100 books like Midnight in Siberia

By David Greene,

Here are 100 books that Midnight in Siberia fans have personally recommended if you like Midnight in Siberia. 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 The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

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?

Even though shot at while participating in the Spanish-American War, and even shot in the chest by a would-be assassin while running for President decades later, the most dangerous adventure of Theodore Roosevelt took place in the jungles of Brazil after he was President.

Millard in this fantastic work seamlessly marries two complex topics. First being the personality of our 26th President whose varied accomplishments included writing over 30 books and being the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The second is the ecosystems of the Amazon, which damn near killed Roosevelt on his descent down an uncharted tributary of the river. 

By Candice Millard,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The River of Doubt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1912, shortly after losing his bid to spend a third term as American President to Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt with his son Kermit, a Brazilian guide and a band of camaradas set off deep into the Amazon jungle and a very uncertain fate. Although Roosevelt did eventually return from THE RIVER OF DOUBT, he and his companions faced treacherous cataracts as well as the dangerous indigenous population of the Amazon. He became severely ill on the journey, nearly dying in the jungle from a blood infection and malaria. A mere five years later Roosevelt did die of related issues.…


Book cover of Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics

David H. Mould Author Of Postcards from Stanland: Journeys in Central Asia

From my list on places people think are too dodgy to visit.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an accidental travel writer. For 25 years, I’ve made frequent work trips to the developing world for workshops and research projects, traveling widely in Central, South, and Southeast Asia and Southern Africa. I record what I see and learn, and my conversations with people and write about them in emails, blogs, and later books. Stanland was the first, followed by Monsoon Postcards: Indian Ocean Journeys and Postcards from the Borderlands. I don’t need to be at a scenic overlook or a historic site to find interest. If you’re new to a place, the every day—things so familiar to those who live there that they don’t think about them—are worth recording.

David's book list on places people think are too dodgy to visit

David H. Mould Why did David love this book?

This book has helped me to frame my own experiences of travel and how to write about other countries. In his wry, low-key, non-academic style, Marshall sweeps through history, arguing persuasively that geography—mountain ranges, seas, rivers, deserts, and so on—has been key to the rise and fall of empires and nations. Mountains form a natural barrier, not only to migration and commerce, but to invading armies; open plains make the movement of people, goods, and armies easier. Many national borders, especially those of former European colonies, are artificial and, unprotected by natural barriers, consequently fragile. Marshall, who has reported on conflicts in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and the Middle East, breaks down geopolitics in clear and simple terms, with insightful chapters on countries and regions.

By Tim Marshall,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this New York Times bestseller, an award-winning journalist uses ten maps of crucial regions to explain the geo-political strategies of the world powers—“fans of geography, history, and politics (and maps) will be enthralled” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram).

Maps have a mysterious hold over us. Whether ancient, crumbling parchments or generated by Google, maps tell us things we want to know, not only about our current location or where we are going but about the world in general. And yet, when it comes to geo-politics, much of what we are told is generated by analysts and other experts who have neglected…


Book cover of Indonesia, Etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation

David H. Mould Author Of Postcards from Stanland: Journeys in Central Asia

From my list on places people think are too dodgy to visit.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an accidental travel writer. For 25 years, I’ve made frequent work trips to the developing world for workshops and research projects, traveling widely in Central, South, and Southeast Asia and Southern Africa. I record what I see and learn, and my conversations with people and write about them in emails, blogs, and later books. Stanland was the first, followed by Monsoon Postcards: Indian Ocean Journeys and Postcards from the Borderlands. I don’t need to be at a scenic overlook or a historic site to find interest. If you’re new to a place, the every day—things so familiar to those who live there that they don’t think about them—are worth recording.

David's book list on places people think are too dodgy to visit

David H. Mould Why did David love this book?

I’ve travelled to more than 40 countries, and written about many, but when I’m asked which I’d like to explore more, my answer is always Indonesia. Elizabeth Pisani, a journalist turned epidemiologist, travelled across the vast archipelago, clocking more than 21,000 miles by boat, bus, and motorbike, and as many by plane. More than half a century since gaining independence from the Dutch, the world’s fourth most populous country, with more than 300 ethnic groups, is still struggling to establish its identity amid regional conflicts, the depletion of natural resources, and a growing wealth gap. With insight and wit, Pisani takes the reader on an enthralling, sometimes maddening journey from crowded cities to remote islands, where she bumps into people from many walks of life—from politicians to peasant farmers—as she tries to make sense of an “improbable nation.” 

By Elizabeth Pisani,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Declaring independence in 1945, Indonesia said it would "work out the details of the transfer of power etc. as soon as possible." With over 300 ethnic groups spread across over 13,500 islands, the world's fourth most populous nation has been working on that "etc." ever since. Author Elizabeth Pisani traveled 26,000 miles in search of the links that bind this disparate nation.


Book cover of The Lost Heart of Asia

David H. Mould Author Of Postcards from Stanland: Journeys in Central Asia

From my list on places people think are too dodgy to visit.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an accidental travel writer. For 25 years, I’ve made frequent work trips to the developing world for workshops and research projects, traveling widely in Central, South, and Southeast Asia and Southern Africa. I record what I see and learn, and my conversations with people and write about them in emails, blogs, and later books. Stanland was the first, followed by Monsoon Postcards: Indian Ocean Journeys and Postcards from the Borderlands. I don’t need to be at a scenic overlook or a historic site to find interest. If you’re new to a place, the every day—things so familiar to those who live there that they don’t think about them—are worth recording.

David's book list on places people think are too dodgy to visit

David H. Mould Why did David love this book?

I’ve traveled to many of the places that Thubron, the acclaimed travel writer and novelist, visits, but his take on them is much different from mine. He delves deep into the histories of the peoples of the steppes, mountains, and fertile agricultural regions of Central Asia, their art, architecture, belief systems, and cultures. It is a broad historical sweep, from the rise of the Mongol empire to Stalin's deportations to the wrenching economic, social, and political challenges faced by the governments and populations in the post-Soviet era. Thubron’s research is impeccable, his descriptions of places and people engaging and lyrical. 

By Colin Thubron,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This describes a tour of the central Asian states of the former Soviet Union.


Book cover of The Siberian Dilemma

Martin Campbell Author Of Sailor's Heart

From my list on true courage in facing danger when afraid.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Scottish writer who has published two books, one about poker and plumbing (Bad Beat Hotel) and the other about the treatment of men who sailed in the WW2 Arctic convoys and were unable to continue fighting (Sailor’s Heart). I’m interested in how people work and how they can be “repaired” when they wear out, malfunction, or break. My professional background is in clinical psychology and the study of human behaviour. I chose “cowards who become heroes” as my book theme because I’m constantly amazed by people’s resilience when faced with the most terrible circumstances.

Martin's book list on true courage in facing danger when afraid

Martin Campbell Why did Martin love this book?

Arkady Renko, a Moscow detective is a true hero, someone regarded as weak and hopeless to all around him, but ultimately redeemed by his principles and by his actions. Martin Cruz Smith is my favourite “cold places” writer, so when I heard that Renko was going to Siberia, I was hooked. (Before he goes, he shoots a bear in Moscow with a tranquilliser dart, but no more plot spoilers…)

He goes to the far, frozen east to record a police confession and to find his lost girlfriend, encountering bullets, corruption, frostbite, and more bears. His boss back in Moscow expects him to fail, as does nearly everyone he meets. But they all underestimate Arkady Renko, a hero underdog.

By Martin Cruz Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the award-winning, bestselling author of Gorky Park and Tatiana comes a breathtaking new novel about investigator Arkady Renko—“one of the most compelling figures in modern fiction” (USA TODAY)—who travels deep into Siberia to find missing journalist Tatiana Petrovna.

Journalist Tatiana Petrovna is on the move. Arkady Renko, iconic Moscow investigator and Tatiana’s part-time lover, hasn’t seen her since she left on assignment over a month ago. When she doesn’t arrive on her scheduled train, he’s positive something is wrong. No one else thinks Renko should be worried—Tatiana is known to disappear during deep assignments—but he knows her enemies all…


Book cover of The Great Soul of Siberia

Neil Kitching Author Of Carbon Choices: Common-sense Solutions to our Climate and Nature Crises

From my list on climate change and our natural world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Scottish geographer and energy specialist. I love nature and snow and don't want to see it destroyed or lost. I wrote Carbon Choices, on the common-sense solutions to our climate and nature crises, to share my expertise and passion to help people to make a difference. People, businesses, and governments all need to understand the serious consequences of climate change. Education is the first step towards taking action. Carbon Choices focuses on the solutions, many of which are 'common sense', to protect people and nature upon which we all depend.

Neil's book list on climate change and our natural world

Neil Kitching Why did Neil love this book?

Sooyong Park spends years in the wilderness to monitor and track the last remaining Siberian tigers. He spends weeks in the middle of a freezing winter in a dug-out shelter to photograph these magnificent animals in their ever-diminishing wilderness. But neither the freezing weather nor climate change is the immediate problem for the tigers - poaching and human encroachment are destroying the habitat they need to live in to prevent interbreeding.  You could cry reading this book.

By Sooyong Park,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There are five races of tiger on our planet and all but one live in tropical regions: the Siberian Tiger Panthera tigris altaica is the exception. Mysterious and elusive, and with only 350 remaining in the wild, the Siberian tiger remains a complete enigma. One man has set out to change this.

Sooyong Park has spent twenty years tracking and observing these elusive tigers. Each year he spends six months braving sub-zero temperatures, buried in grave-like underground bunkers, fearlessly immersing himself in the lives of Siberian tigers. As he watches the brutal, day-to-day struggle to survive the harsh landscape, threatened…


Book cover of In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

Buddy Levy Author Of Empire of Ice and Stone: The Disastrous and Heroic Voyage of the Karluk

From my list on polar exploration, expeditions, and survival.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been passionate about Polar exploration since I was a boy. My father was a Nordic Olympic skier who introduced me to the exploits of Norwegian and Scandinavian explorers when I was very young. Later, I traveled to Greenland in 2003 and was blown away by the remoteness, the dramatic ice and mountains, and the incredible toughness of the people who have explored the regions and carved out life there.

Buddy's book list on polar exploration, expeditions, and survival

Buddy Levy Why did Buddy love this book?

I love EVERYTHING by Hampton Sides, and this book is no exception, ticking off all my required boxes.

A splendid historical thriller on the high Arctic seas, the nonfiction book reads like the best novels. It’s a heartbreaking page-turner, made especially poignant by weaving in the moving letters written by Captain De Long’s dutiful wife, Emma. 

By Hampton Sides,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked In the Kingdom of Ice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The age of exploration was drawing to a close, yet the mystery of the North Pole remained. Contemporaries described the pole as the 'unattainable object of our dreams', and the urge to fill in this last great blank space on the map grew irresistible.In 1879 the USS Jeannette set sail from San Francisco to cheering crowds and amid a frenzy of publicity. The ship and its crew, captained by the heroic George De Long, were destined for the uncharted waters of the Arctic.

But it wasn't long before the Jeannette was trapped in crushing pack ice. Amid the rush of…


Book cover of Tent Life in Siberia

Sharon Hudgins Author Of T-Bone Whacks and Caviar Snacks: Cooking with Two Texans in Siberia and the Russian Far East

From my list on Siberia for those with insatiable wanderlust.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sharon Hudgins is the award-winning author of five books on history, travel, and food; a journalist with more than 1,000 articles published worldwide; and a former professor with the University of Maryland's Global Campus. She has spent two years in Russia, teaching at universities in Siberia and the Russian Far East, and lecturing on tours for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Viking, and other expedition companies. Endowed with an insatiable wanderlust, she has lived in 10 countries on 3 continents, traveled through 55 countries across the globe, and logged more than 45,000 miles on the Trans-Siberian Railroad.

Sharon's book list on Siberia for those with insatiable wanderlust

Sharon Hudgins Why did Sharon love this book?

An intrepid traveler and talented journalist, George Kennan (1845-1924), is better known for his second book about Russia, published in 1891: Siberia and the Exile System, a two-volume study of Siberian penal colonies and exile conditions. But his first book, published 20 years earlier, is among my favorites about Russia. In his introduction to a 1968 reprint of Tent Life in Siberia, American author Larry McMurtry called it "one of the most appealing classics of nineteenth-century travel [writing]."

In 1865, 20-year-old Kennan, an accomplished telegrapher, was hired by Western Union to survey part of Siberia for the possible construction of a telegraph line across Russia, connecting Alaska to Europe. This memoir of his two years in Siberia is a rousing tale of his adventures among the native people and the Russian settlers he encountered there, as well as the many hardships that he and his partner endured, from…

By George Kennan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tent Life in Siberia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in 1870, this book is a thrilling account by telegraph operator George Kennan, who signed on to build a telegraph line across Siberia in the 1860s. Though the Trans-Siberian telegraph line failed, we are left today with this tale of virtual first contact with a land and a people.

It is an important Siberian title with many detailed passages people, fish, music, song, costume, marriage ceremonies, language, customs, Siberian tribes, volcanoes, the coasts, and a profusion of others.

At the age of twenty, Kennan was traveling all around eastern Siberia with wandering natives on dogsleds and reindeer sleds,…


Book cover of Quartered in Hell: The Story of the American North Russia Expeditionary Force 1918-1919

Bruce Canfield Author Of U. S. Infantry Weapons of the First World War

From my list on America's crusade in the Great War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have written 13 books and over 200 national magazine articles on U.S. Military weapons and am Field Editor for the NRA’s American Rifleman magazine. The story of the World War II weapons and campaigns have been widely covered but the First World War is sometimes all but forgotten. Those who are not familiar with America’s rather brief, but important, role in the conflict often do not realize how the First World War helped make the United States one of the world’s “superpowers.”

Bruce's book list on America's crusade in the Great War

Bruce Canfield Why did Bruce love this book?

A well-researched and fascinating story of the little-known American intervention in the North Russia/Siberia campaigns between the Red Bolshevik forces and the “White Russian” forces with small American and British units essentially caught in the middle.

By Hayes Otoupalik, Dennis Gordon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Americans fighting in North Russia and Siberia from 1918 to 1920. Illustrated cover with red and white lettering on spine. 11 x 8.5. 320 pp


Book cover of Polar Star

Raf Beuy Author Of Iron Curtain 1987

From my list on stories set in the '80s (of the 20th century).

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a child of the 80s. Growing up in West Berlin, when Allied soldiers patrolled the streets, had a huge impact on my view of the world. There was this underlying feeling of uneasiness. I was well aware that Russian soldiers with tanks and nuclear weapons were waiting on the other side of the wall. Fascinating, terrifying times indeed. To convey this atmosphere to my readers is my foremost drive to write stories set within the framework of the cold war. Cheers and nastrovje!

Raf's book list on stories set in the '80s (of the 20th century)

Raf Beuy Why did Raf love this book?

Glasnost. Honestly, I was expecting to pick Gorky Park for this list. The first installment of the Arkady Renko series made a significant impression on me as a teenager, as I was completely immersed in the gritty life in the Soviet Union. But then I found Polar Star in my library and remembered what I loved about this story. It is as tightly woven as the weirs of the net spun by the fishing boat where the murder investigator Renko now has to work. It's set on a fishing boat that mimics Russian society. And even during the liberalization of the late eighties, it becomes clear: the Soviet Union is the Soviet Union is the Soviet Union.

By Martin Cruz Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Don't miss the latest book in the Arkady Renko series, THE SIBERIAN DILEMMA by Martin Cruz Smith, 'the master of the international thriller' (New York Times) - available to order now!

AN ARKADY RENKO NOVEL: #2

'One of those writers that anyone who is serious about their craft views with respect bordering on awe' Val McDermid

'Makes tension rise through the page like a shark's fin' Independent

***
Arkady Renko, former Chief Investigator of the Moscow Town Prosecutor's Office, made too many enemies and lost the favour of his party. After a self-imposed exile in Siberia, Renko toils on the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Siberia, Russia, and Moscow?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Siberia, Russia, and Moscow.

Siberia Explore 43 books about Siberia
Russia Explore 353 books about Russia
Moscow Explore 52 books about Moscow