Here are a couple of books that might make good holiday gifts for friends, family, or yourself.
In December 1968, propelled by the most powerful machine ever built, humans escaped Earth's gravity for the first time and traveled to the moon. Nobody had ever before travelled beyond low-Earth orbit. Apollo 8 is probably the riskiest endeavor ever undertaken by NASA, and this book tells the story in an exciting and compelling way. This Christmas Eve marks the 50th anniversary of the mission orbiting the moon 10 times. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.
A friend recommended this book to me and I liked it so much that I read it in a day while traveling. Those who believe the government does some great things will like it. Others may not. It gets a nod here because it contains a major section on the importance of NOAA and National Weather Service and the need to integrate social science and improved messaging into their weather products.
I read this a couple of years ago, but it is worth a mention here as it is a mind-boggling tale of exploration and survival that will make your backcountry ski adventures seem like a picnic in the park.
This is a free blog with no advertisements, so allow me an occasional shameless self promotion. That being said, it does make a good Christmas present.