At this time of year I usually recommend a couple of books I have been reading. Recently I have been reading Chris Turney's 1912, which I recommend. This is not just because it makes you feel a lot warmer when you are feeling cold in a British winter to reader of Amundsen and his ilk struggling in
Antarctica. It is also a cheering look at how far human knowledge has expanded in only just over one hundred years, what people can achieve in the face of appalling odds and an impressive combination of historical narrative with some scientific explanation that generally gets entirely ignored in accounts of Antarctic exploration. No doubt Chris Turney's status as an earth scientist himself is crucial to this.
It also has some sidelights on the politics of these expeditions. I had no idea that much of the impetus on Antarctic expeditions cam from a need move the RGS on from controversy over admitting female fellows.