Experts > Sara Wheeler

Sara Wheeler's Top Book Recommendations

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


The Ice

A Journey To Antarctica

Recommended by Sara Wheeler, and 1 others.

Sara WheelerThe Ice is non-fiction and it’s all about different kinds of ice in the Arctic! It is informative is what I’d say about this book. It is a huge book by a scientist and it was the hardest one to pick. But it is an extraordinary thing, ice. It’s not one thing, there are all different kinds and Pyne is drawn into its complexity. (Source)

See more recommendations for this book...

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... more
Recommended by Sara Wheeler, and 1 others.

Sara WheelerRussia has 5,000 miles of Arctic territory, more than any other country, and there are 20 different peoples living there, most of whom are reindeer people, clinging to the shreds of what they once were. Vitebsky lives with and studies the Eveny people. He is an anthropologist and he’s writing about acculturation, but it’s not full of the platitudes and clichés you normally read. It is an in-depth... (Source)

See more recommendations for this book...


An African in Greenland

Tété-Michel Kpomassie was a teenager in Togo when he discovered a book about Greenland—and knew that he must go there. Working his way north over nearly a decade, Kpomassie finally arrived in the country of his dreams. This brilliantly observed and superbly entertaining record of his adventures among the Inuit is a testament both to the wonderful strangeness of the human species and to the surprising sympathies that bind us all. less
Recommended by Sara Wheeler, and 1 others.

Sara WheelerThis is the most wonderful travel book. It’s the best book ever written on Greenland. I read it while I was there. It’s the story of a man from Togo who went to Greenland in the 1960s and he didn’t carry the white man’s burden and could therefore look at the people and the country more objectively. (Source)

See more recommendations for this book...


The Worst Journey In The World

In his introduction to the harrowing story of the Scott expedition to the South Pole, Apsley Cherry-Garrard states that 'Polar Exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has been devised.' The Worst Journey in the World is his gripping account of an expedition gone disastrously wrong. One of the youngest members of Scott's team, the author was later part of the rescue party that eventually found the frozen bodies of Scott and three men who had accompanied him on the final push to the Pole. Prior to this sad denouement, Cherry-Garrard's account is... more
Recommended by Paul Theroux, Sara Wheeler, and 2 others.

Paul TherouxThe worst journey in the world which he describes isn’t Scott’s race to the pole, it’s Cherry-Garrard’s trip with two other men to find the emperor penguins. The book is framed by Scott’s expedition, but the quest for the penguins is the centre of it. (Source)

Sara WheelerIt is ostensibly the story of Captain Scott’s 1912 expedition to the Antarctic, but it’s really about all places in all times and is possibly the best book ever written. (Source)

See more recommendations for this book...


Arctic Dreams

Barry Lopez's National Book Award-winning classic study of the Far North is widely considered his masterpiece.

Lopez offers a thorough examination of this obscure world-its terrain, its wildlife, its history of Eskimo natives and intrepid explorers who have arrived on their icy shores. But what turns this marvelous work of natural history into a breathtaking study of profound originality is his unique meditation on how the landscape can shape our imagination, desires, and dreams. Its prose as hauntingly pure as the land it describes, Arctic Dreams is nothing less than an...

Robert MacfarlaneThis book changed my life and really made me become a writer, if any one book did. I remember finding a very battered secondhand copy of it in a bookshop in Vancouver while I was out climbing in the Rockies, in my early twenties. (Source)

Sara WheelerBarry Lopez is an American man and in Arctic Dreams he describes the clarity of the landscape that has such a profound effect on the human spirit. Everyone says it has a profound effect.He’s a proper nature writer and it’s a brilliant book. He wrote it 25 years ago, I think, and it’s very lyrical and uplifting………..It takes you outside your normal existence and sets you loose from your spiritual... (Source)

Kate Marvelthis book doesn’t directly address climate change. That’s one of the things I love about it. We so often hear about the Arctic in the context of threats: it’s disappearing, it’s changing, we’ll never see it again. I think it’s useful, though, to stop thinking of the Arctic only as a symbol of climate change and to remember it’s a real place. If we appreciate the Arctic for itself, maybe that... (Source)

See more recommendations for this book...

Don't have time to read Sara Wheeler's favorite books? Read Shortform summaries.

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

  • Being comprehensive: you learn the most important points in the book
  • Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
  • Interactive exercises: apply the book's ideas to your own life with our educators' guidance.