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Ranking Author Jon Krakauer’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

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“What are Jon Krakauer’s Best Books?” We looked at all of Krakauer’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Jon Krakauer and looked at their Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of Jon Krakauer



6 ) Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains

 Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 3
  • LibraryThing: 7

No one writes about mountaineering and its attendant hardships and victories more brilliantly than critically acclaimed author Jon Krakauer. In this collection of his finest work from such magazines as OutsideEiger Dreams is stirring, vivid writing about one of the most compelling and dangerous of all human pursuits.

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6 ) Three Cups of Deceit

 Three Cups of Deceit Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 6

Argues that author and humanitarian Greg Mortenson, noted for his campaign to open schools for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan, has not been truthful about his past, his reasons for opening schools, or his abduction by the Taliban.

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5 ) Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman

 Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 5

Irrepressible individualist and iconoclast Pat Tillman walked away from his $3.6 million NFL contract in May 2002 to enlist in the United States Army. Deeply troubled by 9/11, he felt a strong moral obligation to join the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Two years later, he died on a desolate hillside in Afghanistan. Though obvious to most on the scene that a ranger in Tillman’s own platoon had fired the fatal shots, the Army aggressively maneuvered to keep this information from Tillman’s family and the American public for five weeks following his death, while President Bush repeatedly invoked Tillman’s name to promote his administration’s foreign policy. Biographer Krakauer draws on his journals and letters, interviews with his wife and friends, conversations with the soldiers who served alongside him, and extensive research in Afghanistan to render this driven, complex, and uncommonly compelling figure as well as the definitive account of the events and actions that led to his death.

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4 ) Into the Wild

 Into the Wild Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 3
  • LibraryThing: 4

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

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3 ) Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town

 Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 2

In Missoula, Krakauer chronicles the searing experiences of several women in Missoula — the nights when they were raped; their fear and self-doubt in the aftermath; the way they were treated by the police, prosecutors, defense attorneys; the public vilification and private anguish; their bravery in pushing forward and what it cost them

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2 ) Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

 Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 3

Jon Krakauer’s literary reputation rests on insightful chronicles of lives conducted at the outer limits. He now shifts his focus from extremes of physical adventure to extremes of religious belief within our own borders, taking readers inside isolated American communities where some 40,000 Mormon Fundamentalists still practice polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the renegade leaders of these Taliban-like theocracies are zealots who answer only to God. At the core of Krakauer’s book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a commandment from God to kill a blameless woman and her baby girl. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this appalling double murder, Krakauer constructs a multi-layered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, polygamy, savage violence, and unyielding faith. Along the way he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America’s fastest growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief.

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1 ) Into Thin Air

 Into Thin Air Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 1

A history of Mount Everest expedition is intertwined with the disastrous expedition the author was a part of, during which five members were killed by a hurricane-strength blizzard. When Jon Krakauer reached the summit of Mt. Everest in the early afternoon of May 10, 1996, he hadn’t slept in fifty-seven hours and was reeling from the brain-altering effects of oxygen depletion. As he turned to begin his long, dangerous descent from 29,028 feet, twenty other climbers were still pushing doggedly toward the top. No one had noticed that the sky had begun to fill with clouds. Six hours later and 3,000 feet lower, in 70-knot winds and blinding snow, Krakauer collapsed in his tent, freezing, hallucinating from exhaustion and hypoxia, but safe. The following morning he learned that six of his fellow climbers hadn’t made it back to their camp and were in a desperate struggle for their lives. When the storm finally passed, five of them would be dead, and the sixth so horribly frostbitten that his right hand would have to be amputated. Krakauer examines what it is about Everest that has compelled so many people – including himself – to throw caution to the wind, ignore the concerns of loved ones, and willingly subject themselves to such risk, hardship, and expense. Written with emotional clarity and supported by his unimpeachable reporting, Krakauer’s eye-witness account of what happened on the roof of the world is a singular achievement.…

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Jon Krakauer’s Best Books



Jon Krakauer Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOveral Rank
Into Thin Air 111 1
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith 323 2
Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town 262 3
Into the Wild 434 4
Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman 565 5
Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains 737 6
Three Cups of Deceit 656 6