I recently finished a grand terrific work of non-fiction: In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeanette by Hampton Sides.
My Goodreads review:
This book sounded interesting because I knew nothing of Arctic exploration. This history was unknown to me.
So many men have an urge to explore, to discover unknown country. George de Long, commander of the Jeanette, was no different. He saw an area on the map that was blank and wanted it filled. Hampton Sides does a good job of setting the stage, the time period - just after the Civil War. Sensational journalism was becoming popular and helped fund the Jeanette's voyage.
What happens to the Jeanette is completely unexpected, at least to me, and phenomenal. The fate of the men onboard is unbelievable and I'm so glad to have learned their story.
If the sea fascinates you, if exploration intrigues you, this book is a must. My only complaint is that it takes awhile for Sides to get to the story…but the backstory is just as interesting if you bear with it.