I didn't have a huge amount of success with my searches, but it was interesting to go into different sites and see how they worked. I searched on The Book Seer for 'Death on the ice' by Robert Ryan, which is a novel about Robert Falcon Scott and Captain Oates and their paths to the Terra Nova expedition of 1910, where they both died coming back from the South Pole in March 1912. Book Seer did a reasonable job, suggesting other titles by Robert Ryan, and by other authors which seemed to be mainly set in the 1940s and World War II, which was ok but not quite what I might have expected. Still, I think the genre was right, adventure and based on true events in som cases. The recommendations only came from Amazon though, LibraryThing and BookArmy weren't able to come up with anything which seemed a bit lame.
I also looked at Reading Trails which seemed to be more like LibraryThing in terms of adding your own books, adding tags etc and sharing this with other users. What should I read next? seemed initially more promising and more like the quick plug in a title and see what it comes up with approach of Book Seer. However for some reason it kept giving me an error message when I put in my search so I wasn't able to see what would be suggested.