89 books like To the Great Ocean

By Harmon Tupper,

Here are 89 books that To the Great Ocean fans have personally recommended if you like To the Great Ocean. 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 East of the Sun: The Epic Conquest and Tragic History of 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?

For readers venturing into the history of Siberia for the first time, East of the Sun is an excellent introduction to this Asian side of Russia, stretching 5,000 miles between the Ural Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The book's narrative covers four centuries, from the conquest of Siberia by Russians in the late 16th century through the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 20th century—including early expeditions into the uncharted lands east of the Urals and the Russians' push toward the Pacific Ocean; native people in Siberia; Russian expansion into North America, from Alaska to California; Siberia as a place of prison and exile, but also a land of opportunity for millions of voluntary settlers; the impact of the Trans-Siberian Railroad; and the effects of modernization under the Soviets in the 20th century. If you're an armchair traveler interested in history, or planning a trip to Siberia yourself,…

By Benson Bobrick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The very word Siberia evokes a history and reputation as awesome as it is enthralling. In this acclaimed book on Russia’s conquest of its eastern realms, Benson Bobrick offers a story that is both rich and subtle, broad and deep.From its conquest by Cossacks and its exploration and settlement in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, through its terrifying Gulag history, to its modern place in a world hungry for natural resources, Siberia –covering a sixth of the world’s surface – has a history unlike any other land. East of the Sun captures all of Siberia’s history with a depth and…


Book cover of The Princess of Siberia: The Story of Maria Volkonsky and the Decembrist Exiles

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?

A fascinating account of the remarkable lives—and wives—of several Russian aristocrats who were sentenced to prison, hard labor, and exile in Siberia after participating in a failed attempt to overthrow Tsar Nicholas I in December of 1825. Eleven wives (two of them princesses) of those unfortunate noblemen voluntarily followed their husbands to Siberia, even though the women were forced to give up their own lands, titles, and children back in Moscow and St. Petersburg. 

The Princess of Siberia focuses on one family in particular, the Volkonskys, who settled in Irkutsk, the capital of eastern Siberia, after Prince Sergei Volkonsky's years of hard labor in the silver mines in Russia's Far East. His wife, Maria—a princess from a distinguished family in European Russia—stayed with him throughout his imprisonment and exile in Siberia. She later became known in Irkutsk as "The Princess of Siberia" because of her many charitable works and cultural…

By Christine Sutherland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Beautiful, cultivated, the daughter of a hero of the Napoleonic wars, Maria Volkonsky had been married only one year when in 1825 the tsar sentenced her husband to life imprisonment in Siberia. Despite her family's and the tsar's opposition, Maria was determined to join her husband in exile. She was more than halfway there when the tsar decreed that she could never return from Siberia.


Book cover of The Reindeer People: Living with Animals and Spirits 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?

My favorite book about reindeer and their relationship with the nomadic native people who herd them over the tundra of northern Siberia. The author is not only a renowned anthropologist at Cambridge University, but also a gifted writer who brings his field research to life on the page. He writes beautifully about the history of reindeer in northern Asia, their lives from birth to death, their uses by the herders who care for them, the disastrous attempts by the Soviets to collectivize the herders' lives and livelihood, the spiritual significance of reindeer to many native Siberians even today, and why people have long believed that reindeer can fly. As one reviewer wrote, "Like the reindeer themselves, this book takes wings."

By Piers Vitebsky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A voyage of discovery into the life of a remote aboriginal community in the Siberian Arctic, where the reindeer has been a part of daily life since Palaeolithic times. The reindeer, along with the dog, was probably the first species to be drawn into a close relationship with man. This book, by an eminent British anthropologist, is the beautifully written story of how that relationship works and of the intimacy between the nomadic reindeer people and the landscape they inhabit. What to the Western eye looks like a vast, uninhabited Arctic wilderness is in fact filled with animals, humans and…


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 Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia

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?

OK, I’ll confess. I have this Dr. Zhivago fantasy (that may also involve Julie Christie). I travelled more than 200 miles on the Trans-Siberian Railway while on a fellowship in Russia’s southern Urals. It was not as romantic a journey as I had expected—lots of forest and drunks in the restaurant car—but I wish I’d traveled further. David Greene, NPR’s former Moscow bureau chief, has traveled the whole line, more than 5,000 miles from Moscow to Vladivostok. It’s not the view from the train window of the landscape of Siberia—spectacular though it sometimes is—that drives the story along. It’s the people Greene meets, the stories of their lives and hardships, and how passengers traveling together day and night for almost a week cope with the journey and each other. 

By David Greene,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Far away from the trendy cafes, designer boutiques, and political protests and crackdowns in Moscow, the real Russia exists.

Midnight in Siberia chronicles David Greene's journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway, a 6,000-mile cross-country trip from Moscow to the Pacific port of Vladivostok. In quadruple-bunked cabins and stopover towns sprinkled across the country's snowy landscape, Greene speaks with ordinary Russians about how their lives have changed in the post-Soviet years.

These travels offer a glimpse of the new Russia-a nation that boasts open elections and newfound prosperity but continues to endure oppression, corruption, a dwindling population, and stark inequality.

We follow…


Book cover of Salt & Time: Recipes from a Russian Kitchen

Zuza Zak Author Of Amber & Rye: A Baltic Food Journey: Estonia - Latvia - Lithuania

From my list on travelling through food.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some people travel through food–they seek out authentic foods when they are travelling, visit certain places just to eat their specialties, and travel from their own kitchens when they are at home. This book list is for them. The same has always been the case with me, and I have continued this habit of exploring culture through food in the writing of my own cookbooks. Amber & Rye was the book for which I physically travelled the most, and my partner did all the travel photography too, so it was a family experience.

Zuza's book list on travelling through food

Zuza Zak Why did Zuza love this book?

This book takes you to a place that not many people will travel to in their lifetime: Siberia.

While it isn’t strictly a food and travel book–the author was born in Siberia, and this is her take on Russian food–it does involve a journey back to the place of her birth. Other journeys also feature in the narrative, as Alissa’s Jewish ancestors undertook many journeys before settling in Siberia.

Read this book if you like to explore the road less travelled.

By Alissa Timoshkina, Lizzie Mayson (photographer),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A collection of delicious modern recipes from Siberia and beyond from the chef and author who founded #CookforUkraine

Salt & Time will transform perceptions of the food of the former Soviet Union, and especially Siberia—the crossroads of Eastern European and Central Asian cuisine—with 100 inviting recipes adapted for modern tastes and Western kitchens, and evocative storytelling to explain and entice. Why not try the restorative Solyanka fish soup (a famous Russian hangover cure), savor the fragrant Chicken with prunes or treat yourself to some Napoleon cake.

In Alissa Timoshkina’s words:

“Often we need distance and time, both to see things…


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 My Sister's Mother: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Stalin's Siberia

Katrina Shawver Author Of Henry: A Polish Swimmer's True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America

From my list on Poland and it's people during World War 2.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author, lifelong history geek, and relentlessly curious about finding unknown stories. In 2002 I met Henry Zguda, an eighty-five-year-old Polish Catholic who survived three years in Auschwitz and Buchenwald during World War II. He lived a mile from my house. Intrigued, I soon offered to write his incredible story. I am not Polish and knew little of Poland or Polish history when I began. This led to over ten years of research on Poland, World War II, and the Holocaust. My friendship with Henry changed the direction of my life and gave me keen insight into the plight of Poles, both Jewish and Christian, during World War II. Thousands of memoirs and books exist on the Holocaust. I believe the inspiring stories of Poles and other victims of Hitler and Stalin deserve equally widespread recognition.

Katrina's book list on Poland and it's people during World War 2

Katrina Shawver Why did Katrina love this book?

My Sister’s Mother is a family memoir set against the backdrop of forced evictions and deportations of Poles to forced labor camps in frozen Siberia. Russia invaded Poland two weeks after Germany did, and the two powers divided Poland between their countries. Soviet communists murdered thousands of Polish citizens, Polish military, and in 1940 deported hundreds of thousands of civilian Poles, in freezing cattle cars, to forced labor camps in Siberia.

Urbikas’ mother and older sister faced impossible circumstances imposed by Stalin’s brutal policies against Poles. The core theme focuses on motherhood, the relationship between a mother and her daughter, and how far a woman will go to survive and protect her child. Then, the story transitions into the epilogue of war for thousands of Poles: life in a displaced persons camp and growing up with inherited trauma and the challenges common to first-generation Polish immigrants.

By Donna Solecka Urbikas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Sister's Mother as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the 1950s, baby boomer Donna Solecka Urbikas grew up in the American Midwest yearning for a ""normal"" American family. But during World War II, her Polish-born mother and half sister had endured hunger, disease, and desperate escape from slave labor in Siberia. War and exile created a profound bond between mother and older daughter, one that Donna would struggle to find with either of them. In this unforgettable memoir, Donna recounts her family history and her own survivor's story, finally understanding the damaged mother who had saved her sister.


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 Comrade Pavlik: The Rise And Fall Of A Soviet Boy Hero

Roger R. Reese Author Of The Imperial Russian Army in Peace, War, and Revolution, 1856-1917

From my list on Stalinism from every angle.

Why am I passionate about this?

Roger Reese has studied, researched, and or taught Soviet history since 1984. He has been on the faculty of Texas A&M University since 1990. He has published five books and numerous articles and book chapters on the military history of Russia and the Soviet Union. He was awarded the Norman B. Tomlinson, Jr. book prize for his most recent book, The Imperial Russian Army in Peace, War, and Revolution, 1856-1917.

Roger's book list on Stalinism from every angle

Roger R. Reese Why did Roger love this book?

This book is intriguing as it reads like a historical detective mystery. Pavlik Morozov was murdered in Siberia and the Soviet state used the murder to further its propaganda effort to inculcate youth into proper modes of socialist behavior. He was turned into a martyr for the Soviet cause and some relatives were railroaded into confessing to his murder, however the author sheds considerable doubt that the true culprits were caught. The whole story reeks of cynicism and fickleness on the part of the powers that be as they tried to make an example of the life of Morozov.

By Catriona Kelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It was September, 1932. Gerasimovka, Western Siberia. Two children are found dead in the forest outside a remote village. Both have been repeatedly stabbed and their bloody bodies are covered in sticky, crimson cranberry juice. Who committed these horrific murders has never been proved, but the elder boy, thirteen-year-old Pavlik Morozov, was quickly to become the most famous boy in Soviet history - statues of him were erected, biographies published, and children across the country were exhorted to emulate him. Catriona Kelly's aim is not to find out who really killed the boys, but rather to explore how Stalin's regime…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Siberia, wanderlust, and the Pacific Ocean?

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

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