Set In: The Polar Regions

Winter has finally hit Southern Idaho (whether we wanted it or not), so it’s a perfect time to take a look at books set in places even colder – the polar regions. For centuries, we’ve been fascinated by the poles; whether in terms of isolation, distance, or frigid temperatures, it seems humans are undaunted by these extremes in our quest to conquer the Earth. Regardless, the nice thing about reading about the Arctic and Antarctic is that you can experience all the excitement and drama without actually dipping your toes in the freezing water (read: ice).

(Side note – Not sure what it is about the Poles that makes fiction writers move toward terror – the darkness, the unknown – but many of these fictional accounts are eerie…)

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North Pole/Arctic

FICTION:

Afterlands – Steven Heighton

The Collector of Lost Things – Jeremy Page

Deception Point – Dan Brown

Icebound – Dean Koontz

Terminal Freeze – Lincoln Child

The Terror – Dan Simmons

The Voyage of the Narwhal – Andrea Barrett

Voyage to the North Star – Peter Nichols

NONFICTION:

Ada Blackjack: A True Story of Survival in the Arctic – Jennifer Niven

Arctic Obsession: The Lure of the Far North – Alexis S. Troubetzkoy

The Ice Balloon: S.A. Andrée and the Heroic Age of Arctic Exploration – Alec Wilkinson

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the U.S.S. Jeannette – Hampton Sides

The Magnetic North: Notes from the Arctic Circle – Sara Wheeler

Rowing to Latitude: Journeys Along the Arctic’s Edge – Jill A. Fredston

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South Pole/Antarctic

FICTION:

Antarctica – Kim Stanley Robinson

Antarctic Navigation – Elizabeth Arthur

Blood and Ice – Robert Masello

Cold Skin – Albert Sánchez

Dark Winter – William Dietrich

Dead Men – Richard Pierce

Ice Station – Matthew Reilly

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? – Maria Semple

NONFICTION:

Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration – David Roberts

Empire Antarctica: Ice, Silence, and Emperor Penguins – Gavin Francis

Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition – Caroline Alexander

Ice Bound: A Doctor’s Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole – Jerri Nielsen

South: A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage – Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton

The Worst Journey in the World – Apsley Cherry-Garrard

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