62 books like Seven Years in Tibet

By Heinrich Harrer,

Here are 62 books that Seven Years in Tibet fans have personally recommended if you like Seven Years in Tibet. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Among the Russians

Steven Faulkner Author Of Bitterroot: Echoes of Beauty & Loss

From my list on travel that enrich landscape with history.

Why am I passionate about this?

After reading travel books that voyaged beyond mere tourism into the life of the land, its people, and its histories, I found myself longing to launch my own journeys. I took a thousand-mile canoe trip with my son following the 1673 route of the French explorers Marquette and Joliet; I crossed the Rockies with two sons by foot, mountain bike, and canoe following Lewis and Clark and their Nez Perce guides; I took to sea kayak and pontoon boat with a son and daughter, 400 miles along the Gulf Coast in pursuit of the 1528 Spanish Narvaez Expedition. Writing of these journeys gave me the chance to live twice.

Steven's book list on travel that enrich landscape with history

Steven Faulkner Why did Steven love this book?

Colin Thubron showed me real travel writing: a journey in words that leads the reader through detailed landscapes, personal encounters with local people, and a depth of understanding that can only come through the human history of these landscapes.

I took this trip with Thubron when Russia was still the Soviet Union. Thubron met dissidents living in Moscow, drank vodka with them late into the night, traveled north to the remnants of Soviet concentration camps, took the rails through that vast continent across the steppes, over the mountains, around huge lakes, all the way to the Pacific coast. The book is beautifully written and introduced me to a travel writer I have read many times since.

By Colin Thubron,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Thubron learnt Russian and entered the then Soviet Union in an old Morris Marina in which he camped and drove for almost 10,000 miles between the Baltic and Caucasus. This book provides a revealing picture of the many races who inhabit the country and the human side behind state socialism.


Book cover of Travels in West Africa

Christina Dodwell Author Of Madagascar Travels

From my list on chosen by a long-term traveller and explorer.

Why am I passionate about this?

If I needed an excuse to be an explorer, I’d say it was inherited wanderlust. My grandparents moved to China in the 1920s and my grandmother became an unconventional traveller by mule in the wilds. My mother spent her childhood there. And much of her married life in West Africa, where I was born and raised. The wildest places fill me with curiosity.

Christina's book list on chosen by a long-term traveller and explorer

Christina Dodwell Why did Christina love this book?

Among my favourite great women explorers of the past, her intrepid streak brings wild adventures which she handles with earthy common sense and humour – her writing makes me smile. I recommend it because it’s a superb escape into the once-real world of a woman explorer in the 1890s.

I particularly loved her voyage by dugout canoe downriver in the Ogowe rapids, and her bartering of lacy shirts with Fang tribesmen when her trade goods ran out. It all seemed so normal. It taught me not to fear the outside world, and that the wildest rainforests are safe compared to our big city jungles. As a woman alone, one is more of a novelty than a threat.

By Mary H. Kingsley,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Travels in West Africa as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Upon her sudden freedom from family obligations, a sheltered Victorian spinster traded her stifling middle-class existence for an incredible expedition in the Congo. Mary Kingsley traversed uncharted regions of West Africa alone, on foot, collecting specimens of local fauna and trading with natives--a remarkable feat in any era, but particularly for a woman of the 1890s. After hacking her way through jungles, being fired upon by hostile tribesmen and attacked by wild animals, Kingsley emerged with no complaint more serious than a pair of tired feet. She undertook her exploits in the traditional garb of her era but lived as…


Book cover of Tschiffely's Ride: Ten Thousand Miles in the Saddle from Southern Cross to Pole Star

Christina Dodwell Author Of Madagascar Travels

From my list on chosen by a long-term traveller and explorer.

Why am I passionate about this?

If I needed an excuse to be an explorer, I’d say it was inherited wanderlust. My grandparents moved to China in the 1920s and my grandmother became an unconventional traveller by mule in the wilds. My mother spent her childhood there. And much of her married life in West Africa, where I was born and raised. The wildest places fill me with curiosity.

Christina's book list on chosen by a long-term traveller and explorer

Christina Dodwell Why did Christina love this book?

It’s an extraordinary journey, people said it was absurd and impossible. I read it as a teenager, and even then it struck a chord with me. And it showed that what people call impossible is merely a sign of challenge. It also shows what deep reserves of stamina we all have in us, only found if we dig deep enough. It stayed with me as an inspiration, and as a dream of adventure

By Aimé Tschiffely,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Tschiffely's Ride as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the southeast coast of South America through an expanse of Peruvian sands en route to the West Coast, then onward through Central American jungles and rainforest, and finally to New York, Tschiffely’s journey was considered impossible and absurd by many newspaper writers in 1925. However, after two and a half years on horseback with two of his trusty and tough steeds, this daring trekker lived to tell his best-selling tale.

Tschiffely’s 10,000-mile journey was filled with adventure and triumph, but it also forced the traveler to deal with tremendous natural and man-made obstacles, as many countries in Central America…


Book cover of My Journey to Lhasa

Patti Shales Lefkos Author Of Nepal One Day at a Time: One woman's quest to teach, trek and build a school in the remote Himalaya

From my list on inspiration to leap out of your comfort zone.

Why am I passionate about this?

Currently a journalist, author, and adventure traveller, I am a former inner-city educator from Vancouver, BC, Canada with a Masters of Environmental Education degree, a Wilderness Leadership certificate, and a post-graduate certificate in Journalism. Solo and with my husband I have completed several major treks in Europe, Tibet, and Nepal including Mount Kailash kora, Everest Base Camp north (Tibet), The Annapurna Circuit and Base Camp, Everest Base Camp south (Nepal), Upper Mustang, the Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley for a total of about 800 km. I am currently training to complete Nepal’s Great Himalayan Trail (low route), 1,500 km from one end of Nepal to the other.

Patti's book list on inspiration to leap out of your comfort zone

Patti Shales Lefkos Why did Patti love this book?

I was enthralled by the emotional and physical strength of Alexandra David-Neel as she journeyed across the extreme wilds of the Tibetan Plateau in 1923 to reach the forbidden city of Lhasa. Her brilliance as a scholar of many Eastern languages and dialects influenced me to study the Nepalese language as part of my own volunteer work. After reading this book I longed to see Lhasa and places like Shigatse and Gyantse myself so in 2009 I travelled to Lhasa before heading to Western Tibet to trek the pilgrimage kora (circumambulation) of sacred Mount Kailash. I silently thanked her when I reached 5,630 metres at Drolma La, the high pass on the three-day circuit.

By Madame Alexandra David-Neel,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked My Journey to Lhasa as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Originally published in 1927 by Harper and Brothers, this book is the culmination of more than twenty years of Madame Alexandra David-Neel's intensive study and daring adventure in mysterious territories of the East. In order to penetrate Tibet and reach Lhasa, she used her fluency of Tibetan dialects and culture, disguised herself as a beggar with yak hair extensions and inked skin and tackled some of the roughest terrain and climate in the World. With the help of her young companion, Yongden, she willingly suffered the primitive travel conditions, frequent outbreaks of disease, the ever-present danger of border control and…


Book cover of Tibet in Agony: Lhasa 1959

Andrew G. Walder Author Of China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed

From my list on China from Mao through Tiananmen.

Why am I passionate about this?

I took my first course about Chinese politics in 1973, when the country was still in the tumultuous last years of the Mao era. In a teaching career that began in 1982, I have spent long periods of research and teaching in China and Hong Kong. China’s shifting course has been a constant source of fascination, encouragement, and at times dismay. It is hard to imagine that the impoverished and unstable country of the 1970s would rise to become such a major economic power, one that despite its impressive expansion still faces intractable barriers to its future advancement.

Andrew's book list on China from Mao through Tiananmen

Andrew G. Walder Why did Andrew love this book?

For years, the Dalai Lama was courted by Beijing in efforts to incorporate Tibet into the new Chinese Communist State. Drawing on official Chinese documents and memoirs and interviews with Tibetan emigres, Li pulls together a dramatic account of the maneuverings, miscalculations, and events during a critical period that culminated in an uprising in Lhasa that was violently crushed by the People’ Liberation Army, leading to the dramatic flight of the Dalai Lama to India. The account provides fresh new light on a dramatic failure of Chinese policy whose consequences are felt to the present day.

By Jianglin Li, Susan Wilf (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Chinese Communist government has twice invoked large-scale military might to crush popular uprisings in capital cities. The second incident-the notorious massacre in Tiananmen Square in 1989-is well known. The first, thirty years earlier in Tibet, remains little understood today. Yet in wages of destruction, bloodshed, and trampling of human rights, the tragic toll of March 1959 surpassed Tiananmen.

Tibet in Agony provides the first clear historical account of the Chinese crackdown in Lhasa. Sifting facts from the distortions of propaganda and partisan politics, Jianglin Li reconstructs a chronology of events that lays to rest lingering questions about what happened…


Book cover of Tea Horse Road: China's Ancient Trade Road to Tibet

Jane Pettigrew Author Of Jane Pettigrew's World of Tea: Discovering Producing Regions and Their Teas

From my list on tea and tea history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell into the world of tea by chance in the 1980s when I gave up a career in higher education to open a 1930s style tearoom in southwest London. I grew up in the 1950s in a typical British family that drank tea throughout the day but little did I know, as I baked endless supplies of scones and cakes for the tearoom at 4 am every day, that I would end up writing books and magazine articles, editing a tea magazine for the UK Tea Council, speaking at world tea conferences, training staff in hotels, travelling to almost every major tea producing country, and eventually working today as Director of Studies at the UK Tea Academy.

Jane's book list on tea and tea history

Jane Pettigrew Why did Jane love this book?

This hefty tome is a dream book for anyone fascinated, as I am, by the ancient trade road, dating back to the 7th century AD and stretching over 1000 miles, along which tea was carried on the backs of pack animals from southwest China up to Lhasa, where it was traded for Tibetan ponies. Freeman’s wonderful photographs and Ahmad’s text capture and explain the life of the villagers in the famous tea mountains of southern Yunnan, where tea trees live up to 3,000 years; the rituals of the Buddhist priests in their temples; the different ethnic peoples that live in the remote regions along the road; the ceremonies that take place to honour the ancient tea trees, and views of the landscape where rivers wind, yaks graze, and life revolves around tea.

By Michael Freeman, Selena Ahmed,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the longest and most dramatic trade routes of the ancient world, the Tea Horse Road carried a crucial exchange for 13 centuries between China and Tibet. China needed war horses to protect its northern frontier and Tibet could supply them. When the Tibetans discovered tea in the 7th century, it became a staple of their diet, but its origins are in southwest China, and they had to trade for it.

The result was a network of trails covering more than 3,000 kilometers through forests, gorges and high passes onto the Himalayan plateaus, traversed by horse, mule and yak…


Book cover of The Devil's Sea

Tony Dellamarco Author Of Beneath the Dragon's Triangle

From my list on written by science fiction masters.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an engineer and a science teacher I am passionate about science and science fiction stories. I also enjoy adventures. Together these lifelong passions led me to write my first science fiction novel. I have years of technological and educational training. My first job was with IBM where I worked in the Quality Control and Engineering departments. Throughout my life, I’ve been an avid sportsman and have trained in powerlifting and a variety of martial arts. When I’m not writing or conjuring science fiction novels, I enjoy teaching my grandchildren how to drive my tractor while working the fields around my home in the Hudson Valley.

Tony's book list on written by science fiction masters

Tony Dellamarco Why did Tony love this book?

Clive Cussler is one of the few authors whose real-life adventures paralleled that of his action hero, Dirk Pitt, creating a compelling story. It is easier to convey an adventure story if you have actually lived it. I was humbled by an editorial review and a number of readers that stated my book is reminiscent of Clive Cussler’s works.

By Dirk Cussler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fearless adventurer Dirk Pitt must unravel a historical mystery of epic importance in the latest novel in the beloved New York Times bestselling series created by the “grand master of adventure” Clive Cussler.

In 1959 Tibet, a Buddhist artifact of immense importance was seemingly lost to history in the turmoil of the Communist takeover. But when National Underwater and Marine Agency Director Dirk Pitt discovers a forgotten plane crash in the Philippine Sea over 60 years later, new clues emerge to its hidden existence.
 
But Pitt and his compatriot Al Giordino have larger worries when they are ordered to recover…


Book cover of Trespassers on the Roof of the World: The Secret Exploration of Tibet

Stephen Haddelsey Author Of Shackleton's Dream: Fuchs, Hillary and the Crossing of Antarctica

From my list on forgotten expeditions and extraordinary journeys.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although I’m fascinated by the history of exploration, I’m most attracted to the stories that have been lost, neglected, or forgotten. Why, for instance, is Sir Vivian Fuchs – arguably the most successful British Antarctic explorer of the twentieth century – not as well-known as Scott or Shackleton? Why do we know so little of Operation Tabarin – the only wartime Antarctic expedition to be launched by a combatant nation? These are the kind of questions that I want to answer, and these are the expeditions that I have wanted to examine. I’ve been fortunate to meet and interview some truly extraordinary men – and telling their stories has been a joy and a privilege.  

Stephen's book list on forgotten expeditions and extraordinary journeys

Stephen Haddelsey Why did Stephen love this book?

This book doesn’t tell the story of one expedition, it recounts many, launched by men of nine different nationalities, all intent on breaking into the closed world of Tibet. I am not alone in considering Hopkirk to be one of the great masters of what might be described as ‘historical travel’ books, and this is surely one of his best. Populated by a wonderful cast of characters, all determined to be the first westerner to reach the sacred, and forbidden, city of Lhasa. I can’t recommend it highly enough – and, enjoy one of Hopkirk’s books, and you’ll enjoy them all.  

By Peter Hopkirk,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Trespassers on the Roof of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For nineteenth-century adventures, Tibet was the prize destination, and Lhasa, its capital situated nearly three miles above sea level, was the grandest trophy of all. The lure of this mysterious land, and its strategic importance, made it inevitable that despite the Tibetans' reluctance to end their isolation, determined travelers from Victorian Britain, Czarist Russia, America, and a half dozen other countries world try to breach the country's high walls.

In this riveting narrative, Peter Hopkirk turns his storytelling skills on the fortune hunters, mystics, mountaineers, and missionaries who tried storming the roof of the world. He also examines how China…


Book cover of All Is Change: The Two-Thousand-Year Journey of Buddhism to the West

Laurence Cox Author Of The Irish Buddhist: The Forgotten Monk Who Faced Down the British Empire

From my list on Buddhism and the West.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a street musician, set up kindergartens, worked in special needs education, and run wood-fired showers in a field for meditation retreats. I’m also associate professor of sociology at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. I became a Buddhist partly out of interest in a very different culture and started wondering how Buddhism got from Asia to the West. I think about this through my own experience of teaching meditation, being an activist for 35 years, living in five countries, and learning ten languages: what do you have to do to make an idea come alive in a different culture? 

Laurence's book list on Buddhism and the West

Laurence Cox Why did Laurence love this book?

I read this book just before I started writing my own book on Buddhism and Ireland. It’s almost an adventure story: there’s Alexander the Great and Aesop’s Fables, Marco Polo and Theosophist fantasies, Christian missionaries to Asia and Buddhist missionaries to the West, Asian immigrants in America, and British spies in Tibet, the Dalai Lama, and today’s western Buddhists. Sutin tells this whole complicated, rambling yarn in an easy-going and enjoyable way, making the book a real pleasure to read.

By Lawrence Sutin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The modern-day creation of a distinctly Western Buddhism is arguably the most significant spiritual development of our time. Few realize, however, that the complicated dance between Western and Eastern religions has gone on for more than two millennia. ALL IS CHANGE is the definitive account of the two-thousand year transmission of Buddhism to the West. From the early exchanges between the Classical Greeks and the Buddhists of India to the encounters between Buddhist and Christian traders and missionaries in China to the influence of Buddhism on Western philosophers and the current fascination with the Dalai Lama, this is a riveting…


Book cover of A Poisoned Arrow. The Secret Report of the 10th Panchen Lama

Jasper Becker Author Of Made in China: Wuhan, Covid and the Quest for Biotech Supremacy

From my list on understanding the history of communism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jasper Becker is a foreign correspondent who spent decades reporting on China and the Far East. His the author of numerous books including Hungry Ghosts – Mao’s Secret Famine, Rogue Regime – Kim Jong Il and the looming threat of North Korea, City of Heavenly Tranquillity, and most recently Made in China – Wuhan, COVID and the Quest for Biotech Supremacy.

Jasper's book list on understanding the history of communism

Jasper Becker Why did Jasper love this book?

I once saw the 10th Panchen Lama give a very rare press conference in Beijing. This remarkable Tibetan endured years of imprisonment for writing a report describing mass arrests, political executions, and man-made starvation in Tibet in the early 1960s. The report makes it clear that the famine and the eradication of religion was a deliberate policy. It was quite likely that more than any other group the Tibetans suffered more than any other group in China. Although he was at times criticised as a collaborator, compared to the Dalai Lama, who escaped to India, the report reveals that there was no escape from this genocide for any Tibetan.

5 book lists we think you will like!

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