages: 208

If you love to read Neil deGrasse Tyson’s books about the cosmos, you are going to love The Sky Is Not the Limit. His memoir takes you back in time to how and when he became so interested in our night sky.

He takes you through his childhood and how his curiosity led to him getting his Ph.D. in astrophysics from Columbia.

It’s not only a great book about his life, but it’s an inspiring read on what you can do to turn your dreams into a reality.

9. The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet

The Pluto Files

Published: 2009

Pages: 194

Do you remember when Pluto was a planet? Do you also remember the controversy around it no longer being classified as a planet?

This book takes you back to when they changed its status from a planet to an icy comet. One person at the heart of the discussion at the time was Tyson.

Learn about why they decided to reclassify it, why Tyson agrees with this reclassification, and the impact to him and others from Pluto-loving fans.

10. Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier

Space Chronicles

Published: 2012

Pages: 364

In this book, you will learn all about space exploration. It includes early discoveries and explorations by NASA and the impact of fewer resources to continue these critical missions.

Tyson also talks about how the lack of funding to NASA will lead other countries to increase their exploration of space and how we could get left behind.

He also digs deep into why space exploration is essential to our everyday lives.

>> Additional books about NASA and space exploration

11. Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour

Welcome to the Universe

Co-Authored: Michael A. Strauss and J. Richard Gott

Published: 2016

Pages: 480

This is a beautiful collaboration by the of the world's leading astrophysicists. This book takes you deep into everything about the cosmos, including the planets, stars, and black holes.

You’ll also learn all about galaxies, wormholes, and even time travel.

It's based on a popular introductory Astronomy course taught by these three professors at Princeton.

12. Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military

Accessory to War

Co-Authored: Avis Lang

Published: 2018

Pages: 576

Did you know that there is a connection between the military and astrophysics? This book takes you behind the scenes and into the world of how the military uses science and astrophysics to make better strategic decisions during war.

It's an interesting read and is co-written by Avis Lang, a research associate alongside Tyson at the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium in New York.

13. Letters from an Astrophysicist

Letters from an Astrophysicist

Published: 2019

Pages: 272

This is a follow-up book to Tyson’s Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. He offers us a look at the questions he receives about astrophysics and answers to those questions.

You will find more information about the planets, stars, and the universe. He also talks a little more about Pluto, faith, and philosophy.

It’s funny and approachable and a great way to learn more about the cosmos.

14. StarTalk: Everything You Ever Need to Know About Space Travel, Sci-Fi, the Human Race, the Universe, and Beyond


Published: 2016

Pages: 304

Have you listened to Tyson's podcast or the National Geographic Channel TV show called StarTalk? This book takes the most critical topics from those programs and provides even more details behind each one.

It’s colorful and beautifully illustrated to offer you more answers about the cosmos and our daily lives.

15. Cosmic Queries: StarTalk's Guide to Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We're Going

Cosmic Queries

Published: 2021

Pages: 312

This is another follow-up book for Tyson. It's an update to his bestseller, StarTalk. It also includes dozens of colorful and gorgeous photographs showing more about what Tyson discusses.

It answers questions about humanity and more about what his audience wants to learn from his podcast and TV series.

16. City of Stars: A New Yorker's Guide to the Cosmos

Published: 2002

Pages: 111

Unfortunately, this book is out of print, but I wanted to include it here with this complete list of Neil deGrasse Tyson books. It was a lovely book about the night sky in New York.

More About Neil deGrasse Tyson

Few people have had as much impact on modern science and public understanding of it as Neil deGrasse Tyson. His work has inspired a generation of young people to explore the universe and our place in it. This biography provides an in-depth look at his remarkable life and career.

Tyson was born in Manhattan, New York City, in 1958. He was fascinated by the night skies and astrology from an early age.

After graduating from high school, he attended Harvard University, where he studied astronomy. He then went to the University of Texas at Austin for his master's and finally moved to Princeton University for his doctorate.

He wrote his thesis in 1991. It’s titled “A study of the abundance distributions along the minor axis of the Galactic bulge.”

In 1994, he started work at the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City as a staff scientist. He was promoted to acting director in 1995 and became the director in 1996.

Over the years, he's become one of the most well-known and followed astrophysics in the world.