Passell was a paleontologist and geologist at the West Base of Byrd’s 3rd Antarctic expedition in 1939-41. Passell’s style is rather naïve (e.g., “Boy was it ever hot last night”), but he does mention a good deal of his reading:
p.25 Dec 16 1939 enroute: Have been doing quite a bit of reading and have started Schuchbert and Dunbart II Historical—I thought now would be a good time to do a little reviewing.
p. 27: Dec 20: Spent most of the day reading The Good Earth and sleeping.
p. 119, reading “Beyond the Roaring Frontier.”
p. 160, May 19: I usually get to bed by midnight, but often read till the wee hours.
p. 161, May 31: …soon got tired and read “So Free We Soar,” by Dorothy Hood. Of course I can read a novel, but am too tired to study…. I really don’t feel like tackling a navigation book. I did want to read a couple of geology texts, but from the looks of things I guess I won’t make it.
p. 185, Monday, June 17: Boy, since I have started reading “Gone with the Wind” I have practically lived with the book. Stayed up last night or this morning till 3.30, but I finally won the Civil War. It was a tough battle, but it was worth it.
p. 186: Tore myself away from Scarlett last night about midnight and did manage to get some sleep….
p. 189: After the snow last night I finished “Gone with the Wind.” I was up till the wee hours, but I was determined to finish it…So I made one desperate attempt to finish it and succeeded. How could any one person put so much in one book—one thousand and thirty seven pages. And they aren’t ordinary pages, but fairly small print, and oh, so many words per page. Joe said that was the only book that ever made him stand up and read it. He practically lived it.
p. 192, Monday June 24:“Read last night till about 2:00 or so, “Adventures with a Lamp,” by Ruth Partridge, a story about a student nurse. It seems to be very good so far. It was highly recommended by Malcolm and Joe liked it.
p. 197, re headaches: I guess I’ll have to stop reading, but darn it, that’s the only real relaxation there is around here. It’s really wonderful to crawl up in my bunk nights, get all ready for bed, then read, write in my “poop sheet” or just think pleasant thoughts.
p. 204: Read till late last night, “Rocks and Rock Minerals,” till I finally feel asleep.
p. 248, August 13: Stayed up pretty late last night reading about the Scotts and Shackleford [sic] Expeditions. Paul [Siple] wanted us to read of certain expeditions. I guess it’s not a bad idea—learn through the experience of others.
p. 361, Jan 14, 1941, at end of journey with mail call: Enough funnies to last all the way home, and I certainly appreciate the Readers Digest.
Films seen included Wuthering Heights, Hound of the Baskervilles, Stage Coach, The Great Man Vetor, There’s that Woman Again, Going Places, Dodge City, Three Lives of Nancy, Torchy of China Town, It Could Happen to You, Love Affair, The Awful Truth, Dark Victory, Angels with Dirty Faces, Big Town Czar, For Love or Money, Judge Hardy’s Children, The Sun Never Sets, Sue of the Mounties, Dawn Patrol, I am the Law, Ex Champ, etc as well as radio programs.