100 books like Everest

By Walt Unsworth,

Here are 100 books that Everest fans have personally recommended if you like Everest. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Annapurna: The First Conquest of an 8,000-Meter Peak

Craig Storti Author Of The Hunt for Mount Everest

From my list on the climbing history of the Himalayas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with the Himalayas in the 8th grade and vowed to go there one day. Eighteen years later I fell in love again, with a woman this time, who was living in Nepal. While living there I trekked extensively and read everything I could about the mountains, especially Everest. I thought it was odd that all the Everest books started in 1921, but the mountain was discovered in 1853. What took them so long? Hence my book The Hunt for Mount Everest.

Craig's book list on the climbing history of the Himalayas

Craig Storti Why did Craig love this book?

Annapurna is a classic: a classic book about a classic climb. Annapurna is only the 10th highest mountain in the world, but it is the most dangerous of all 14 of the giants, those peaks over 8,000 meters. It should not even have been attempted under the circumstances described in this book. But never mind: the odds were utterly against success. No worries on that front; the French—they were the ones trying—were never going to be the first to summit a giant. Only no one told them. (Craig Storti’s forthcoming book retells this classic tale.)

By Maurice Herzog,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Annapurna as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Top 100 Sports Books of All Time, Sports Illustrated "Those who have never seen the Himalayas, those who never care to risk an assault, will know when they finish this book that they have been a companion of greatness."-New York Times Book Review In 1950, when no mountain taller than 8,000 meters had ever been climbed, Maurice Herzog led an expedition of French climbers to the summit of an 8,075-meter (26,493-foot) Himalayan peak called Annapurna. But unlike other climbs, the routes up Annapurna had never been charted. Herzog and his team had to locate the mountain using crude maps, pick…


Book cover of Fallen Giants: A History of Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes

Craig Storti Author Of The Hunt for Mount Everest

From my list on the climbing history of the Himalayas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with the Himalayas in the 8th grade and vowed to go there one day. Eighteen years later I fell in love again, with a woman this time, who was living in Nepal. While living there I trekked extensively and read everything I could about the mountains, especially Everest. I thought it was odd that all the Everest books started in 1921, but the mountain was discovered in 1853. What took them so long? Hence my book The Hunt for Mount Everest.

Craig's book list on the climbing history of the Himalayas

Craig Storti Why did Craig love this book?

If you’re a Himalayan enthusiast, this book is a must. Heck, even if you’re not yet an enthusiast, you will be after you start reading Fallen Giants. Its sweep is magnificent, its story-telling superb. You’d think this book would get repetitive, so many mountains and so many climbs, but you’d be wrong.

By Maurice Isserman, Stewart Weaver,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fallen Giants as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story of the world's highest peaks and the remarkable people who have sought to climb them

The first successful ascent of Mount Everest in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa teammate Tenzing Norgay is a familiar saga, but less well known are the tales of many other adventurers who also came to test their skills and courage against the world's highest and most dangerous mountains. In this lively and generously illustrated book, historians Maurice Isserman and Stewart Weaver present the first comprehensive history of Himalayan mountaineering in fifty years. They offer detailed, original accounts of the most…


Book cover of Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest

Benjamin Hruska Author Of Valor and Courage: The Story of the USS Block Island Escort Carriers in World War II

From my list on the human superpower of teamwork overcoming challenges.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been drawn to narratives where a group of individuals needs to collectively overcome a seemingly insurmountable challenge. And, as someone who loves reasonable outdoor challenges such as whitewater rafting trips, I love stories that combine the two. I have been lucky enough to partake in two private float trips of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. With no internet, or electricity for 16 days at a time, a carefully crafted book list is key for any river descend. All these books at their core are narratives of individuals digging in deep, and cultivating that collective human superpower known as teamwork, to overcome challenges many thought could not be overcome.

Benjamin's book list on the human superpower of teamwork overcoming challenges

Benjamin Hruska Why did Benjamin love this book?

Davis in this book completes the literary equivalent of juggling bowling balls and razor blades. He crafts an incredible, readable adventure narrative on a generation of men seeking to make sense of the world after the slaughter of the Western Front concluded.

Using the vehicle of Mallory and Irvines’ 1924 attempt to summit Everest, Davis interweaves several intriguing narratives including the British coming to terms with the cause and effects of empire, climbers using mountains to overcome survivor’s guilt, and man’s indelible need to explore.

Sweeping in both detailed research and the human costs of mechanized warfare, Davis book is a prime example of the paradoxical notion of wounded men seeking solace on the top of the world’s tallest peaks.  

By Wade Davis,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Into the Silence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The definitive story of the British adventurers who survived the trenches of World War I and went on to risk their lives climbing Mount Everest.

On June 6, 1924, two men set out from a camp perched at 23,000 feet on an ice ledge just below the lip of Everest’s North Col. George Mallory, thirty-seven, was Britain’s finest climber. Sandy Irvine was a twenty-two-year-old Oxford scholar with little previous mountaineering experience. Neither of them returned.
 
Drawing on more than a decade of prodigious research, bestselling author and explorer Wade Davis vividly re-creates the heroic efforts of Mallory and his fellow…


Book cover of The Moth and the Mountain: A True Story of Love, War, and Everest

Craig Storti Author Of The Hunt for Mount Everest

From my list on the climbing history of the Himalayas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with the Himalayas in the 8th grade and vowed to go there one day. Eighteen years later I fell in love again, with a woman this time, who was living in Nepal. While living there I trekked extensively and read everything I could about the mountains, especially Everest. I thought it was odd that all the Everest books started in 1921, but the mountain was discovered in 1853. What took them so long? Hence my book The Hunt for Mount Everest.

Craig's book list on the climbing history of the Himalayas

Craig Storti Why did Craig love this book?

This book is of the incredible-but-true genre. A man who knows neither how to fly nor how to climb buys a plane which he plans to fly to India, crash land on the lower slopes of Everest, and climb the rest of the way to the top—all for the (married) woman he loves. Does he make it? What a question! It’s the premise that matters.

By Ed Caesar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Moth and the Mountain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“An outstanding book.” —The Wall Street Journal * “Gripping at every turn.” —Outside * “A hell of a ride.” —The Times (London)

An extraordinary true story about one man’s attempt to salve the wounds of war and save his own soul through an audacious adventure.

In the 1930s, as official government expeditions set their sights on conquering Mount Everest, a little-known World War I veteran named Maurice Wilson conceives his own crazy, beautiful plan: he will fly a plane from England to Everest, crash-land on its lower slopes, then become the first person to reach its summit—completely alone. Wilson doesn’t…


Book cover of The Ascent of Rum Doodle

Andrew Greig Author Of Summit Fever

From my list on from the other side of the mountain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was an under-employed Scottish poet hillwalker when I met a Himalayan mountaineer in a pub. Due to alcohol and a misunderstanding about the metaphorical nature of Poetry, Mal Duff asked me to join an attempt to climb the legendary 24,000ft  Mustagh Tower in the Karakoram. By the time I admitted I had no climbing experience whatsoever and was scared of heights, it was too late. Those Scottish winters’ apprenticeships and following Himalayan expeditions re-shaped my writing life, outlook, and friendships. My books have been shortlisted three times for the Boardman-Tasker Award for outstanding mountaineering literature, for Summit Fever; Kingdoms of Experience (Everest the Unclimbed Ridge); Electric Brae.

Andrew's book list on from the other side of the mountain

Andrew Greig Why did Andrew love this book?

Probably the funniest and most inventive climbing expedition book ever written, loved by climbers who appreciate its satire, spoof, mickey-taking pastiche of Serious Mountaineering Expedition Books. It is Chris Bonnington turned Wodehouse, Jon Krakauer rendered by Spike Milligan. Its knowing self-mockery of all the tropes and self-important delusions of Climbing is sharp and accurate enough to raise it high above whimsy. Wildly creative, it is impossible to read without snorting in one’s sleeping bag. It is the comic, ridiculous side of the great pursuit of Getting Higher.

By W.E. Bowman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ascent of Rum Doodle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An English comic novel about a World War II expedition to a Himalayan peak.

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY BILL BRYSON

An outrageously funny spoof about the ascent of a 40,000-and-a-half-foot peak, The Ascent of Rum Doodle has been a cult favourite since its publication in 1956. Led by the reliably under-insightful Binder, a team of seven British men -- including Dr Prone (constantly ill), Jungle the route finder (constantly lost), Constant the diplomat (constantly arguing) -- and 3,000 Yogistani porters sets out to conquer the highest peak in the Himalayas.


Book cover of White

Roz Morris Author Of Ever Rest

From my list on high-altitude mountaineering.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was 10, my father quoted to me the line by Henry David Thoreau, that "the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." This scared me deeply. It became an enduring question. What makes us feel truly alive? I love stories that take us to these edges. I like to explore what we chase - love, adventure, ambition, art - and where it goes wrong. I’ve long been drawn to stories about people who climb the world’s most dangerous mountains, putting themselves through unthinkable ordeals in places that don’t care if we live or die. And what of their friends, families and partners?

Roz's book list on high-altitude mountaineering

Roz Morris Why did Roz love this book?

Another novel - breathtaking descriptions that really put you on the mountain, and a trio of characters caught in a tangle of obsession. While you share every painful, astounding step, you’re aching for them to put their emotional baggage down, stop dwelling on the past, and instead seize the future. Great armchair adventuring, a complicated romance, and no easy answers. 

By Rosie Thomas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked White as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One Love. One Chance. Once Sacrifice. For Sam McGrath a brief encounter with a young woman, on a turbulent flight, changes his life. On impulse, crazily attracted to her, her vows to follow her - all the way to Nepal. Finch Buchanan is flying out as doctor to an expedition. But when she reaches the Himalayas she will be reunited with a man she has never been able to forget. Al Hood has made a promise to his daughter. Once he has conquered this last peak, he will leave the mountains behind forever. Everest towers over the group, silent and…


Book cover of The Ascent: A Novel of Survival

T.L. Bodine Author Of Neverest

From my list on to read instead of going out in the elements.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've often lived around the fringes of nature, from late-night cross-country road trips through forested backwoods, to living off-grid in New Mexico's high desert. As much as I've lived in the shadow of mountains and extreme environments, I've never dared to venture up into them – and I'm endlessly fascinated by the people who do. What is it that drives people toward extreme sports and outdoor challenges, even understanding the risks? Why do people risk life and limb to venture into places where man isn't meant to be? It's a question I don't think I'll ever stop finding fascinating. 

T.L.'s book list on to read instead of going out in the elements

T.L. Bodine Why did T.L. love this book?

Malfi is an expert of cold-weather horror, and he doesn't disappoint with this journey through the Himalayas.

Extreme sports enthusiast Tim Overleigh joins a once-in-a-lifetime expedition to Godesh Ridge in Nepal. But Tim, mourning his dead wife and still in recovery from a serious climbing accident, has a lot of mental baggage to unpack.

Worse, the people he's with – and the forces on the mountain aren't what he thought he was signing up for. Part survival story, part murder mystery, this is a page-turner that kept me white-knuckled all the way through to the finale. 

By Ronald Malfi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ascent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After the death of his ex-wife, successful sculptor Tim Overleigh trades in his lucrative career for the world of extreme sports, but when a caving accident nearly ends his life, Tim falls into a self-destructive depression. On the cusp of madness, an old friend convinces him to join a team of men climbing the Godesh ridge in Nepal. When this journey of mythical and spiritual discovery rapidly turns deadly as the climbers fall victim to a murderer within their group, the remaining survivors begin to wonder if any of them will escape the mountains alive.


Book cover of High Exposure: An Enduring Passion for Everest and Unforgiving Places

Lisa Ballard Author Of Hiking the Adirondacks: A Guide to the Area's Greatest Hiking Adventures, 3rd Edition

From my list on adventure that are utterly entertaining.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a ski racer my entire life. I started hiking up mountains as a teenager to get in shape for winter, but I soon found climbing peaks to be as rewarding as skiing down them. When I stand on top of a mountain I feel on top of the world! And I’ve been lucky enough as a travel writer and adventurer to trek in some truly special places, including the Himalayas in Bhutan, the Rainbow Mountains in Peru, and Simien Mountains in Ethiopia, as well as throughout North America. My favorite books are the ones that inspire me to keep exploring.

Lisa's book list on adventure that are utterly entertaining

Lisa Ballard Why did Lisa love this book?

Mount Everest is arguably the location of the most epic adventures ever.

This is my favorite book about Everest, perhaps because the author, David Breashears, is a friend who shared many Thanksgiving dinners with me during the thick of his climbing and high-altitude film career. He is most well-known for producing the popular IMAX film, Everest.

This is Breashear’s autobiography. It includes his perspective on the 1996 Everest tragedy, which he not only miraculously survived but also saved the lives of other climbers. I also enjoyed the book, Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, which is about that same Everest episode and had much broader commercial success. Krakauer wrote the forward to this book.

However, I found this book one to be more personal, more revealing. After reading it, you’ll admire Breashears as much as Krakauer and I do.

By David Breashears,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked High Exposure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An IMAX cinematographer and mountaineer describes his participation in an expedition to Everest during the deadly 1996 season, detailing the creation of his IMAX film Everest and the dramatic impact on his life of his experiences in the face of disaster. 100,000 first printing. Tour.


Book cover of Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster

Robert Averill Author Of NeuroAdventures: The Art and Science of Hunting and Gathering Happiness

From my list on peak and transformative human experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always craved outdoor adventure. My earliest preschool memories include frog hunting in the fields behind my house, and careening down hills around the neighborhood on my metal-wheeled skateboard. In middle school, I progressed to BMX, spearfishing and surfing. After college, I added snow and water skiing, windsurfing, and eventually mountain biking to the mix, and was fortunate to have a career that allowed time and resources to travel the world extensively seeking adventure. Now well into my sixties, I research and write about science, extreme sports, nature and philosophy in between daily hikes and mountain bike rides around the homebase and monthly journeys to destinations unknown.

Robert's book list on peak and transformative human experience

Robert Averill Why did Robert love this book?

I have always enjoyed reading a well-written subjective account of my fellow outdoor enthusiasts’ experiences during their chosen adventures. This book took it to another level.

While we all accept that the substantial rewards from our activities can carry substantial risks, we attempt to mitigate these risks whenever possible through experience and sound judgment. But sometimes Nature has her own agenda.

This heart-wrenching saga of a failed Everest expedition reinforced my motivation to prepare for the unexpected and served as a stark reminder that we have to be willing to pay the ultimate price for our rewards. But it also illustrated the fierce determination and selfless heroism that can be found in the human spirit.

By Jon Krakauer,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Into Thin Air as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The epic account of the storm on the summit of Mt. Everest that claimed five lives and left countless more—including Krakauer's—in guilt-ridden disarray. 

"A harrowing tale of the perils of high-altitude climbing, a story of bad luck and worse judgment and of heartbreaking heroism." —PEOPLE

A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. 

By writing Into Thin Air, Krakauer may have hoped to exorcise some of his own demons…


Book cover of Peak

Terry Lynn Johnson Author Of Ice Dogs

From my list on featuring an adventurous journey.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my life journey so far in the outdoors of northern Ontario, Canada. Before I became a conservation officer, I worked for twelve years in a wilderness park as a canoe ranger. I also had eighteen sled dogs and taught dogsledding and winter survival. I’ve always been drawn to reading adventure stories, so when I finally became an author (in my forties. It’s never too late), I naturally wrote the kind of books that I grew up reading. Now I love that I get to share my passions with readers.  I hope you find some books of interest on this list and join me on a journey into a new adventure.

Terry's book list on featuring an adventurous journey

Terry Lynn Johnson Why did Terry love this book?

Peak is a climbing addict in trouble with the law. But he gets to join his estranged father on an expedition to climb Mount Everest. The catch is that his dad just wants to use Peak as a promotion for his climbing company. Peak has to navigate complex relationships, all while trying not to die. I loved the adventure, but also the window into why so many risk it all to reach the top.

By Roland Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Peak as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After Peak Marcello is arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper, he's left with two choices: wither away in juvenile detention or go live with his long-lost father, who runs a climbing company in Thailand. But Peak quickly learns that his father's renewed interest in him has strings attached. Big strings: He wants Peak to be the youngest person to reach the Everest summit - and his motives are selfish at best. Even so, for a climbing addict like Peak, tackling Everest is the challenge of a lifetime. It's also one that could cost him his life.Roland Smith has…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in mountaineering, the Himalayas, and Mount Everest?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about mountaineering, the Himalayas, and Mount Everest.

Mountaineering Explore 37 books about mountaineering
The Himalayas Explore 31 books about the Himalayas
Mount Everest Explore 16 books about Mount Everest