Alastair Humphreys's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Alastair Humphreys recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Alastair Humphreys's favorite book recommendations of all time.


Paddling North

A Solo Adventure Along the Inside Passage

Recommended by Alastair Humphreys, and 1 others.

Alastair HumphreysWhat I liked about her book is just how down to earth it was and the priorities she has. Her reasons for adventure were quite different to a lot of stuff I’ve read. For example, she has recipes in the book. She makes a real effort to collect bits of seaweed and wild garlic along the way. It’s also quite inspiring that she began as a late middle-aged woman to do these sorts of things. (Source)

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Robyn Davidson's opens the memoir of her perilous journey across 1,700 miles of hostile Australian desert to the sea with only four camels and a dog for company with the following words: “I experienced that sinking feeling you get when you know you have conned yourself into doing something difficult and there's no going back."

Enduring sweltering heat, fending off poisonous snakes and lecherous men, chasing her camels when they get skittish and nursing them when they are injured, Davidson emerges as an extraordinarily courageous heroine...
Recommended by Alastair Humphreys, and 1 others.

Alastair HumphreysTracks is just fantastically well written. (Source)

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In the shadow of Mount Kenya, surrounded by the forests and creatures of the savannah, life drags interminably for the inmates of POW Camp 354, captured in Africa during World War II. Confined to an endless cycle of boredom and frustration, one prisoner realizes he can bear it no longer.
When the clouds covering Mount Kenya part one morning to reveal its towering peaks for the first time, Felice Benuzzi is transfixed. The tedium of camp life is broken by the beginnings of a sudden idea--an outrageous, dangerous, brilliant idea.
Not many people would break out of a POW camp...
Recommended by Alastair Humphreys, and 1 others.

Alastair HumphreysWhat I love about this book is that he’s just a normal guy, living a normal life who gets swept into a prisoner of war camp. (Source)

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NASA astronaut Michael Collins trained as an experimental test pilot before venturing into space as a vital member of the Gemini 10 and Apollo 11 missions. In Carrying the Fire, his account of his voyages into space and the years of training that led up to them, Collins reveals the human tensions, the physical realities, and the personal emotions surrounding the early years of the space race. Collins provides readers with an insider's view of the space program and conveys the excitement and wonder of his journey to the moon. As skilled at writing as he is at piloting a spacecraft, Collins... more

Andrew ChaikinReaders really get their money’s worth with Mike because his book is readable, personal, poignant and funny. It sets the bar for astronaut books. (Source)

Alastair HumphreysI really enjoyed all the training, build-up side of things as well—and the human side of the book. It’s such a rocket science-type endeavour, but Michael Collins seems like a really nice guy. He manages to tell the story of this incredible effort by elite people in a way that’s quite relatable and interesting. (Source)

Amar GovindarajanSir, that book you holding in your hand? Best one, I'm told, by an astronaut. You may even know the guy who wrote it. (Source)

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From the best-selling, award-winning author of Landmarks and The Old Ways, a haunting voyage into the planet’s past and future.

Hailed as "the great nature writer of this generation" (Wall Street Journal), Robert Macfarlane is the celebrated author of books about the intersections of the human and the natural realms. In Underland, he delivers his masterpiece: an epic exploration of the Earth’s underworlds as they exist in myth, literature, memory, and the land itself.

In this highly anticipated sequel to his international bestseller...

Jonathan Green@mmbrenn yes the best book i read last year without question. beautiful. harrowing. (Source)

Cal FlynHaving climbed the highest heights in his debut Mountains of the Mind, Macfarlane now dives down to the lowest of the lows. He goes caving in limestone caverns deep underground, rattles through salt mines under the sea in carts and stumbles across (literal) underground subcultures in the Paris catacombs, all interwoven with learned digressions into geological epochs and classical conceptions of... (Source)

Alastair HumphreysThe cleverest and nicest man in the world of travel writing has just published a brilliant new book which you should definitely buy. And so has @robgmacfarlane... 😂 (Source)

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"I was nineteen years old, still soft at the edges, but with a confident belief in good fortune. I carried a small rolled-up tent, a violin in a blanket, a change of clothes, a tin of treacle biscuits, and some cheese. I was excited, vain-glorious, knowing I had far to go; but not, as yet, how far." Despite this romantic and optimistic opening, what Lee finds is the most primitive and feudal country in Europe, a peninsula untouched by the modern world, a land of labor without dignity, a church devoid of compassion, and a country ripe for revolutionary change.

There is humor, love,...
Recommended by Alastair Humphreys, Jason Webster, and 2 others.

Alastair HumphreysReading Laurie Lee was suddenly a very different perspective on adventure, because he was just a normal young guy. He was not very tough. He wasn’t very fit. He didn’t claim to be trying to do anything extraordinary. He was just out in the world, living vividly and being curious and I loved that, mostly because it sounded like me. Ever since I read As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning I thought... (Source)

Jason WebsterThe best book in terms of engaging with this dreamy and poetic truth at the heart of Spain. (Source)

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In his long-awaited memoir, Yvon Chouinard-legendary climber, businessman, environmentalist, and founder of Patagonia, Inc.-shares the persistence and courage that have gone into being head of one of the most respected and environmentally responsible companies on earth. From his youth as the son of a French Canadian blacksmith to the thrilling, ambitious climbing expeditions that inspired his innovative designs for the sport's equipment, Let My People Go Surfing is the story of a man who brought doing good and having grand adventures into the heart of his business life-a book that will... more

Alastair Humphreys@SecondS37175185 A fantastic book. (Source)

Paul Kedrosky@dpfishman Yes, fantastic book by incredible human. (Source)

Holger SeimWhen it comes to biographies I particularly like Let My People Go Surfing. (Source)

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