Background reading: Polar

Close-up of Chinstrap penguin
If you’re lucky enough to be heading to Antarctica or the Arctic, here’s a handy list of background reading:

Ada Blackjack: A True Story of Survival in the Arctic by Jennifer Niven
In September 1921, four young men and Ada Blackjack, a diminutive 25-year-old Eskimo woman, ventured deep into the Arctic in a secret attempt to colonize desolate Wrangel Island for Great Britain. Two years later, Ada Blackjack emerged as the sole survivor of this ambitious polar expedition. [The Arctic]

The Antarctic Dictionary: A Complete Guide to Antarctic English by Bernadette Hince
“The world’s most isolated continent has spawned some of the most unusual words in the English language. In the space of a mere century, a remarkable vocabulary has evolved to deal with the extraordinary environment and living organisms of the Antarctic and subantarctic.” [Antarctica]

Antarctica: An Intimate Portrait of the World’s Most Mysterious Continent by Gabrielle Walker
Weaves all the significant threads into an intricate tapestry, made up of science, natural history, poetry, epic history, what it feels like to be there and why it draws so many different kinds of people back there again and again.” [Antarctica]

Arctic Dreams by Barry López
“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.” [The Arctic]

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
“The astonishing saga of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s survival for over a year on the ice-bound Antarctic seas.” [Antarctic]

Shiver by Nikki Gemmell
Travelling and living with a close-knit and idiosyncratic team, Fin learns the rules and taboos of community life in Antarctica, and then promptly breaks the strictest taboo of all – she falls in love. The consequences are shattering” [Antarctica]

The Voyage of the Narwhal by Andrea Barrett
Capturing a crucial moment in the history of exploration—the mid-nineteenth century romance with the Arctic—Andrea Barrett’s compelling novel tells the story of a fateful expedition. [The Arctic]

The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
“The youngest member of Scott’s team and one of three men to make and survive the notorious Winter Journey, draws on his firsthand experiences as well as the diaries of his compatriots to create a stirring and detailed account of Scott’s legendary expedition. [Antarctica]