Suggested Reading List
A Naturalist's Guide to the Arctic
Author: E.C. Pielou
Description: Our bestselling book on the Arctic, this guide covers the geography and climate, plants, birds and wildlife of the Circumpolar North.
A Traveller's History of Scotland
Author: Andrew Fisher
Description: This brief history of Scotland through the 1990s is wide-ranging, accessible and necessarily condensed. With a useful chronology, a list of monarchs and a historical gazetteer, this book marches confidently through the centuries.
A Woman in the Polar Night
Author: Christiane Ritter
Description: Ritter's classic account of living in a hut with her husband on the north coast of Spitsbergen in the 1930s "to read thick books in the remote quiet and, not least, to sleep to my heart's content" conveys the radiant beauty and magic of the Arctic.
Author: Barry Lopez
Description: A dazzling meditation on the Arctic, breathtaking in scope. Lopez draws on his travels throughout the North, including Baffin Island, the Chukchi and Bering seas, Alaska, the Yukon and Greenland, interweaving natural history, accounts of early exploration, anecdote and lore into an indelible portrait of place.
Bradt Guide Svalbard
Author: Andreas Umbreit
Description: This excellent introduction to Spitsbergen, Franz Josef Land and Jan Mayen Island includes an overview of history, wildlife and nature, color photographs and maps.
Ice Bears and Kotick, Rowing on Top of the World
Author: Peter Webb
Description: In Webb's thrilling tale of circumnavigating Spitsbergen in an open rowing boat, he recounts the sheer exhilaration of survival and doing what one loves. This is a story for all those that ever wanted to run away to sea.
Innocents in the Arctic, The 1951 Spitsbergen Expedition
Author: Colin Bull
Description: A marvelous account of adventure and scientific inquiry, glaciologist Colin Bull recounts his role in the 1951 Spitsbergen Expedition with humor and humility. Drawn from Bull's field notes, journals and published reports, this book paints a compelling portrait of what it means to be young and daring.
Lonely Planet Edinburgh Encounter
Author: Neil Wilson
Description: This lively shirt pocket guide to the city, jammed with personal recommendations and photographs, also includes a pull-out map.
Orkneyinga Saga, The History of the Earls of Orkney
Author: Hermann Palssom, Paul Edwards
Description: A fusion of myth and legend, circa A.D. 1200, by an unnamed Icelandic author. The medieval chronicle has its center of action among the Orkney Islands, describing their conquest by Norwegian kings during the Viking expansion of the ninth century.
Spitsbergen Explorer Map
Author: Ocean Explorer Maps
Description: A detailed map of Svalbard for the traveler, at a scale of 1:1,000,000, with illustrated biographies of 27 explorers and a guide to wildlife on the reverse.
The Arctic, A Guide to Coastal Wildlife
Author: Tony Soper
Description: An essential handbook for the ship-based traveler, this compact guide to the plants, marine mammals and birds of the Circumpolar North features handsome watercolor illustrations and lively text. This new edition includes a section on the Bering Sea.
The Great White Bear
Author: Kieran Mulvaney
Description: A journalist with an affinity for the wild (he once lived on the shores of Cook Inlet), Mulvaney combines natural and human history, myth and eyewitness reports from Barrow, Churchill and other locales in this astute chronicle.
The Magnetic North
Author: Sara Wheeler
Description: Wheeler writes with zest and insight into the people, nature and future of the Circumpolar North in these marvelously recounted adventures, including tales of her time in Spitsbergen.
The Svalbard Passage
Author: Thomas Kirkwood
Description: This Cold War thriller, lush in the details of its Arctic setting, opens with a description and map of the Spitsbergen archipelago.
True North, Travels in Arctic Europe
Author: Gavin Francis
Description: Francis follows in the wake of ancient explorers and Viking settlers from Scotland and the Shetland Isles to the Faroes, Iceland, Greenland and beyond in this thoughtful tale of adventures across the Atlantic.