The best books about Mongolia 📚

Browse the best books on Mongolia as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Bones of the Master: A Journey to Secret Mongolia

Bones of the Master: A Journey to Secret Mongolia

By George Crane

Why this book?

While taking tea with his Buddhist monk neighbour Tsung Tsai, who brings the water to a boil nine times before putting in the tea, George Crane is advised: “Georgie, I am going to travel to China to place a monument on the grave of my master. You are going to come along and write a book about it.” George is flabbergasted: ”Who’s going to give money to an unknown like me to write such a book?” The monk advises him to try and, sure enough, a publisher is found. They set off on this long pilgrimage, transporting a huge granite…
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Book cover of Stand on the Sky

Stand on the Sky

By Erin Bow

Why this book?

This story of a young girl, Aisulu, who bucks tradition to become an eagle hunter is simply heart-wrenching and a fabulous read. The research is thorough, and I was steeped in the Kazakh (a nomadic tribe in the mountains of Mongolia), even as the plot advanced with emotional twists and turns for the main characters. The voice of Aisulu is spot on. All the supporting characters but especially her brother Serik, and her aunt and uncle are richly drawn. 

Erin spent a summer with the Kazakh eagle hunters and had sensitivity readers review her work for authenticity. This book won…

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The best children's books to travel the world without leaving home

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Book cover of In the Empire of Genghis Khan: A Journey Among Nomads

In the Empire of Genghis Khan: A Journey Among Nomads

By Stanley Stewart

Why this book?

As a child, Irish author Stewart dreamed of riding a horse across Mongolia and this book is the fulfillment of his dream. In the heart of the book, Stewart travels 1,000-miles across the vast steppes of Mongolia on horseback. He encounters stunning scenery, a hilarious nomad wedding brawl, and “a vast medieval world of nomads apparently undisturbed since 1200.” This book is worth it just for my favorite exchange.  While Stewart was watching the wrestling competition at  Mongolia’s annual Naadam Festival, he asked a fellow observer why the wrestler’s jackets had “long sleeves but an open front that left the…

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The funniest travel books

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Book cover of China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia

China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia

By Peter C. Perdue

Why this book?

Peter C. Perdue gives an exhaustive account of the Qing Dynasty’s conquest of Xinjiang - which, according to many historians, was the first time a Chinese Dynasty consolidated its rule over the whole of the region. This history has important implications for claims regarding the legitimacy of Chinese rule over Xinjiang.

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