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Survival & Adventure Books to Read After Madhouse at the End of the Earth

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We’re back with another book recommendation blog and a new name! Dandy Roll Book Club is now Underbrush Books. We have transformed a little corner of Dandy Roll to house Underbrush Books; we have tons of new titles, staff recommendations, and more! Stop by the shop the next time you’re in the neighborhood to check it out! 

This month, we’re recommending titles about survival and exploration for fans of Madhouse at the End of the Earth by Julian Sancton, our August book pick. Madhouse follows explorer Adrien de Gerlache and his crew as they embark on a perilous journey to Antarctica. Sanction writes in a narrative style, allowing readers to get a more thrilling take on this chilly survival tale. 

Our first recommended title is Adrift by Steven Callahan. Adrift is a first-hand account of a man stranded at sea alone for seventy-six days. Callahan’s novel is considered an establishing work in the survival and adventure genre.

Next, Island of the Lost by Joan Druett is about a crew shipwrecked on Auckland Island, a place that is known to sailors as certain death in the wrong circumstances. The men attempt to build shelter and await a rescue crew, but end up falling to illness, anger, starvation and, in one case, cannibalism. Island of the Lost is a book for those who enjoyed the survival aspects of Madhouse more than the excitement of the exploration.

In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrook is another popular title among lovers of survival narratives and naval tales. With a movie adaptation in 2015, Philbrook’s writing is on-par with Moby Dick and other infamous stories of the sea. While In the Heart of the Sea includes details of Nantucket whalers and life at sea, it also addresses race, class, and nature conservation.

Pivoting to a colder climate, In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides follows an American crew as they embark into the uncharted waters of the Arctic and encounter brutal obstacles that challenge them as individuals and as a group. If you couldn’t get enough of Madhouse at the End of the Earth, this is your next great read. 

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer is another classic when it comes to the adventure and survival genre. Into the Wild chronicles the adventures of Christopher Johnson McCandless as he gives up everything in his life to live alone in the Alaskan wilderness. Krakauer’s novel highlights the major contrasts between nature and society through one man’s journey to leave everything behind.

The Moth and the Mountain by Ed Cesar follows a World War I veteran who plans to fly from the United Kingdom to Mount Everest and be the first to make it to the top. If you are interested in a more character-driven adventure, look no further than The Moth and the Mountain

And finally, we couldn’t pass up this opportunity to mention Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. While the entire book is one big island treasure hunt, it’s also about good versus evil, and everything in between. Treasure Island is an ode to the adventurer in all of us.

Thank you for reading the August blog! Stay tuned for more book recommendations. In the meantime, check out our September book pick, Agatha of Little Neon by Claire Luchette, and be on the lookout for our Banned Book Week spotlight coming up at the end of the month.

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