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Ranking Author Carl Sagan’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

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“What are Carl Sagan’s Best Books?” We looked at all of Sagan’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Carl Sagan and looked at his Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of Carl Sagan’s



12 ) Comet

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 11
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 11

Comet begins with a breathtaking journey through space astride a comet. Pulitzer Prize-winning astronomer Carl Sagan, author of Cosmos and Contact, and writer Ann Druyan explore the origin, nature, and future of comets, and the exotic myths and portents attached to them. The authors show how comets have spurred some of the great discoveries in the history of science and raise intriguing questions about these brilliant visitors from the interstellar dark.

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12 ) The Cold and the Dark

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 13
  • Amazon: 9
  • LibraryThing: 12

The Cold and the Dark is the record of the Conference on the Long-Term Worldwide Biological Consequences of Nuclear War, held in Washington, D.C., on October 31 to November 1, 1983. The conference involved over 200 scientists from many nations and drew together the best available scientific information. Its central finding was the phenomenon of nuclear winter: a much more profound and long-lasting devastation of the earth and atmosphere than had been believed possible before. In the two principal papers, Carl Sagan presents the atmospheric and climatic consequences of nuclear war and Paul Ehrlich summarizes its biological implications. Also included is the text of the “Moscow Link” ―a dialogue between Soviet and American scientists on nuclear winter―and the technical papers providing the scientific evidence for the book’s conclusions.

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11 ) Visions of the 21st century

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 13
  • LibraryThing: 13

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10 ) Contact

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 10
  • Amazon: 9
  • LibraryThing: 9

In December of 1999, a multinational team journeys out to the stars, to the most awesome encounter in human history. Who—or what—is out there? In Cosmos, Carl Sagan explained the universe. In Contact, he predicts its future—and our own.

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9 ) Broca’s Brain

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 12
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 10

Carl Sagan, writer and scientist, returns from the frontier to tell us about how the world works. In his delightfully down-to-earth style, he explores and explains a mind-boggling future of intelligent robots, extraterrestrial life and its consequences, and other provocative, fascinating quandaries of the future that we want to see today.

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8 ) The Dragons of Eden

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 9
  • LibraryThing: 8

The well-known astronomer and astrobiologist surveys current knowledge of the development of intelligence on Earth in various forms of life and explains his persuasion that intelligence must have developed along similar paths throughout the universe

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7 ) Billions and Billions

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 7

In the final book of his astonishing career, Carl Sagan brilliantly examines the burning questions of our lives, our world, and the universe around us. These luminous, entertaining essays travel both the vastness of the cosmos and the intimacy of the human mind, posing such fascinating questions as how did the universe originate and how will it end, and how can we meld science and compassion to meet the challenges of the coming century? Here, too, is a rare, private glimpse of Sagan’s thoughts about love, death, and God as he struggled with fatal disease. Ever forward-looking and vibrant with the sparkle of his unquenchable curiosity, Billions & Billions is a testament to one of the great scientific minds of our day.

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6 ) The Cosmic Connection

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 6

In 1973, Carl Sagan published The Cosmic Connection, a daring view of the universe, which rapidly became a classic work of popular science and inspired a generation of scientists and enthusiasts. This seminal work is reproduced here for a whole new generation to enjoy. In Sagan’s typically lucid and lyrical style, he discusses many topics from astrophysics and solar system science, to colonization, terraforming and the search for extraterrestrials.

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5 ) Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 5

World renowned scientist Carl Sagan and acclaimed author Ann Druyan have written a ROOTS for the human species, a lucid and riveting account of how humans got to be the way we are. It shows with humor and drama that many of our key traits–self-awareness, technology, family ties, submission to authority, hatred for those a little different from ourselves, reason, and ethics–are rooted in the deep past, and illuminated by our kinship with other animals. Astonishing in its scope, brilliant in its insights, and an absolutely compelling read

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4 ) Pale Blue Dot

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 4

“In Cosmos, the late astronomer Carl Sagan cast his gaze over the magnificent mystery of the Universe and made it accessible to millions of people around the world. Now in this stunning sequel, Carl Sagan completes his revolutionary journey through space and time.

Future generations will look back on our epoch as the time when the human race finally broke into a radically new frontier–space. In Pale Blue Dot Sagan traces the spellbinding history of our launch into the cosmos and assesses the future that looms before us as we move out into our own solar system and on to distant galaxies beyond. The exploration and eventual settlement of other worlds is neither a fantasy nor luxury, insists Sagan, but rather a necessary condition for the survival of the human race.”

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2 ) Cosmos

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 1

Cosmos is one of the bestselling science books of all time. In clear-eyed prose, Sagan reveals a jewel-like blue world inhabited by a life form that is just beginning to discover its own identity and to venture into the vast ocean of space. Featuring a new Introduction by Sagan’s collaborator, Ann Druyan, full color illustrations, and a new Foreword by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos retraces the fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution that have transformed matter into consciousness, exploring such topics as the origin of life, the human brain, Egyptian hieroglyphics, spacecraft missions, the death of the Sun, the evolution of galaxies, and the forces and individuals who helped to shape modern science.

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2 ) The Demon-Haunted World

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 3

“How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don’t understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions.

Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And yet, disturbingly, in today’s so-called information age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with stories of alien abduction, channeling past lives, and communal hallucinations commanding growing attention and respect. As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms.”

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1 ) The Varieties of Scientific Experience

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 2

The late great astronomer and astrophysicist describes his personal search to understand the nature of the sacred in the vastness of the cosmos. Exhibiting a breadth of intellect nothing short of astounding, Sagan presents his views on a wide range of topics, including the likelihood of intelligent life on other planets, creationism and so-called intelligent design, and a new concept of science as “informed worship.” Originally presented at the centennial celebration of the famous Gifford Lectures in Scotland in 1985 but never published, this book offers a unique encounter with one of the most remarkable minds of the twentieth century.

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Carl Sagan’s Best Books



Carl Sagan Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOveral Rank
The Varieties of Scientific Experience 312 1
Cosmos 151 2
The Demon-Haunted World 313 2
Pale Blue Dot 254 4
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors 715 5
The Cosmic Connection 816 6
Billions and Billions 557 7
The Dragons of Eden 998 8
Broca’s Brain 12510 9
Contact 1099 10
Visions of the 21st century 61313 11
Comet 111211 12
The Cold and the Dark 13912 12