For near-Earth working class space stories, Allan Steele's ORBITAL DECAY & LUNAR DESCENT - also Ben Bova's MILLENNIUM, though it would have to be presented as alternate past history like WATCHMEN.
YESTERDAY'S CHILDREN - the revised version, but not the STAR WOLF stuff, by David Gerrold ... I remember taking a yellow marker to the book and having the better part of a screenplay afterward (this was when they were actually going to make it, calling it STARHUNT with Gerd Oswald directing and Andy Probert doing concept art.) A genuine psychological study that wasn't about vfx fireworks.
ASSAULT ON THE LIBERTY. James Ennes, author, also there for when it happened.
Back in 67 the Israelis repeatedly strafed and bombed one of our spy ships in international waters ... then they torpedoed it and machine gunned the life rafts. Somehow the ship stayed afloat, though obviously with lots of casualties.
It is a helluva sea story, even if you can get past the 'they're supposed to be our allies' part. Trouble is anytime anybody suggests making it, they are called anti-semitic. I actually used it as inspiration for a TNG spec script (the one that actually got me in to pitch, in fact.)
There's a lot of blame to go round on it, since messages moving LIBERTY further away got misrouted all over the globe, and then other messages were sent using protocols the ship couldn't read and receive. Plus there's some interesting mystery element, about a sub that was nearby and had to remain underwater while it all happened, with a rumor that the sub skipper turned on his film cameras through the periscope and captured a good hunk of it (unsubstantiated, obviously.)
I guess it took a couple decades before folks started admitting Moishe Dayan ordered the attack, but still people keep claiming it was all in error (as if you can't see a large US flag in good winds!) I don't think Israel paid even token damages till the 90s.
Some very interesting characters among the crew, especially the ship's XO -- whoever plays him with the proper gusto would be a lucky actor to have such a memorable role.