"The Crowded Universe" by Alan Boss (2009)
"All the evidence gathered to date by over ten years of planet hunting implies that Earth-like planets should be common in our neighborhood of the galaxy of the Milky Way and, by inference, in other galaxies as well. But how common is common? Will essentially every nearby Sun-like star have a habitable world, or only 1 in 10, or 1 in 100, or 1 in 1000?"
Alan Boss is an American astrophysicist. He worked for NASA on the Kepler Mission. He has been part of the search for Earth-like planets since the 1980s.
The subtitle of this book is "The Race to Find Life Beyond Earth," but this subtitle is misleading. This is not a book that mentions SETI or the efforts of similar groups, but rather a book about recent developments in Astronomy and Astrophysics, extending from the late 80s to the year this book was published. It also describes a lot of the infighting and budget troubles which precluded the discovery of exoplanets.
It doesn't make for the most compelling reading, even though the author does everything he can to keep the tone light and humorous. Listing off dozens of planets that might be planets, all of which have names like EXO 7896549 or CoRoT 4567883 5a, doesn't make for the most engaging discourse on Astronomy, and a lot of this book is bogged down by definitions of controversial terms within the discipline.
Those seeking an answer to the question of life on other planets will find this book less than illuminating, but those with an interest in Astronomy will probably like it. As for myself, I liked certain sections, but on the whole the book felt like a false promise. No one buys a book about "Life Beyond Earth" wanting to read about NASA politics or telescope malfunctions, and aside from such earthly troubles this book has little else to offer.