A must have book for anyone interested in space exploration is "The Starflight Handbook - A Pioneer's Guide to Interstellar Travel" by Eugene F. Mallove and Gregory L. Matloff. The book covers everything from solarsails to slingshots off of neutron stars. All of the concepts are written for the casual reader with sidebars of detailed concepts and formulas for the more advanced reader. Many of the diagrams and concepts were originated by Robert Forward, a prominent name in interstellar travel. Forward has done extensive research into solar/magnetic sails, space towers and tethered satellites. Freeman Dyson (creator of the Dyson sphere) is another well known scientist featured in the book. His farout contribution is a slingshot through the middle of a milli-second binary neutron star system. Other starships covered include the Orion and Daedalus pulsed-nuclear spaceships. There is also a chapter on interstellar navigation which is often neglected in books of this type.