Books

It is always good to have books on hand. The internet offers a vast amount of information in text, photographs and videos, but tangible paper books will still be around when there's no power or if our civilization disintegrates and the internet ceases to exist. It is wise to build a substantial library of preparedness-related literature for such a time. The following are books that Matt has read and recommends purchasing yourself...


Gordon R. Dickson

"Wolf and Iron"

ISBN 0312932146

☆☆☆☆☆

Jeremy Walthers was a young researcher at the University of Michigan, and was forced by malicious locals to flee the town during the aftermath of a global financial collapse. He begins a long trek westward to search for his brother's ranch in Montana. Along the way, he frees a wolf from captivity, and the two become partners for the journey. This book discusses a variety of survival-oriented topics in great detail, such as building a forge, using weapons, repurposing common items, living outdoors, operating in stealth, acquiring food, building shelters, etc. The story also includes many details about wolf behavior and wolf-human interactions. Jeremy Walthers, known throughout the book as "Jeebee", transforms throughout the novel from an intelligent but average suburbanite to a fairly knowledgeable and skilled survivalist. This is now one of my favorite books and it is definitely a story that anybody will enjoy and learn from.


William R. Forstchen

"One Second After"

ISBN 978075356864

☆☆☆☆☆

This novel provides a detailed and accurate warning about the dangers that an EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) would pose to modern civilization. An EMP could come from one of two sources: either a nuclear warhead detonated at high altitude (approximately 25 miles) in the Earth's atmosphere, or from the Sun – as a solar flare. A major EMP has actually already struck America once that we're aware of: the Carrington Event of 1859. At that time, the damage was mostly limited to telegraph lines, which failed across North America and Europe. Today, an EMP would immediately end life as we know it. This book does a great job of describing how reliant we truly are on our nation's un-protected power grid, delicate electronic devices, and the just-in-time inventory system used by most businesses, and it gives excellent insight on preparations to make for a wide variety of disasters.

 

David Morrell

"First Blood"

ISBN 0449202267

☆☆☆☆☆

The movie First Blood, based on this book, was the initial and perhaps primary motivaton for Matt to join the military when he first watched it around 1994. The book is about the clash between Rambo, a drifting ex-Green Beret and Veitnam veteran who is hassled by law enforcement in each town he passes through, and Wilfred Teasle, chief of police of Madison, Kentucky, and Korean War veteran, who doesn't want the drifter in his town either. Their small conflict escalates into a brutal guerilla war in the nearby mountains. The book differs in many ways from the movie, and it provides much more detail about the pasts of both men and about everything they think and do throughout the story. It also gives plenty of insight on fighting through excruciating pain and extreme circumstances. This is one of the best novels ever written.

 

Joe Nobody

"Holding Their Own: A Story of Survival"

ISBN 061556965X

"Holding Their Own II: The Independents"

ISBN 061563642X

"Holding Their Own III: Pedestals of Ash"

ISBN 0615708560

"Holding Their Own IV: The Ascent"

ISBN 0615810624

"Holding Their Own V: The Alpha Chronicles"

ISBN 0615844936

"Holding Their Own VI: Bishop's Song"

ISBN 0615924115

"Holding Their Own VII: Phoenix Star"

ISBN 0615977049

"Holding Their Own VIII: The Directives"

ISBN 0692258248

"Holding Their Own IX: The Salt War"

ISBN 1939473276

"Holding Their Own X: The Toymaker"

ISBN 1939473292

"Holding Their Own XI: Hearts and Minds"

ISBN 1939473349

☆☆☆☆☆

These are by far the best survival fiction books that I have ever read. This series begins at the onset of a large-scale collapse of civilization and follows Bishop – a well-prepared former security contractor, and his wife Terri as they flee Houston, TX, and head for a remote ranch in the west Texas desert. Along the way, Bishop and Terri meet up with Nick – a former Green Beret, and his son Kevin – who is an excellent marksman, and later they all meet Deacon Diana Brown, who has been surviving the collapse in her church with a group of law-abiding townspeople – defending themselves from a gang of escaped convicts. Various other significant characters are introduced as the story progresses, and the development of both the characters and the plot is very deep. You will feel like you know the main characters as though they are your closest friends. Each book consists of numerous sub-plots that all tie in together before you reach the back cover. This series is chronologically ordered, and occurrences from earlier books are frequently recalled in later books. The series itself reads as though you were watching a TV series like "24" or "The Walking Dead", and you will have a difficult time setting any of these books down once you begin reading. These novels offer the reader many intelligent and creative insights and suggestions about how to handle a variety of wilderness and warfare survival situations. I've previously practiced many of the same skills as I've read Bishop doing, and we seem to think on the same wavelength, so I feel a strong connection there. I also recently built an entire upper receiver based upon Bishop's rifle. I cannot recommend this series highly enough, and I'm sure you will not be disappointed! I can hardly wait for the next book to become available!

 

James Wesley, Rawles


"How To Survive the End of the World as We Know It"

ISBN 0452295831

☆☆☆☆☆

This is essentially a post-collapse homesteading guide that contains lots of good information on establishing, maintaining and defending your survival retreat. You don't even have to buy this book! Here it is: 

How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It


"Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse"

ISBN 9781569755990

☆☆☆☆☆

This is a survival guide written as a novel. The story follows a group of college friends from Chicago who purchase an old farmhouse in the mountains of Idaho as a survival retreat, learn and cross-train each other in survival skills, and stock up on weapons and supplies for the inevitable economic collapse. They put their skills to the test when they are forced to evacuate the city for their retreat, survive as a group, unite the local community, and eventually fight against dictatorial forces seeking to use the crisis to their advantage. Despite the characters' speech frequently sounding pompous and unbelievable, the story itself is exciting and realistic, and lots of good information is presented regarding survival retreats, vehicles, weapons, equipment, clothing, raising animals, food preparation and preservation, re-establishing a sense of community, combat tactics, leadership and teamwork. This is one of the best survival books I've ever read.


Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse

ISBN 9781439172810

☆☆☆☆☆

This is a second installment in the Patriots series. Unlike most sequels, this novel runs parallel to "Patriots". It follows the stories of several of the main characters in much greater detail than the first book, and introduces several new characters.


Founders: A Novel of the Coming Collapse

ISBN 9781439172827

☆☆☆☆

This is the third parallel installment of the Patriots series.

 

Glen Tate

"299 Days: The Preparation"

ISBN 9780615680682

"299 Days II: The Collapse"

ISBN 9780615687469

"299 Days III: The Community"

ISBN 9780615720968

"299 Days IV: The Stronghold"

ISBN 9780615720975

"299 Days V: The Visitors"

ISBN 9780615788104

"299 Days VI: The 17th Irregulars"

ISBN 9780615828503

"299 Days VII: The Change of Seasons"

ISBN 9780615934785

"299 Days VIII: The War"

ISBN 9780615994451

"299 Days IX: The Restoration"

ISBN 9780692264461

"299 Days X: The 43 Colonels"

ISBN 9780692311967

☆☆☆☆

This is a survival series that I believe was inspired by Rawles' Patriots series, however this series is essentially one continuous book split into ten parts. Parts I through IX are narrative. Part X looks back into the story to reveal 43 sub-stories of characters both mentioned and unmentioned in the rest of the series. The story follows a moderately-conservative attorney and family man living in ultra-liberal Olympia, Washington with his wife, daughter and autistic son. He gradually becomes aware of the need to prepare for economic collapse, and his preparations lead him to meet up with a group of ex-military and law-enforcement shooters who practice at the range together. When the crisis begins, the man's wife is in denial and uncooperative, but is daughter is onboard with him. I really like how this series depicts an average middle-class middle-aged person waking up to the fact that an economic collapse is inevitable and taking it upon himself to prepare for the disaster in realistic ways to ensure his family's survival. This is a great series for anybody who has just become aware of the need to prepare, and maybe even for those who are still completely asleep. Four stars instead of five due to repetitiveness and grammatical errors. This series was written at a level that middle-schoolers should easily be able to read it. It is a quick and exciting read!