82 books like Farthest North

By Fridtjof Nansen,

Here are 82 books that Farthest North fans have personally recommended if you like Farthest North. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Endurance

Robin Esrock Author Of The Great Global Bucket List

From my list on inspiring your bucket list travels.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a travel writer, author, broadcaster, speaker, and producer, I’ve reported from over 100 countries on 7 continents for major print and digital publications worldwide and networks like National Geographic and Travel Channel.  I kicked off my career with a solo, 12-month round-the-world backpacking adventure, largely inspired by the formative books I read below. Embracing the world with insatiable curiosity, an open heart, an open mind, a sense of humour, and enthusiasm to share my stories clearly resonated. Here I am, two decades later, author of a half-dozen bestselling books that focus on my own eclectic travels, which will hopefully inspire others as these books inspired me.  

Robin's book list on inspiring your bucket list travels

Robin Esrock Why did Robin love this book?

This book made me want to visit Antarctica, and when I finally did, I read it again.

There are a few things going on here:  an insane adventure with a daring mission that defies the odds through incredible hardships; an introduction to that sparse, frozen continent that has long captivated the imagination; and a cosmic dissonance knowing modern travellers can visit such a harsh, unforgiving place today with the comfort of hot tubs, cocktail bars, and gourmet buffets.

Learning about the history of polar exploration makes your own journey that much more meaningful. 

By Alfred Lansing,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In August 1914, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton boarded the Endurance and set sail for Antarctica, where he planned to cross the last uncharted continent on foot. In January 1915, after battling its way through a thousand miles of pack ice and only a day's sail short of its destination, the Endurance became locked in an island of ice. Thus began the legendary ordeal of Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men. For ten months the ice-moored Endurance drifted northwest before it was finally crushed between two ice floes. With no options left, Shackleton and a skeleton crew attempted a near-impossible…

Book cover of The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea

Nick Kolakowski Author Of Hell of a Mess

From my list on read during a fierce, possibly city-destroying storm.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a crime and horror author based in New York City. I’ve lived through a couple of direct hits from mega-storms and other natural disasters, including Hurricane Sandy, which plowed through my neighborhood in 2012. Those kinds of experiences leave a psychological mark I’ve tried to process through both fiction and non-fiction. This writing has also allowed me to explore how people and cities could potentially survive the calamities that await us, especially in coastal regions vulnerable to climate change.  

Nick's book list on read during a fierce, possibly city-destroying storm

Nick Kolakowski Why did Nick love this book?

This is one of the nonfiction books I read as a teenager that convinced me to become a professional writer. The author, Sebastian Junger, doesn’t just describe the titular storm (which hit the U.S. East Coast in 1991) in terrifying detail—he also manages to assemble all of the weather-driven chaos into a real, gripping narrative. We don’t know a lot about what actually happened to the Andrea Gail, the fishing boat at the center of the narrative, but Junger recreates its final hours in a way that feels bracingly real—and heartbreaking.

Even if you don’t like nonfiction books, The Perfect Storm has the pacing and heart of a novel. I consider it one of the finest—maybe the finest—disaster narrative ever written, and it’s a perfect choice of book if you’re trapped inside by a raging storm.

By Sebastian Junger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It was the storm of the century, boasting waves over one hundred feet high-a tempest created by so rare a combination of factors that meteorologists deemed it "the perfect storm." In a book that has become a classic, Sebastian Junger explores the history of the fishing industry, the science of storms, and the candid accounts of the people whose lives the storm touched. The Perfect Storm is a real-life thriller that makes us feel like we've been caught, helpless, in the grip of a force of nature beyond our understanding or control.

Winner of the American Library Association's 1998 Alex…

Book cover of In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

Tyler LeBlanc Author Of Acadian Driftwood: One Family and the Great Expulsion

From my list on making you never want to step foot on a boat again.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on the tip of a peninsula jutting out into the raging Atlantic ocean. Both of my grandfathers spent their lives at sea. The power, and fear, that the ocean inspires has been a constant in my life, and most recently while working on Acadian Driftwood. Spending years working on a story so closely tied to tragedy, and the sea, I’ve consumed a lot of nautical disaster stories. While not everything on the list is a disaster (Nansen got his ship stuck in the ice on purpose) each story will make you rethink whether you ever want to head out to sea.  

Tyler's book list on making you never want to step foot on a boat again

Tyler LeBlanc Why did Tyler love this book?

A small lifeboat is spotted off the coast of Chile in 1821, below the gunnels skeletal men cling to a pile of human bones. Nathaniel Philbrick opens his National Book Award-winning story with an almost incomprehensibly brutal scene and rarely takes a breath for the remaining 300-odd pages. Considered to be the inspiration for Herman Melville's Moby Dick, In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex is the true story of a ship stove in by a whale in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and the harrowing survival of some of its crew. 

By Nathaniel Philbrick,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked In the Heart of the Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

The epic true-life story of one of the most notorious maritime disasters of the nineteenth century - and inspiration for `Moby-Dick' - reissued to accompany a major motion picture due for release in December 2015, directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker and Cillian Murphy.

When the whaleship Essex set sail from Nantucket in 1819, the unthinkable happened. A mere speck in the vast Pacific ocean - and powerless against the forces of nature - Essex was rammed and sunk by an enraged sperm whale, and her twenty crewmen were forced to take to the open sea…

Book cover of Adrift: Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea

Captain Liz Clark Author Of Swell: A Sailing Surfer's Voyage of Awakening

From my list on nonfiction books about ocean adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent more than 10 years and 25,000 nautical miles voyaging as the captain of my sailboat, Swell. My desires for life did not fit the common mold and context of where I grew up in Southern California– I sailed away wanting to understand the meaning of life, live simply and closer to nature, experience and learn from other cultures, be in solitude and ask life’s bigger questions. I chased my big, unlikely ocean dream and succeeded, but not without radical challenges, learning, and growth. 

Captain's book list on nonfiction books about ocean adventures

Captain Liz Clark Why did Captain love this book?

Steven Callahan not only survived this harrowing sea adventure but also wrote about it in such a powerful way. His unique descriptions constantly made me smile. I love how he was able to capture his evolving relationship with the ocean, his spirituality, himself, and the creatures he encounters during the 76-day saga of being adrift in a life raft on the Atlantic after his sailboat sunk.

I didn’t want to put this book down, he was just so courageous not to give up. It was fascinating to be in his head through this radical journey, especially as he questions the meaning of life while fighting to hang on to his own. 

By Steven Callahan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before The Perfect Storm, before In the Heart of the Sea, Steven Callahan’s dramatic tale of survival at sea was on the New York Times bestseller list for more than thirty-six weeks. In some ways the model for the new wave of adventure books, Adrift is an undeniable seafaring classic, a riveting firsthand account by the only man known to have survived more than a month alone at sea, fighting for his life in an inflatable raft after his small sloop capsized only six days out. “Utterly absorbing” (Newsweek), Adrift is a must-have for any adventure library.

Book cover of The Arctic Grail: The Quest for the Northwest Passage and The North Pole, 1818-1909

Alastair Scott Author Of Tracks Across Alaska

From my list on the Far North.

Why am I passionate about this?

For five years I hitchhiked round the world, for the most part in a kilt. I cycled 5000 miles behind the Iron Curtain before it fell and took a dog team across Alaska. I’ve sailed solo round Ireland and endured storms off Greenland. Currently, I’m cycling in stages from North Cape to Cape Town.  Unconventional travel has been a part of my life for forty years.  As a writer I try to inform and entertain, and my eye is drawn to quirky detail and humour.  I’m inspired by wild places and the people who live in them:  their customs and intrinsic wisdom.  In particular I’m fascinated by the Far North and have travelled extensively throughout this region.

Alastair's book list on the Far North

Alastair Scott Why did Alastair love this book?

In the 19th century, it was believed that if a way could be found through North America’s ice barrier, beyond lay an open sea offering ships a shortcut to the Pacific.  The quest to find it became a litany of disaster, suffering, human spirit stretched to breaking point and heroic survival. Canada’s greatest historian, Pierre Burton, turns factual accounts into a riveting read, ‘a cliff-hanger with colorful characters’ as Newsweek described it. This is another book I hate to lend for fear I’ll never get it back.

By Pierre Berton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The complete saga of the pursuit for two of the world's greates geographical prizes - the elusive Passage linking the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the North Pole. Culled from extensive research of hand-written diaries and private journal The Arctic Grail is the definitive book on the age of arctic exploration and adventure.

Book cover of North Pole: Nature and Culture

Karen Oslund Author Of Iceland Imagined: Nature, Culture, and Storytelling in the North Atlantic

From my list on why anyone would want to freeze in the Arctic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Los Angeles, California, which is frequently imagined as well as experienced. As a child, we lived by the beach and in the foothills of Angeles National Forest. The leaps of faith you make in this landscape were always clear: earthquakes, wildfires, and mudslides occur regularly. The question asked often about the Arctic: “why on earth do people live there?” applies also to California: life in beautiful landscapes and seascapes is risky. Then, I made my first trip to Iceland alone in 1995, and have now been to Iceland ten times, Greenland twice, and Nayan Mar, above the Russian Arctic Circle, each time with fascination.

Karen's book list on why anyone would want to freeze in the Arctic

Karen Oslund Why did Karen love this book?

This book has beautiful illustrations and completely covers the history of both European and native conceptions of the North Pole from the ancient times to the present day in just 254 pages.

People believed the most amazing things about the North Pole in the past, including that it was an ice-free fruitful paradise! Why? 

By Michael Bravo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In North Pole, Michael Bravo explains how visions of the North Pole have been supremely important to the world's cultures and political leaders, from Alexander the Great to neo-Hindu nationalists. Tracing poles and polarity back to sacred ancient civilizations, this book explores how the idea of a North Pole has given rise to utopias, satires, fantasies, paradoxes and nationalist ideologies, from the Renaissance to the Third Reich.

The Victorian conceit of the polar regions as a vast empty wilderness, and the preserve of white males battling against the elements, was far from the only polar vision. Michael Bravo shows an…

Book cover of The Last Bear

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?

I love books that show a bond between humans and animals. Especially well-researched books. And this story certainly captures it all with a sweet encounter between a lonely polar bear and a girl. Between the environmental tidbits, the plight of polar bears, and also the unique storyline, this book should be on everyone’s radar. 

By Hannah Gold,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Bear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Imagine making friends with a polar bear... The Last Bear is perfect for readers of 8+, beautifully illustrated throughout by Levi Pinfold - winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and illustrator of Harry Potter 20th anniversary edition covers.


"This is an important first novel, important for us, for polar bears, for the planet. It is deeply moving, beautifully told, quite unforgettable." Michael Morpurgo.…

Book cover of The North Water

Nanine Case Author Of Cannibal King

From my list on adventure capturing the challenges of the unknown.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some look through the glass and admire what lies beyond. I look beyond the glass and imagine what's ahead. What is an adventure? It's an encounter with the unexpected, an exquisite moment in time that can never be repeated, those memorable chapters in our personal story that cause us to go to the attic and lift the lid of the trunk. I've lived the experiences in my books because I walked the beaten paths where those stories were born and embraced the culture that colors the pages. I'm an intrepid traveler and adventurer with still a few personal chapters to write. As I look beyond the glass, I wonder… Will my trunk ever be full?

Nanine's book list on adventure capturing the challenges of the unknown

Nanine Case Why did Nanine love this book?

I am particularly drawn to stories about early adventures at sea. 

Life on a whaling ship was difficult and bred all manner of contemptible acts by the crew. When the journey was ill-fated, like the one in this book, it pointed the spotlight directly on the tainted core of ship life. 

This book introduced the greedy side of the 1800s whaling industry and told the story surrounding the doomed whaling ship and the ship’s drug-addicted surgeon. It presented the raw side of humanity and what lengths desperate men resort to in order to survive. It was shades of whaling seamen Herman Melville and John Rumell’s experiences surviving with savages. 

The story was riveting and begged the question: Who are the real savages?

By Ian McGuire,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The North Water as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


A ship sets sail with a killer on board . . .
1859. A man joins a whaling ship bound for the Arctic Circle. Having left the British Army with his reputation in tatters, Patrick Sumner has little option but to accept the position of ship's surgeon on this ill-fated voyage. But when, deep into the journey, a cabin boy is discovered brutally killed, Sumner finds himself forced to act. Soon he will face an evil even greater than he had encountered at the…

Book cover of The Last Imaginary Place: A Human History of the Arctic World

Gordon Campbell Author Of Norse America: The Story of a Founding Myth

From my list on the Norse in Canada.

Why am I passionate about this?

I live in England but grew up in Canada, where my Grade 5 Social Studies teacher filled my head with stories of people and places, including the Vikings. In the early 1960s, I learned about the excavations at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland featured in Canadian newspapers. My first job was in Denmark, and I subsequently travelled in the Nordic homelands and settlement areas, including the Faeroes, Iceland, and Greenland, visiting museums and archaeological sites at every opportunity. Norse America is my 26th book, but it is both the one with the deepest roots in my own past and the one most engaged with contemporary concerns about race.

Gordon's book list on the Norse in Canada

Gordon Campbell Why did Gordon love this book?

This book by a distinguished Canadian archaeologist is the finest overview of the human history of the circumpolar region. Its twin concerns are the indigenous peoples of the Arctic and the impact of intruders from the south. It is unusual in its coverage of the Russian and Scandinavian Arctic. The excellent account of the Norse colonies in Greenland feeds into a compelling analysis (through the prism of trade goods) of Norse penetration into the territories of the Dorset and Thule peoples. 

By Robert McGhee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Arctic of towering icebergs and midnight sun, of flaming auroras and endless winter nights, has long provoked flights of the imagination. Now, in "The Last Imaginary Place", renowned archaeologist, Robert McGhee lifts the veil to reveal the true Arctic world. Based on thirty years of work with native peoples of the Arctic and travel in the region, McGhee's account dispels notions of the frozen land as an exotic, remote world that exists apart from civilization. Between the frigid reality and lurid fantasy lies McGhee's true interest, the people who throughout human history have called the Arctic home. He paints…

Book cover of Silent Snow: The Slow Poisoning of the Arctic

Lawrence Millman Author Of At the End of the World: A True Story of Murder in the Arctic

From my list on the North.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve had a passion for northern places ever since I was a kid. I prefer locales that boast plenty of nature and not very many human beings. I’ve been to Greenland 15 times, but only once to Paris and never to Rome (Rome in New York State once). The more remote the locale, the better. Which is why I’ve only once been to Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, but several times to almost never visited villages in East Greenland.

Lawrence's book list on the North

Lawrence Millman Why did Lawrence love this book?

This is a book whose relationship with toxic chemicals in the Arctic is much the same as the relationship Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring has with toxic chemicals down south. Ms. Cone does an expert job of documenting how these chemicals have gotten into the Arctic’s food web and affected wildlife as well as the Arctic’s Native peoples.

By Marla Cone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Traditionally thought of as the last great unspoiled territory on Earth, the Arctic is in reality home to some of the most contaminated people and animals on the planet. Awarded a major grant to conduct an exhaustive study of the deteriorating environment of the Arctic by the Pew Charitable Trusts (the first time Pew has given such a grant to a journalist), Los Angeles Times environmental reporter Marla Cone traveled across the Arctic, from Greenland to the Aleutian Islands, to find out why the Arctic is toxic. Silent Snow is not only a scientific journey, but a personal one. Whether…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the arctic, the North Pole, and the Inuit?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the arctic, the North Pole, and the Inuit.

The Arctic Explore 66 books about the arctic
The North Pole Explore 11 books about the North Pole
The Inuit Explore 23 books about the Inuit