Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich HarrerRead about another book on the list.
This is such a strange book, even if, on the surface it presents a kind of attractive peasant naivety. It tells of Harrer’s escape from a British PoW camp in India near the end of the second world war. (He knew Germany had lost, so escaping was an existential choice rather than a practical one.) He went over the Himalayas and into Tibet, which was very much a closed country at the time. The adventures and indignities that Harrer suffers makes his book great reading, and it just gets better and better when he meets the current Dalai Lama, then a teenager, and becomes his teacher.