Have You Learned Anything From Reading Survival Novels?

I do enjoy reading a survival novel now and again. There are some good reads out there, and I have taken away a number of tips, ideas, and lessons learned – having read them.

It’s kind of true in general that when you hear, see, or read from another perspective, sometimes there are lessons learned or new thoughts, ideas, angles… even when you thought you already knew a lot about it.

New or different ways of dealing with the problems and challenges of survival and preparedness (even by reading a survival fiction novel) might encourage or inspire additional or different actions on your part – or something you may not have thought about before.

I’ll never forget having read the following survival novel for the first time years ago:

“One Second After” (A John Matherson Novel) was an incredible read. For those who have already read it, I’m sure that most of you agree. That book really opens your eyes to the potential terrible consequences and challenging conditions following a true SHTF collapse. Your motivation with regards to preparedness will certainly be peaked!

One Second After

Regarding any of the survival fiction novels that you may have read in the past, I wonder if any of them helped you in some way to become better prepared or if they inspired particular ideas which motivated you to take action…

A few of my own takeaways from having read various survival novels include:


-The realization how truly devastating a major collapse could be on the literal survival of so many people due to today’s dependence upon modern systems to keep everyone alive.

-The critical and absolute requirement upon free-flowing electricity to maintain today’s modern survival.

-The notion of how quickly people could become desperate and dangerous when their needs are not met.

-The reality that 1-year food storage per person is not unreasonable given some of the major systemic risks that we face today.

-The extreme importance of having “the right tools” for a good defense of one’s person and property.

-The fact that I absolutely do not look forward to any of the scenarios hypothetically described in many of these novels, although I do prepare as best I can.

-The fact that survival preparedness towards an objective of self-reliance and self-sufficiency is an ultimate goal when considering what it may take to survive post-collapse.

MSB Survival Library (there’s a survival fiction section).

Author Miles Baldwin currently has a promotional banner ad with us over on the right sidebar – so I’m putting it out there for your potential interest:

Survival Mode: A Steen O’Mannon Novel -by Miles Baldwin

What are some of your thoughts regarding survival fiction novels that you may have read?

Anything learned from them? Or are most of them just entertainment?


  1. After a few winters of binge of reading around 140+ survival and dystopian books/novels the main novel theme has moved from zombies to virus epidemics to natural disasters (volcano, tsunami, earthquakes, etc..) to the current EMP/solar flare storyline. Some are “preachy”, some are outright stinkers, some are really good writing by new authors, in my opinion.

    Takeaways? The main thing I takeaway is the 24 hour, every day, amount of work to generate sustenance (food and water), heat (if needed), keeping secure and the truly evil individuals that exist.

    In each category I’ve discovered, during reading, items or methods I have either purchased to fill a gap, or modified/adopted how I either do something or approach life.

    I do hope to never have to experience the fictional lives written about, the biggest takeaway I get is the intense level of awareness, concentration and stamina needed to persist or continue to live.

    There are very few that I trust, I trust no one I meet, I never know who I am standing next to, or interfacing with.

  2. I agree with this piece. Although I gleamed some useable info from reading these books, more so it opened my eyes to what an event like this could become.

  3. The first “survival” book I read was Alas Babylon when I was about 10. It became a favorite. Another was Emergence, and a third The Girl Who Owned a City. Come to think of it, I read a lot of those. Not so much any more, although they remain some of my favorites. I wish I could find my copy of Alas Babylon.

    With the proper mindset there’s a lot to be learned from any novel. Most of them are about people dealing with a personal SHTF on some level, even if they don’t get into the actual physical survival aspects.

    Alas Babylon was different in that it dealt with a world that didn’t have our systemic problems–reliance in infrastructure, JIT, etc–in an environment that was simply ideal for survival (no real winter, plenty of water, plenty of food, ideal location so they missed most of the fallout). But the people problems were similar.

  4. So I’m not the only one to read that book. I read it as kid 50 years ago and I still have the book. It’s the only survival book I’ve ever read.

  5. “Have You Learned Anything From Reading Survival Novels?”

    No more than I have learned from reading any other work of fiction. I particularly like Jack Reacher, Dirk Pit and the Gray Man among others. How about “Tomorrow” by Philip Wylie.

    Good entertainment, great to exercise the imagination, but really bad for learning how to survive.

    Read history, and first hand accounts written by those who have had to survive real situations, and read practical survival books to learn how to survive all those different scenarios documented in historical accounts. Stay focused.

  6. I have read several of the novels, including One Second After. They have all been eye opening as to what could happen in a collapse. One of the take-aways for me is that the novels show a community sticking together with only a few trying to make it alone. It appears that the mindset in these novels is that you are better off in a community rather than going it alone. My DH believes we would do better alone rather than in a community.

    1. Then the community pulls in the outliers “for their own protection” in almost every case. Forcibly, if necessary.

      1. @ Lauren

        The last thing you want in your group/community/home during a dire survival scenario is a group of people or individuals who are brought there forcibly “for their own good”. That never ends well… except in the movies.

        If I’m ever forcibly brought into an enclave of people against my will “for my own protection”, I will most likely begin covert sabotage activity within the community in order to escape or die trying. If I wasn’t there in the beginning, you can be sure there were good reasons I did not go to the community for protection in the first place.

  7. My escape into fiction, classics, historical,… is to listen to them through Audible. It adds a whole dimension to the characters and the drama they face.

    My favorites in SHTF fiction are Alas Babylon, One Second After, Atlas Shrugged.

    A great classic is The Count of Monte Cristo – nothing like the movie.

    A great rabbit story is Watership Down for teens and adults.

    1. @ hermit us
      I agree with you on The Count of Monte Cristo. The movie alright for quick entertainment but the book had so much more detail. The extra detail really makes a difference when you’re dealing with someone playing the “long game” of revenge.

      A couple of my favorites are Lights Out by David Crawford, and Alone in the Wilderness by Joseph Knowles.

  8. I too have picked up good tips reading these types of novels. Most seems to revolve around security. I think we were really lacking in that area. Reading these novels has caused us to make some changes in that area. For reasons of Opsec, I wont mention what those changes were.

  9. Like Grey, I have read scores of distopian/survival novels. Older ones (Alas, Babylon; The Road; 1984; Atlas Shrugged; Lucifer’s Hammer) and newer ones (299 Days, Patriots, Jakarta Pandemic, Deep Winter, One Second After). I believe that as long as you don’t pick one and decide that “this one is the answer” there are things to be learned from most of them.

    Within the genre, you will find pieces of information you hadn’t previously considered (skills, tools, community building, medical, psychology, community and self defense). You can’t learn a subject or skill from the fiction novels, but, if you are open minded, they will lead you to gaps in your preps. They may also lead a non-prepper to the lifestyle.

    Share a good book with a friend. Discuss the “possibilities”. Bring more into the fold. And enjoy a good read while you do it.

  10. I’ve read and re-read the “Going Home” series. Very good books and one of the takeaways is the importance of a close productive community during the stages of SHTF.

    1. You beat me to it! Great series read. The characters can be tied into people in your own world and the little bits of information thrown in from time to time are great. I’m finishing the most recent book and I’m going to re-read the series and jot down the useful info. Should have done that before, but I was to focused on getting to the next page LOL. P.S. hind sight is always 20/20, have to keep note pad handy in future!

  11. Yes I have and mostly about how IMPORTANT LAW AND ORDER IS TO THIS COUNTRY!

  12. I started reading the Out of Ashes series by William W Johnston, God almost 35 years ago.
    It was about what COULD happen if there was ever a LIMITED germ nuclear war and the total loss of government world wide.

  13. Alas Babylon, Lucifer’s Hammer, Farnham’s Freehold, but my eyes came open while reading Patriots, and buddy the fury began. So many ideas plans to put into action. Sell pleasure crafts, and put a shovel in the ground. Collect those novels in hand and review for nuggets to live by. Get an old Boy Scout Handbook, one of my heirlooms of past education. Remember “David took five stones to meet Goliath – he had brothers”. For God and country!

    1. Same here on Patriots, Matt Bracken’s “Enemies” series sorta galvanized the whole thing, having read Atlas Shrugged, then the series around Patriots and enfing with Bracken I really started looking at stuff differently, good? Bad? I don’t know, but correlations were startling to say the least.

  14. Not sure if I learned anything.
    Definitely made me more cynical and also a bit more wary. They have made me look at my neighbors etc. differently, picking which ones are likely to be a problem or who may be the ones to band together with. I’m not sure everything I got from these novels is good, definitely not good for anyone who will make trouble after an event, and in extension not good for me. They have made me consider things that never entered my mind normally, so added some preps I didn’t rotate through as much before.
    Good subject for a bit of reflection.

  15. Like Nailbanger, reading books like Crawford’s Lights Out, One Second After, Grid Down, Alas Babylon, and the first few Going Home books were all thought starters.

    These books helped me start running scenarios through my mind. As I read each book, there were times I would stop and ask myself if that happened would I be ready, or how would I respond? That lead to thinking about the tools, supplies and reference books that would help me, and how I put fiction to work in my own life.

  16. “One Second After” gave me a LOT to think about. The description of the city council meetings made me consider just how dependent we are on electricity and how Life would change if it were suddenly removed for a long period of time.

  17. “Contagion,” a movie about a lethal airborne virus that kills within days, got my attention with scenes of lines of folks waiting for food and water.

    In that case, we do not need a reason to venture out to catch__________..fill in the blank.

  18. I guess I haven’t learned from these books/movies….but one thing I am doing…esp. with this street of sheeples. The two newest (haven’t met the latest 3rd neighbor) neighbors I have met long enough to breach the subject enough to mark them from my list of helpers/neighbors/assets if needed.

  19. I rather enjoy a good book, something about the feel of the pages when reading and the slight pause when turning the page for the next. For some reason I can never see me doing Kindle or E-Books, just not the same.

    I will admit I was a HUGE Clive Cussler fan, but have turned now to the” Oh-My-God we’re all going to die” sort of Survival Novels. I guess because I live the ‘Lifestyle’ they do fit more into the current thinking and the shape (I believe) the world is in now-a-days.

    One of my first and quite impressive was, like many here, ‘One Second After’. I usually pace myself when picking up a new novel, but I have to admit I read O-S-A in two nights…. HAHAHA. Of course I have reread it and taken quite a few notes, checking against my own preparedness. I do think these Authors do quite a bit of research in their writings, if not the public would soon find out how full of it they are and not read their ‘stuff’ anymore, so it has to be somewhat believable so people can relate.

    What’s interesting and worrisome at times I have to remember which the Fiction is and which is Reality when comparing a good Novel to the Fake News.


    1. My sentiments exactly when it comes to books NRP. However I have begrudgingly gone to a kindle for my fiction. The reason for changing is, I was getting tired of holding a book in one hand and a magnifying glass in the other. At least with the kindle I can change the font to a more manageable size for reading without having to squint. I don’t get the headaches from straining to read, and because it is backlit, I can read in bed without disturbing DH. I still buy the actual books when it comes to how-to books, but almost all other books are on my kindle.

      1. E-books are also environmentally responsible. And there are thousands at the kindle store and Gutenburg for free, instantly downloaded…

  20. It made me learn that material things just are not that important anymore. Family, friends, and relationships are all that matters. Enjoy the calm, but be prepared to survive the storm.

  21. Another great book not mentioned (IMHO) is “Earth Abides” by G R Stewart. Mostly read these type for enjoyment but did learn a thing or two along the way.

  22. I consume books at a rate of 2-3 a week so I have to pace myself (and my used book dealer is my friend!) and it’s amazing what you can find on the internet for free, if you take the time to look!

    The first novel I read that I recognized as a “survivor” book was “Tunnel in the Sky” by Heinlein.. I was `12-13 (early 70’s, so we still remember the “duck and cover” drills!) as with all of Heinlein’s “Juvenile” novels, I pick up something different depending on my phase in life so they are good reads. Lucifer’s Hammer and 1984 were also impactful on me at a young (boy scout) age .

    I read “1 second after” a few years back and shortly after saw “American Blackout” and “After Armageddon” and the 3 really caused me to take a look at my basic “how to survive a hurricane” preps and start taking them to the next level.

    Do recommend the “Going Home” series (that one caused me to put “get home” bags for both myself and my wife in our cars!) I’ve read it twice and am keeping the series on my bookshelf (instead of trading it at the bookstore!)

    Biggest thing(s) I’ve learned from most of them is that No one is going to make it alone…. There are just too many skills you need for survival. You have to decide where you are going to fit into the community (and in my case, I’m working to make sure I HAVE a community to work with!) And lots of little tips that come in handy (like having powdered pool bleach on hand…)

    I also learned things that DON’T work (at least for me). In most of the books the main character grabs his trusty AR and fights off the bad guys. I never learned the AR platform (M-14 kinda guy, and I’m to old to be making 1000 meter shots now days anyway!) Spousal Unit did just offer to buy me one (just to become familiar with it) but in the end I came home with a 3rd Remington 870 (Yes, one for each floor!) for close defense, something I really know and trust.

    Like wise having 5 years of food on hand… Not for me. 1 year, 2 if we get wild and craze (and win the lottery!) and the ability to grow more (including for the community) is my focus.

    But like most novels, there are things to take away, things to throw away and things that make you go, hummmm…


  23. “Patriots” helped me turn the corner and get serious about a self reliant life style. One Second After, Alas Babylon and Lucifer’s Hammer helped to contribute to the change as well. Lights Out by Koppel was very reaffirming.

    We have also completed 4 separate Bible studies on “end times” prophecies that has convinced us that we are in, at least very perilous and fast changing times.

  24. I just read ‘Locker Nine’ which was a pretty darn good read. Girl in college. Dad rented a storage unit near her campus for items she would need to get home.

    1. Just got that one the other day. Currently reading the author other series, “Borrowed World”

      Lucifer’s Hammer was my first book to get me thinking years ago. Wish I had thought a lot more and a lot earlier. Can’t get over the feeling that something’s coming down the pike…..


  25. I am just finishing the book:

    The Mandibles:A family 2029-2047
    by Lionel Shriver

    The book takes place during an economic collapse in The USA of the future and an extended families struggle to survive as everything begins to break down. The book is frighteningly realistic as these are normal urban people who are totally unprepared.
    The author is totally convincing in portraying the rapid slide of the USA into a third world hell. A very, very good read for preppers a must read for all family members that ridicule people who prepare for the coming hard times.

    1. How odd. Back in the days of the Depression, people who canned their food, hunted for their meat & chopped wood to keep warm in the winter were NOT talked about or made fun of. It was called just living.

      Basically that is what preppers are doing now a days. Just living a self sustainable life.

      They don’t have to scurry & get milk & food at last minute of “snow storms” or other coming disasters.

      Have not read these yet, but finally got the book 1 second after, the Ted Koppel book & 1984.

      Can’t wait to read them.

      1. The prep book I have/reading is Disaster Preparedness -by Scott Hunt
        What I have learned from this book is I’m no where near where I should be in prepping.
        All I have basically done has been to buy up food, water & charcoal/lighter fluid along with lamp oil & a little bit of ammo.
        Worry did come up because I have no idea how to take care of or shoot guns.
        Have no real way of getting water close to house if SHTF.
        And have discovered that in this neighborhood no body even thinks this way.
        So much for community.
        And have no money to keep buying prep things.
        What I have now has to go on bills
        oh well

  26. First book along the lines of preparedness was ‘Patriots’. When a group of retired military really enjoy the story line it must of been good. That started my reading books of this style.

    Then came One Second After, Jakarta Pandemic, but really enjoyed the ‘Going Home’ series.

    If it had not been for the youngest sister purchasing a kindle for me, I would still be purchasing normal books. The kindle is convenient but nothing can replace the feel and texture of a book with binding.

    The amount of books that I read, we would need another outbuilding just for my stock pile. lol

    1. Missed noting what I had learned from all the stories.

      There was an item in the ‘Going Home’ series. Only two women knew how to put food up aka canning. The couple who raised a garden put all their own food and shared with Morgan’s clan, but I do not recall any of Morgan’s family & friends going over to help with the harvesting-canning, nor teaching of this life’s lesson. The only other person was Miss Kate, and did not see where that life skill was being passed on for their survival.

      It was one of my first thoughts when they were running out of food, where were the cases of home prepared food?! Even if they only did fruit an jellies-where were the canning supplies!

      A major life survival requirement, that send me off to purchase more cases of canning jars and additional lids when they went on sale. We purchase on average 10 cases or more during each sale and I also scan through sale notices on the net and yard sales to add for the JIC.

      1. @ Antique Collector

        You mentioned Canning; I would also recommend the Art of salting and natural drying foods for preserving. If/When the ‘Lights Out’ those nice dehydrators and freeze dryers will be nice, but will need a lor of power to run.


        1. Not really. Leave that now-useless car in the sun it makes a great dehydrator. Temps range up to 120 on a 70 degree day in full sun. :)

        2. That takes care of drying; now, how do we vacuum seal those stocked mason jars??
          A brake bleeder; no power required. Seriously, when my jars won’t seal for some really simple reason? That brake bleeder succeeds every time.

          I like it a lot.

        3. NRP
          Now the “Art of Salting” is not on my book shelf-yet, a shopping we go.lol

          The dehydrating as Lauren mentioned I do have books on that subject.
          As she stated a vehicle can heat up rather quickly especially in the summer time, black rises quicker than other colors so all you would require are your trays in the vehicles windshields.

  27. In most of the books I have read, Patriots, One Second After, Going Home, et al,
    there is one guy who seems to have the best ideas on what to do, and how to do it.
    Hopefully we will all have find that guy when we need him.

  28. While I read “Robinson Crusoe & Swiss Family Robinson” as a kid & really enjoyed them, I have not read that type of book as an adult although DH reads them occasionally & fills me in on the plot. My greatest teacher in this area was my mother-in-law telling real life stories on how they survived on 1 sandy quarter during the depression & drought & raising 10 kids, 2 of which didn’t make it. Her stories could have been made into a book & she had so many lessons on how to survive when life got very tough. She was a positive woman even though she had seen some hard times. She is one of the reasons I prepare. She is the best book I have read.

    1. Maybe you could share what you learned from her by writing a Biography on her life.
      Never know, it could get you $$$ to help with your preparations

      Just a thought

  29. As a teenager, I read some fiction reads, about folks who travelled to dangerous places/in dangerous circles….etc..

    They often suggested that when they entered a room, they would looks for the exits, sit/stand with their back to a wall/corner, and survey the persons inside. As a teen, I sort of picked up the idea, and kept on with it.

  30. I have read the PATRIOTS series; One Second After, Alas, Babylon, and Matt Bracken’s FOREIGN ENEMIES AND TRAITORS. All are good, edge-of-the-seat reads. Now, let’s look at reality: I would try Cody Lundin’s tome: WHEN ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE. Then get yourself some good, up-to-date training on first aid, marksmanship, caching, surveillance techniques and hiding.
    One can only saturate themselves so much with “survival porn” and then the plots, heroes, and villains all sound the same. Time is getting real short, my friends. The Blue Hives will start seeing more rent-a-mob activity as soon as school lets out. The Market is hugely over-valued. What goes up, must come down. Remember the old cliche: :In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man(or woman) is king.” Put down fiction and concentrate on facts for your own sake and the welfare of your clueless, Normalcy Bias loved ones. A storm is coming.

  31. Many people here think in terms of survival as a community affair but in reality, survival, in many instances, is an individual effort due to circumstances forced upon them by something out of their control.

    It’s comforting to think about having a bunch of like minded people around to help when the chips are down, being led by a “Jimmy Stewart” or “John Matherson” type person, and I admit that it is probably best if a small band of hardy individuals stick together, but in the end, all we have is our own ability and resolve. It is imperative that we know how to survive on our own before joining and following a group of people pre-disposed to group-think. One never knows what life threatening challenges you will face after the apocalypse begins and you cannot survive in a community led by the same group-think fools that led the community before the apocalypse, and that is what will rise up afterward. It’s wishful thinking to believe that a “Jimmy Stewart” or “John Matherson” type personality will materialize out of the ashes to lead us all to safety.

    Thinking of real survival stories: “Unbroken”; “Endurance, Shackleton’s incredible voyage”; “The Castaway’s War”; “Left for Dead”; “The Passing of The Night”; “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee”; “Trail of Tears”… these are but a few of real life survival that challenged the limits of man’s endurance by individuals and the collective under the most extreme conditions.

  32. When I lived off grid, I read a lot. Fiction by Kurt Vonnegut carried me through several summers off grid. Textbooks on Economics and History was what I did in the winters when i was not working, doing laundry, cooking or splitting wood. Never forget the value of an entertaining and good read to pass a spell of foul weather.

    I still work in the medical field and my interests are varied. From this site, I picked up and kept Ted Koppel’s Lights Out. a good read. As far as Pandemics, Contagion is a good movie and one of the few that consulted the NIH and CDC in Atlanta during production.

    I have read and kept the following books for their authenticity and surprising amount of factual content: The Cobra Event by Richard Preston fiction on how to create a biological chimera and creation of viral “glass” to rapidly incubate and inoculate a large population to a virulent pathogen. The Hot Zone also by Richard Preston on the discovery and history of several viral threats to include: Ebola, Marburg virus and the efforts by USSR to weaponize the smallpox virus under the efforts of K Allabeck a russian officer that ran the program before defecting to the US.

    In the past 15 years: Invisible Armies by Max Boot on the history of guerrilla war from BC to present day. Death in a Lonely Land by Peter H. Capstick a collection of his short stories from a stockbroker turned African Professional Hunter turned writer prior to his passing. The Gun C.J. Chivers – a history of the creation and development and subsequent spread of the AK – 47 . The Biotech Century by Jeremy Rifkin a detailed history of the discovery of the Polymerase Chain REaction (PCR) allowing the spicing of genes at room temperature.
    I thought enough of these books to pack them and move them with me when I relocated to another state.

    Cookbooks: The Joy of Cooking. My ultimate go to manual. Caviar by Inga Saffron on the history of caviar. I like to cook and it is a fascinating topic on a mysterious substance that I rarely see in my kitchen. Cook’s Illustrated magazine put out by America’s Test kitchen hosted by C. Kimball. Current and useful information. Both Joy of Cooking and Cook’s Illustrated will talk about best ways to cook wild game which is low in fat and difficult to keep moist and tender. My mother was an ok cook so when I left home, I tried to become better at it so I would not ruin a good piece of venison or duck.

    Reloading Manuals and shooting: reloading manuals by Nosler, Speer, Hornady, Sierra, and the Cast Bullet Handbook. and Shotshell Reloading Manual. These are reference manuals.

    On English and writing: Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and Elements of Style by E.B. White. I have had to tutor some of my coworkers on writing style over the years. If they are new to this country, you need simplicity and clarity to communicate. Both books were recommended to us at the Highway Patrol Academy in California so many years ago. (still being used in Composition Courses in college also known as Freshman English.) At this point in my life, I give away copies of Elements of Style to my coworkers. Good writing never goes out of style.

    Entertainment Value Only: The Following books by Mary Roach: Grunt, Stiff and Gulp (all 3 are separate books) she has a fun writing style talking about some very awkward topics. World War Z by Max Brooks Book is better than the movie.

    Survival in the corporate environment: Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Many see the workplace as a harmonious environment. I do not. just as the Japanese view business as a state of war where no weapons are being fired, I view the workplace as a conflict zone where spies are used, lies are spread, contracts are made and promises are broken. When I started working within hospitals, I read this book and I attribute the knowledge gained with my career longevity. This November will be 20 years within Hospitals in healthcare for me. In the words of D-Day in Animal House: “Don’t get mad! Get even.” The best revenge is living well.

    lastly, I still read the Wall Street Journal. The in depth reporting is largely due to a highly educated group of reporters in the field and in the editorial section. USA Today is only written at the 4th grade reading level. Both the NEW York Times and the Journal have a very high % of reporters and staff with masters degrees in a variety of disciplines.

    REading and expanding your world view is a survival trait. To avoid doing so is to bury your head in the sand. ( I have stated before that this strategy does not work for humans in the past millenia or so.) I wish to thank my teachers that got me started reading as a precocious kid in a small town. I wish to thank my grandparents that taught me the old ways they used to survive the Great Depression and life in the Internment Camps during WW-2. I wish to thank my mentors that passed on information to survive some close encounters as a rookie police officer and Paramedic in California so many years ago.

    Keep reading, keep learning and keep surviving ( hopefully in style.)

    1. Thank you for the post- it seems you paid attention to Ken’s main request and instead of just typing in book titles you actually gave real useable info about what you learned.

  33. Reading the “Going Home” series provided me with a great template for must-have items for my “Get Home Bag”. It was a great series! “One Second After” set my prepping activities in earnest for day-to-day items that one must consider having in event of a SHTF event. Any items the fictional characters in these works were missing, I’ve made sure to include in my preps.

  34. As a huge book reader of all kinds, the more modern survival fiction I enjoyed was “Ashfall”, about those surviving the explosion of our super volcano in Yellowstone. The author’s description of government contracted “survivor” camps was horrifying and probably be feasible. I try get a little wisdom from every book I read.

  35. I have always learned a lot from Westerns and I particularly enjoy Louis L’Amour’s books. “The Jungle is Neutral” about surviving behind Japanese lines in the jungles of Malaysia was very interesting. Basically, the ‘jungle’ doesn’t take sides. You must learn from it and take what you need if you are going to survive.

  36. “Survivors” by James Wesley Rawles. In the story, a young Army Captain has to make his way home from Europe after leaving the military. Problem is, there are no longer flights and the world economy is collapsing. He uses his stash of precious metal coins, gold and silver, as money to get home, as it is the only store of value that is still worth something during the “crunch”, or economic collapse.
    After reading this, I became a precious metals enthusiast. Silver and gold are money, and nothing else.

  37. Glad I rediscovered this post. I remembered it from when Ken posted it. My local library now has many books in e-format. I needed some new authors/titles to check out. Lots of excellent titles here.

  38. The Last Centurion by John Ringo was a very interesting read. It was about US Army folks and Nepalis having to get out of Iraq after the combination of pandemic, climate change, US pull back from the Middle East and breakdown of many governments. Not a flattering picture of government actions when faced by, what turn out to be, multiple crises.
    Puts your head in a different place and gives fictional examples of how things can go sideways quickly and how different folks react.

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