1. Â Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape, Barry Lopez (1986). Â Barry Lopez's book nearly defy description. Â He draws upon acute powers observation to present the entire landscape of the arctic combined with the desires of the people who have traveled there. Â Lopez desires his own list of books (idea for a later list). Â My copy was a find at a local second-hand bookshop.
2. Â Crown of the World: A View of the Inner Arctic, Cora Cheney and Ben Partridge (1979). Â Story of circumpolar travel around Alaska, Siberia, Greenland, and Canada. Â Bought this in used bookstore for $1 because it had wonderful black and white photos, illustrations and maps.
3. Â The Land of White Death, Valerian Albanov (2000). Â Based on a journal of a 32-year old Russian navigator who had his ship frozen into the ice of the Kara Sea for a year and a half. Â Book was Christmas gift.
4. Â Last Places: A Journey in the North, Lawrence Millman (1990). Â Millman travels the north edge of the Atlantic on the trail of Vikings chasing down tales of ancient Norse settlements from Iceland to Greenland to Norway. Â A used book store find during a travel kick.
5. Â Discovery: The Quest for the Great Southland, Miriam Estensen. Â Combines the stories of early Greeks, mapmakers and explorers who theorized and went looking for the bottom of the world. Â A new used book found at Raven books in Amherst, MA.
6. Â Scott's Last Expedition, (Journal of Captain Robert Scott) (1964). Â Most armchair travelers know the story of Scott's failure to be the first to the South Pole, later to be known as the worst journey in the world. Â The London Folio Society published Scott's journals with rare black and white pictures of the expedition. Â Found at the Department of State used book sale. Â Ends with the haunting lines, It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. Â For God's sake look after our people.
7. Â The White Continent: The Story of Antarctica, Thomas R. Henry (1950). Â Provides a solid history starting with Captain Cook's expedition south and ends with the question of the day, who owns the Antarctic? Â Large font and great margins. Â Back when books were books. Â Used bookstore find but can't recall where.