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Polar Bear Quest: Iceland to Norway

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

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Ring of Seasons, Iceland, Its Culture and History

Ring of Seasons, Iceland, Its Culture and History

by Terry G. Lacy

  • HISTORY
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 332 PAGES

A longtime resident of Reykjavik, Lacy weaves tales of family life, anecdote, lore and history into this illuminating personal portrait of Iceland. (ICL03, $26.95)

The Future of Ice, A Journey into Cold

The Future of Ice, A Journey into Cold

by Gretel Ehrlich

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 200 PAGES

The marvelous Ehrlich (This Cold Heaven) continues her fascination with out-of-the-way places with this account of journeys to the ends of the earth, including chapters set in Patagonia and Spitsbergen. The book is not so much about place as the experience of cold. (ANT215, $13.95)

A Naturalist's Guide to the Arctic

A Naturalist's Guide to the Arctic

by E.C. Pielou

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 1994
  • PAPER
  • 327 PAGES

Our bestselling book on the Arctic, this guide covers the geography and climate, plants, birds and wildlife of the Circumpolar North. (ARC03, $22.00)

The Arctic, A Guide to Coastal Wildlife

The Arctic, A Guide to Coastal Wildlife

by Tony Soper

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 160 PAGES

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. (ARC85, $23.99)

 
Spitsbergen Explorer Map

Spitsbergen Explorer Map


by Ocean Explorer Maps

  • 2011
  • MAP

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. (ARC88, $11.95)

Bradt Guide Svalbard

Bradt Guide Svalbard


by Andreas Umbreit

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 246 PAGES

This excellent introduction to Spitsbergen, Franz Josef Land and Jan Mayen Island includes an overview of history, wildlife and nature, color photographs and maps. (NOR01, $27.99)

Lonely Planet Iceland

Lonely Planet Iceland


by Deanna Swaney

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 360 PAGES

This concise guide to Iceland includes short essays on history, culture and attractions and plenty of practical travel information. (ICL06, $29.99)

What We Know About Climate Change

What We Know About Climate Change


by Kerry Emanuel

  • REFERENCE
  • 2012
  • HARD COVER
  • 85 PAGES

MIT atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel outlines the issues, causes and concerns about the fate of our climate. This second edition covers the latest from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the lack of will in the United States to tackle this vexing issue. (GEO46, $15.95)

The Svalbard Archipelago

The Svalbard Archipelago


by P.J. Capelotti

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 180 PAGES

A reprint of a WWII-era report on Spitsbergen by U.S. intelligence, covering the geography, history and geo-politics of the archipelago. With 63 photographs, maps, glossary, illustrations, bibliography, appendices and an index. (ARC91, $49.95)

Vikings, The North Atlantic Saga

Vikings, The North Atlantic Saga


by William Fitzhugh | Elisabeth Ward

  • HISTORY
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 432 PAGES

An extensively illustrated volume of Viking culture, history and exploration that focuses especially on voyages to North America. Published in conjunction with a Smithsonian exhibit, it features essays and 400 color photographs. (VIK11, $34.95)

Farthest North

Farthest North


by Fridtjof Nansen

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 678 PAGES

The great Norwegian polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen's classic account of the voyage of the Fram, originally published in 1897, interspersed with dozens of original photographs. (ARC60, $17.95)

Innocents in the Arctic, The 1951 Spitsbergen Expedition

Innocents in the Arctic, The 1951 Spitsbergen Expedition


by Colin Bull

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

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. (ARC176, $19.95)

Frost on My Moustache, The Arctic Exploits of a Lord and a Loafer

Frost on My Moustache, The Arctic Exploits of a Lord and a Loafer


by Tim Moore

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 280 PAGES

In this inspired folly, a British comic heads to Iceland, Spitsbergen and other northern locales in pursuit of a fictitious Arctic hero. (ARC74, $18.99)

Iceland, Land of the Sagas

Iceland, Land of the Sagas


by Jon Krakauer | David Roberts

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 160 PAGES

Krakauer and colleague Roberts hike and climb around Iceland in this classic travel narrative, reissued as a paperback and featuring Krakauer's color photographs. The book interweaves the natural and cultural history of the island with the authors' own adventures. (ICL07, $24.00)

Independent People, An Epic

Independent People, An Epic


by Halldor Laxness

  • LITERATURE
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 480 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Rich in local color, this great mock-epic by the Icelandic Nobel Prize-winner features the indelible Bjartur of Summerhouses, a hard-headed, independent-minded sheep farmer. (ICL01, $16.95)

A Complete Guide to Arctic Wildlife

A Complete Guide to Arctic Wildlife


by Richard Sale

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 464 PAGES

This stunning primer features hundreds of spectacular color photographs, range maps and descriptions of 200 birds and 77 mammals. (ARC190, $35.00)

Arctic Dreams

Arctic Dreams


by Barry Lopez

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 417 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

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. (ARC11, $16.95)

Islands of the Arctic

Islands of the Arctic


by Julian Dowdeswell | Michael Hambrey

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2002
  • HARD COVER
  • 280 PAGES

A beautifully illustrated, authoritative overview of the physical geography of the Arctic, especially the role of glaciers and ice in shaping the land and history of northern islands across the Arctic from the Canadian Archipelago, Greenland and Svalbard to the Russian Arctic. (ARC122, $69.00)

Polar Bears

Polar Bears


by Ian Stirling

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 232 PAGES

A tribute to the polar bear by a preeminent researcher, this handsome natural history features outstanding color photographs and detailed chapters on biology, distribution, behavior, study, conservation and lore. (ARC58, $40.00)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.