100 books like Tibetan Foothold

By Dervla Murphy,

Here are 100 books that Tibetan Foothold fans have personally recommended if you like Tibetan Foothold. 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 Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal

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?

When Conor Grennan embarked on a journey around the globe, beginning with a three-month stint volunteering at an orphanage in civil war-torn Nepal, he never imagined the children were not actually orphans but had been taken from their families by child traffickers. He became attached to the rambunctious children and decided to reunite them with their parents. Little Princes illustrates how one person can make a huge difference in the lives of others. I noticed a percentage of book profits goes to Next Generation Nepal, the non-profit he founded to assist the children. I was hooked. That cemented my resolve to tell my story of solo travel and the village that asked for my help. I founded the non-profit Nepal One Day at a Time Society, wrote my first book (noted above), dedicated profits back to the children, and created a partnership with Kathmandu-based NGO Sambhav Nepal. Thanks, Connor!

By Conor Grennan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The riveting story of Conor Grennan's year in Nepal reads like a cross between Into Thin Air and Three Cups of Tea. While volunteering at an orphanage, Conor discovers that the children are not orphans: they are trafficked. Despite the danger, Conor treks up dirt paths with photographs of the children, miraculously reuniting dozens of families.

It's 2006 and Nepal is a country torn apart by war, greed and corruption. Caught in the middle are the Nepalese children, snatched and sold into slavery, the kidnappers promising their families that they will be taken to a safe haven from where they…


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 South Away: The Pacific Coast on Two Wheels

Marilyn Kriete Author Of Paradise Road: A Memoir

From my list on memoirs to take you on wild adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a serial memoirist (two published, two more to come), and a true fan of well-written memoir. I read all kinds, but my favorites often combine coming-of-age with unusual travel or life choices. I love getting inside the authors’ heads, discovering not just what they did, but why, and how they felt about it later, and what came next. Great memoirs take us out of our own lives and into settings, situations, and perspectives we may never experience. What better way to understand how other people live and move and think and feel? Fiction is fine, but a unique true story hooks me from start to finish. 

Marilyn's book list on memoirs to take you on wild adventures

Marilyn Kriete Why did Marilyn love this book?

Following a newbie on her first big adventure always thrills me, and Meaghan’s account of riding her bike from northern BC to Baja, Mexico, accompanied by her equally inexperienced sister, brought me back to my own bicycle travels, 30 years earlier.

What changed, and what remained the same? We shared many of the same struggles: fear of bears and bicycle breakdowns, for starters, and trusting the road to whip our bodies into shape.

Traveling with a cell phone and online access to couch surfing were luxuries I couldn’t have imagined in 1978, but clocking the miles still mightily tests body, spirit, and a tight budget.

Meaghan is funny and vulnerable, engaging the senses in every aspect of her learn-as-you-go odyssey along the Pacific Coast. 

By Meaghan Marie Hackinen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

South Away follows Meaghan Marie Hackinen and her sister in the adventure of a lifetime: bicycling from Terrace, BC down the West Coast to (almost) the tip of the Baja Peninsula. Along the way Hackinen battles with the elements in Vancouver Island’s dense northern forests and frigid Mexican deserts; encounters strange men, suicidal highways and monster trucks; and makes some emergency repairs as tires and spokes succumb to the ravages of the journey. Luckily, the pair meet some good people along the way and glean some insight about the kindness of strangers.

A rare road-trip story with two female leads,…


Book cover of Blue Sky Kingdom: An Epic Family Journey to the Heart of the Himalaya

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?

Bruce’s story tells of travelling with his wife and two young sons from their home in British Columbia to the Himalayas where they ultimately spend several months in a remote Buddhist monastery in the Zanskar Valley. Privileged to meet the family mid-journey in Lhasa, I devoured the book when it came out. Epic courage and resilience are an understatement when speaking about this family. Their family connection, devotion to their sons and each other, and spirit of adventure amazed me. I learned a great deal about immersion in an extremely different culture and the mutual respect developed between the family and the resident monks of all ages.

By Bruce Kirkby,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A warm and unforgettable portrait of a family letting go of the known world to encounter an unfamiliar one filled with rich possibilities and new understandings.

Bruce Kirkby had fallen into a pattern of looking mindlessly at his phone for hours, flipping between emails and social media, ignoring his children and wife and everything alive in his world, when a thought struck him. This wasn't living; this wasn't him. This moment of clarity started a chain reaction which ended with a grand plan: he was going to take his wife and two young sons, jump on a freighter and head…


Book cover of The Gift of a Cow: A Translation of the Classic Hindi Novel Godaan

Jeremy Seabrook Author Of People Without History: India's Muslim Ghettos

From my list on the daily lives of poor people in India.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child of a worker in the boot and shoe industry of the English Midlands, I have written for more than half a century about poverty in its many guises – from the want and misery of early industrialism in Britain to the modernised poverty of a form of affluence which mimics prosperity without providing either satisfaction or sufficiency. Writing about the landscapes of poverty in the 1980s, I went to India and Bangladesh, and saw there in patterns of urbanization familiar echoes of what we in Britain had experienced. It seems to me that poor people are always poor in the same way, although this may be hidden behind differences in culture, tradition, ethnicity, and faith.

Jeremy's book list on the daily lives of poor people in India

Jeremy Seabrook Why did Jeremy love this book?

This great Hindi novel evokes the vast placid plains of North India, and the social and psychological violence that lies so close to the surface in the lives of the poor. It is the story of Hori Ram, to whom a neighbour gifts a cow, which his estranged brother poisons, thereby deepening the already impoverished family’s misery beneath the humiliations of caste and poverty, and it provided me with insights into the lives of poor people in India which volumes of academic work on poverty failed to do.

By Premchand,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Premchand is the most famous Hindi novelist, and Godaan is Premchand's most celebrated novel. Economic and social conflict in a north Indian village are brilliantly captured in the story of Hori, a poor farmer, and his family's struggle for survival and self-respect. Hori does everything he can to fulfill his life's desire: to own a cow, the peasant's measure of wealth and well-being. An engaging introduction to India before Independence, Godaan is at once village ethnography, moving human document, and insightful colonial history. Out of print for many years, this translation is regarded as a classic in itself.


Book cover of India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy

Dinesh C. Sharma Author Of The Outsourcer: The Story of India's IT Revolution

From my list on the history of modern India.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a journalist who has strayed into book writing with a particular interest in the history of post-independent and contemporary India. My interest in this subject developed as an offshoot of reporting on landmark changes during the period of economic liberalization in the 1990s. One of the astounding stories of this period was the rise of the technology industry and the outsourcing business. A deeper study of this took me back to the period of independence in 1947 and decades before it.  

Dinesh's book list on the history of modern India

Dinesh C. Sharma Why did Dinesh love this book?

India is an enigma to many people – a developing country beset with a number of problems yet a resounding democracy; a nuclear and space power yet grappling with poverty, malnutrition, and illiteracy; a source of great talent for global corporations and a nation of innovators yet experiencing violence and acrimony based on caste and religion. India After Gandhi is a comprehensive guide to understand these apparent contradictions and make sense of modern India. It is history told in an accessible, evidence-based fashion, and free from biases.

By Ramachandra Guha,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From one of the subcontinent’s most important and controversial writers comes this definitive history of post-Partition India, published on the 60th anniversary of Independence

Told in lucid and beautiful prose, the story of India’s wild ride toward and since Independence is a riveting one. Taking full advantage of the dramatic details of the protests and conflicts that helped shape the nation, politically, socially, and economically, Guha writes of the factors and processes that have kept the country together, and kept it democratic, defying the numerous prophets of doom.

Moving between history and biography, this story provides fresh insights into the…


Book cover of Patriarchy and the Pangolin: A Field Guide to Indian Men and Other Species

Seema Mundoli Author Of Cities and Canopies: Trees in Indian Cities

From my list on the environment by women writers from India.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have had an affinity for nature since my childhood, but I did not train as an ecologist. An increasing concern about the environment, and the people more adversely affected by ecological degradation, made me switch careers early. I have worked on issues around conservation, land and forest rights of indigenous communities, and on the importance of nature in cities. Today I am an educator with a responsibility to communicate not only about environmental issues, but why it is a priority for communities in India. I am proud to be a part of the community of women writers on the environment in India whose voices and experiences need to be heard.

Seema's book list on the environment by women writers from India

Seema Mundoli Why did Seema love this book?

Who among us has not looked at our published academic paper and felt that tinge of sadness at so much left unsaid? This book is about all that is left unsaid—an entertaining account of the many stories behind the data collected for research that does not make it into our sanitised published papers. Traversing different parts of North India, two young women carrying out conservation research encounter not just nature but also opinionated men, corrupt officials, and a bureaucracy that worked at a frustrating snail’s pace. The accounts in the book are hilarious and relatable to anyone who has done field research, ecological or otherwise in India, where data collection is interspersed with memorable and amusing everyday conversations with a range of people. This is a book I would have loved to write myself. And I hope I still can someday, in my own way.

By Aditi Patil,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of The Free Voice: On Democracy, Culture and the Nation

Shivam Shankar Singh Author Of How to Win an Indian Election

From my list on understanding Indian politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I graduated early from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor to come back to my home country and work in Indian politics. Since then I’ve worked with a Member of Parliament, handled campaign design in states across India, and headed data analytics for India’s largest political party. This experience gave me an inside view of how politics operates and how elections are actually won. The fact that this was at a time when Indian politics was going through massive changes with micro-targeting, digital technologies and disinformation gaining ground made the experience even more unique. Based on this experience, my books detail how power is gained, (mis)used, and lost.

Shivam's book list on understanding Indian politics

Shivam Shankar Singh Why did Shivam love this book?

It takes a lot from a lot of different stakeholders for a democracy to thrive. It requires unbiased institutions that ensure a level playing field for all political parties and candidates, and one of the primary institutions that keep democracy alive is the media. A vote is only an informed decision when voters have accurate information to base their decision on. The responsibility of making this information accessible rests with a nation’s media. For this reason, it is also one of the first institutions that is targeted by any politician wanting to consolidate power. This book, written by one of India’s leading journalists details how media institutions can be transformed from sources of accurate information to drivers of fear, and how that damages democracy. 

By Ravish Kumar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'This brave and timely book should be required reading for every Indian.'--Nayantara Sahgal

In this revised paperback edition of his best-selling book, Ravish Kumar, one of our bravest and most mature public voices, examines why debate and dialogue have given way to hate and intolerance in India, how elected representatives, the media and other institutions are failing us, and looks at ways to repair the damage to our democracy.

A new introduction and two additional essays examine developments since the election results of May 2019.


Book cover of Imagining India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation

Dinesh C. Sharma Author Of The Outsourcer: The Story of India's IT Revolution

From my list on the history of modern India.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a journalist who has strayed into book writing with a particular interest in the history of post-independent and contemporary India. My interest in this subject developed as an offshoot of reporting on landmark changes during the period of economic liberalization in the 1990s. One of the astounding stories of this period was the rise of the technology industry and the outsourcing business. A deeper study of this took me back to the period of independence in 1947 and decades before it.  

Dinesh's book list on the history of modern India

Dinesh C. Sharma Why did Dinesh love this book?

It is a book on the history of modern India but told from the perspective of an entrepreneur and a business leader – and one of the architects of the IT revolution. It tells the story of ideas that dotted India’s transition from the era of socialism to that of liberalization and globalization, while highlighting successes and failures. It projects new ideas – technological as well as creative policy options - for meeting some of the pressing challenges of poverty, health, education, and economic growth. 

By Nandan Nilekani,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A visionary look at the evolution and future of India

In this momentous book, Nandan Nilekani traces the central ideas that shaped India's past and present and asks the key question of the future: How will India as a global power avoid the mistakes of earlier development models? As a co-founder of Infosys, a global leader in information technology, Nilekani has actively participated in the company's rise during the past twenty-seven years. In Imagining India, he uses his global experience and understanding to discuss the future of India and its role as a global citizen and emerging economic giant. Nilekani…


Book cover of Malgudi Days

Reenita Malhotra Hora Author Of Operation Mom: My Plan to Get My Mom a Life... and a Man

From my list on South Asian young adults.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a passion for this topic because I too am a South Asian author. I read these books to stay informed about the latest ideas shaping our understanding of the South Asian young adult, both within and outside of the geographical boundaries of South Asia. I want to see more stories out there with South Asian themes, characters, settings— contemporary stories in particular. I’d like to see South Asians in ordinary life and not stereotypical situations like The Indian Wedding. We have so many stories to tell! I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have!

Reenita's book list on South Asian young adults

Reenita Malhotra Hora Why did Reenita love this book?

It is hard to say whether the stories of Malgudi Days are for children or adults. R.K. Narayan, the pioneer of early Indian literature in English, has written a series of delightful books based upon a fictional village called Malgudi. This first one is a collection containing 32 short stories, a series of lovable characters. I especially love how he portrays the teen angst of characters like Iswaren, Ramu, and Sambu whose lives determined by passing exams, are so far from the lives of South Asian teens in the West. Unlike today’s stories with pacing and riveting plots, this one is a lesson in slowing down to take a deep and close examination of Indian rural life, particularly for these young adults in Malgudi.

By R. K. Narayan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Introducing this collection of stories, R. K. Narayan describes how in India 'the writer has only to look out of the window to pick up a character and thereby a story'. Malgudi Days is the marvellous result. Here Narayan portrays an astrologer, a snake-charmer, a postman, a vendor of pies and chappatis - all kinds of people, drawn in full colour and endearing domestic detail. And under his magician's touch the whole imaginary city of Malgudi springs to life, revealing the essence of India and of human experience.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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