Important Survival Preparedness Books To Have On Your Bookshelf

I want your opinion too, but I felt compelled to list what I believe to be some of the most important preparedness books to have on your bookshelf.

Call me old fashioned, but there’s nothing quite like a real tangible book. I’ve tried the Kindle thing a few times but I still like holding and reading a physical book.

Sure, a Kindle will hold a zillion electronic books and is convenient that way. There are times though when it may be simpler, quicker, or more helpful to find what you’re looking for in a real hard copy reference book.

Some of us tend to accumulate lots of books over time, and some end up being better than others. With that in mind I thought it would be helpful to point out a number of survival/prepper/preparedness related books which I feel are exceptional.


Books for Preparedness

One of the better general preparedness reference books that I’ve purchased is the Encyclopedia of Country Living. I do recommend that you get yourself a copy if so compelled to expand your bookshelf. There’s all sorts of great information in there!

The Encyclopedia of Country Living

“Lights Out” (a wakeup all). The following book is not a reference book in the sense of what you might expect one to be. However the story that’s told (it’s a novel) is a sort of reference to what we might expect following a colossal breakdown (EMP) of our way of life. Every preppper should read it (many already have).

Lights Out by David Crawford

The SAS Survival Handbook (3rd edition) by John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman is updated with 100 additional pages and is the “ultimate guide to surviving anywhere”. A classic outdoor manual that addresses every seemingly conceivable disaster scenario.

SAS Survival Handbook (3rd edition)

The category of First Aid and medicine! The Survival Medicine Handbook by Joe & Amy Alton is a popular reference book among the preparedness community. 670 pages of detail for those who want to be medically prepared for any disaster where help is NOT on the way.

Survival Medicine Handbook (3rd edition)

Back to Basics by Abigail Gehring is a great book for inspiration and getting started with learning the basic living skills of our forefathers. Lots of ideas and enough to wet your appetite to go try some of the things. Great for thumbing through on occasion to find something new to try.

Back to Basics

The go-to book for home canning. The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is an excellent resource. Clearly written and easy to follow… creative recipes… encouraging, concise text.

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

If you had to pick a book for gardening, you might consider ‘All New Square Foot Gardening II’ by Mel Bartholomew. A classic reference on space saving techniques, vertical gardening, increased crop output, and much more.

All New Square Foot Gardening II

Root Cellaring by Mike Bubel is a classic with detailed guidelines for storing fruits and vegetables in the most simple way possible. Specific individual storage requirements for nearly 100 home garden crops.

Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables

There certainly are plenty of books in the genre of preparedness and prepping. I certainly have lots more than those I’ve listed above and could go on and on with more.

More: Survival Library

I would like to hear from you though. Any additional preferred reference books?


  1. These will not be in order but we do have them either on the shelf, or on way there way to storage with fire season soon upon us.
    1) The Encyclopedia on Country Living 2) Special Forces Survival Handbook 3)Nutritional Healing 4) Medicinal Herbals 5) The Preppers blueprint 6) Ortho books published 1980’s gardening to carpentry 7) Backyard farming 8) Cooking with Home storage (9 Putting Food by 10) How to dry foods 11) Freezing & canning books 12)Emergency Food Storage & Survival hand book 13) Blue Ball canning books era 1940-2015 14) PDR=physician desk reference 15) University of Pennsylvania Medical book 1980’s issue rare & hard to find- it gives diagnoses in laymen terms 16) Betty Crocker & Home & garden 17) Joe Alton’s & Nurse Amy’s Medical book

    This does not include what we have in storage, some of those books Ken has listed above.

    History books on the US Constitution, the hand book on the Bill of Rights. Stuffed in with these books will be the family lineages going back to 1600’s and then the first US citizenship oath in the 1892, haled from Europe. Families require roots, you need to know where you come from, to know where you are going. Yes, I consider these preparedness books.

    1. Whoppo
      Yes on foxfire books, have the first two in the series, forgot we had them. Time to make an actual list of what we have from gardening to medical. Who knew we could collect to much…lol

  2. Ken
    Try the kindle books “The Borrowed World” 5 part series by Frank Horton. Modern Throwback recommended these and they are a good. Different concept to what could possible happen, more plausible store line.

  3. The Buddhist Handbook
    The Bible
    Square Foot Gardening
    How to Raise Chickens & Rabbits
    The Reloaders Handbook
    The full MSB library
    Moonshine made Easy

      1. Old Chevy;
        Honestly, The Reloaders Handbook, just started a new line of reloading, 300 Win-Mag, one of those ya really REALLY need to get correct :-)

        1. You must be talking about this: “Lyman 50th Edition Reloading Manual”?

        2. OChevy
          One thing to check too is manufacturer sites, say you are using Sierra bullets, use their recipes gor best results

          Or Hornady or Nosler etc etc, the reloading manuals like Lyman are a good start but personally have had the best luck building loads based on specific manufacturer recommendations and a lot of reading from the net

        3. OChevy
          You most likely already knew that though,,,,, was funny, a guy i know who loads doesnt really use a computer or search the internet, and had no clue that each bullet manufacturer had their own data sets and loads, i was really surprised, but i guess if it aint broke dont fix it!

        4. Nailbanger;
          you bring up a GREAT point, not only are the Powder, and Bullets ALL different for reloading, also are the Cases and Primers.

          Hence a great need for the correct books/information when reloading

          As is handy Bible for the first time you pull the trigger on a new load….

          PS; do NOT forget the Pocket Constitution

          I hand these out all the time.

        5. NRP
          Very different, and verrrrryyy different tolerance and quality, makes a huge diff.
          Im not tryin to “shoot the eye out of a fly at 100m” as NHM said but when bullets vary more than 5 grains in weight and case capacities vary and then add poor metering equipment its a recipe gor missed shots at even closer ranges, figured that out the hard way, all along i thought i just sucked as a shooter come to find out, no, it wasnt me but was a crappy mass produced rifle and ammo that had a huge variation, the rifle was the first step, got that squared, and actually having factory ammo all but be not available led me to the other discoveries and research,
          Now its just Lapua or Norma cases and Sierra or Berger bullets and Redding dies and drops and a RCBS Summit press, HUGE difference, there is real good factory ammo out there, but living on a little rock out in the ocean you learn all sorts of lessons when stuff is scarce and i dont think ill be hunting anything with FMJ surplus ammo

        6. I know absolutely nothing about reloading, but it can’t be too important as it has never been a topic at MSB.

        7. Old Chevy;
          There is a technical reason for not having articles on Fire-Arm stuff here on MSB.
          Has something to do with Big Brother cutting MSB off at their whim, I do respect Ken’s decision to stray away from the subject, for there thousands of sites to look up “The Best and Greatest” this and that.

          As per your question “So why are self-loaded bullets not allowed at some galleries?” Mainly because there are a LOT of stupid people that ‘think’ they know what they are doing and end up not. A neighbor of mine for instance simply read the ‘designed load” wrong and double loaded the powder, consequently he test fired the load in his $1700 ‘fancy’ commemorative issue 45ACP semi-auto, well at least he did not blow his hand off, but it did blow the slide right off the rail (luckily it missed his head), cost him $900 to get it fixed, and a month in a cast on his hand. (ya cant fix stupid)

          PS; I don’t shoot with this moron anymore.

          That is why some ranges do not allow Reloads.

        8. Old Chevy, nearly all reloading guides include a section detailing the steps, equipment, components and safety procedures. For the novice, “The Reloader’s Bible”, while dated (1986), is still availble on Amazon (use Ken’s link), and is very detailed and cheap in price.

          (Check it out here)

          NRP, no offense but your buddy sounds like someone that shouldn’t be allowed around anything capable of being screwed up.😊

        9. Dennis;
          Absolutely no argument there…..
          As I said, ya just cant fix stupid.

        10. Ever get bad ammo? I had my 9mm jam on a Blazer@ round with bad casing, later I found another one out of the box the same.

        11. Old Chevy;

          Bad Ammo, ohhhhh yeah, if one shoots at all sooner or later they will come across something that just don’t work right, Hence the practice on ‘Clearing’ a firearm.

          I used to do it quite often till my bad Boating Accident on Navajo Lake whereas I lost all of my firearms and 99.9999% of the ammo I used to have :-( :-(
          What was the real surprise that the following week to the day I was moving my reloading equipment and supplies and the same dang thing happened…. bummer huh?

  4. We have several books in our home library that were mentioned in Ken’s article. Even though we can store a lot of useful data in our brain , it is not always at the forefront and readily available to us ,especially as we age.

    I have found myself going to books many times on a variety of subjects such as gardening, carpentry, plumbing,food preservation, electrical stuff,food canning ,medical , and much more. We can certainly glean a lot of info from an internet search but if that is gone for whatever reason we still have a real book in our hands.

    We also have novels that can be both enjoyable and instructional.

    1. Amen! on MH commentary. At least up to the book of Romans, when he passed away, and someone else finished the commentary from that point.

  5. Books? Yes! NO batteries required! AND, you don’t have to log in to access them!

    A few of the ones on my shelves:

    Fannie Farmer Cookbook (874 pages of tried and true good tasting stuff!)
    The Foragers Harvest
    The Complete Guide to Edible Plants
    Guide to Better Wine and Beer Making
    The Amish Canning Book
    7 Secrets Cookbook
    Vegetable Gardeners Handbook
    The ‘New’ Complete Book of Breads
    Complete set of FoxFire
    When All Hell Breaks Loose
    When I am An Old Coot (Things to do after you retire.Good for post SHTF.)

  6. I have lots of books but a note on reading on a kindle. Although I like a real book, I find reading fiction on a kindle great as i can adjust the lighting, the size of the print etc. But for SHTF, only real books will be of value.

      1. Old Chevy
        I purchased a kindle with a SD card slot, old version so that I can put the books on the SD cards. Bought it through e b a y only place I could find one.

        There by adverting the loss of my books on the simple basic kindle.

      2. I went to the library in the big city when I was there for a doc appt. You can get free books on loan through your kindle from them. I also share with my daughter who lives in a very large city so I have 2 libraries to choose from and get the latest books from my favorite authors and all the SHTF books I want to look at. After I read them if I want a hard copy I can always invest. You usually get 21 days to read a book and can sometimes renew just like when you used to use the library in the old days! If your kindle or Nook dies you don’t loose books.

  7. A lot of dollar store Bibles to pass out when folks truly realize SHTF. Only when your hurting does the Bible suddenly become interesting to some folks.

    Any suggestions as to Survival Food Cooking friends? Something like the Road Kill Cookbook?

    1. Blackjack22.
      Was wondering a couple days ago i hadn’t seen any posts and if u were still around. 👍

      1. Oh ya still here, I just don’t talk to much. Doing a lot of reading ( internet, books/magazines, and of course here), listening, and learning.

        I bought a couple 10-22 take down rifles for me and the misses. Some more pillar candles and some steel 5 gal. gas cans.

        Payed off some credit cards and some other debit (mortgage will be payed off in a couple months. Trying to change our life style if I can take a lesson.from NRP.

  8. NRP mentioned a reloading manual. I am in full agreement provided that you reload your shells. Reloading manuals are reference manuals so…

    I would also add for you to check the publishing date inside the front cover.because:
    SAAMI has changed their testing methods around 20-25 years ago for pressure testing using piezo-electric method which is much more accurate, more precise than the old lead crusher or copper crusher methods.

    The result of the new testing methods is that: pistol reloading data has been reduced. Rifle data has remained pretty much unchanged. There have also been a bunch of new powders on the market now that have different burn characteristics.

    (i.e.. Dennis experiencing scorched brass using Hodgedon Titegroup powder. Yes, I experience that as well as Dennis so I reserve the Titegroup powder only for firing jacketed bullets from 9mm and plated bullets from 38 special. ). I use Alliant Red Dot for cast lead bullets in my handguns these days.

    The new powders tend to burn cleaner and the powder manufacturers have websites these days in addition to the reloading manuals put forth out there. Rather than pass down my old reloading manuals, You may consider tossing them in the burn pile as some of the old data may lead to stress on an old gun that could be dangerous.
    ( Friends do not let friends use old ammo or questionable data.)

    1. CaliRefugee,

      I’m sure that you, like me, have meticulously developed favorite light, medium, and heavy loads for each of my weapons, with all powders I use within each category. The exact loading is listed on each cartridge storage container and in my log book. I load very few max loads and they are limited by accuracy, not foot pounds delivered on target. If you don’t hit where you aim, it makes no difference how powerful the load you missed with.

  9. Other medical books to include..

    . Nursing Textbooks, specifically med/surgical textbooks, human anatomy is pretty stable… does not change much gives relationships of organ and organ systems in with common issues and treatment expectations … should also include.. nurses assistance training manuals,.. these show people who are untrained ,the proper way to wash hands, make beds, turn and position a person for optimal healing..and to do it in a safe manner.

    ….. The PDR desk reference for over the counter medications, and Nursing Manual w/Nursing managment guides ( there are several different ones)

    ..Lab values/parameters guides if you have anyone who is skilled and able to do any lab work.. . case in point… Are you on rat poison to thin blood?( I know they are changing the composition of it, commonly known as warfarin/coumadin… Knowing how to do a finger stick and check a clotting time can save your life., if you have long term reserves….. required equipment (for a prothrombin time ): :a glass slide , a lancet, stopwatch/ eyesight.observation skills to determine when the blood clots. Having some supplies, medications.. and ability to check status of clotting disorders can give you and your loved ones peace of mind. Keeping paper copies of current reports of both INR and ptt levels can give you potential to control when labs are not avialable to do INR. Knowing the goals your doctor has for you now and having both high and low values will clue you in for better long term control.

    also info. on herbs you grow ..Include as much info as you can, may need to reserve one folder/notebook for this…..or have frequent access to.

    Info should of plant/part used….differing ways can be safely used?, and for what condition/symptoms. exact amounts used to make an infusion , deconcoction or tincture. You also need to know: is it safe in pregnancy and lactation? side effects wanted and un wanted.., expectations will it induce drowziess? cause nausea,or help nausea?.any cautions to consider? any known interactions with other compounds… ie like grapefruit.

  10. Call me old fashioned, but I am of the school of thought that there’s nothing like an emp-proof hardcopy (vs Kindle) book to curl up to whether you want to learn something, to be entertained, or simply to pass some time., We are confronted with so many challenges, that there is something reassuring about printed words on paper. And the world could go to H___ in a handbasket, but the book will still be there, ready for a person to just turn the pages….

    1. Aye, Aye, Bogan. Read me entry somewhat above. No batteries, no login in, just grab the inked paper and absorb the knowledge. Along with a glass of ones more favorite adult beverage whilst relaxing amongst the stars of a summers eve with a mild breeze and a small but efficient fire to keep ones toes warm.

  11. Many classic books can be downloaded for free from in PDF format and printed.
    Any topic can be searched followed by PDF , downloaded and printed.

    1. Oy Old Chevy your printer would HATE you. Personally my most useful hobby is going to yard sales, church bazaars and library sales for old but useful books.

      I am pretty sure I could build two solid fighting positions complete with overhead cover from my library :-)

      1. I find my best books at Library sales. I am always amazed that they will get rid of a book on the flora and fauna of an area over a new copy of a hit piece written by a “progressive sociaist”. But this old man is still learning.

  12. Man I would love to have that library in the picture above. I could spend a few years sitting there sipping hot chocolate and reading books.

  13. Just Sayin’

    The drug to drug interactions you speak of are many and when you add food and drink to the mix, the interactions are almost too complicated to keep track of. Some examples include SSRI antidepressants and the ingestion of aged cheeses and smoked meats, PTT or INR numbers can be affected by alcohol consumption (tends to cause dehydration. )

    If you have trouble talking to your Doctor or Nurse Practitioner, you may find out more useful information from the pharmacist. Given a choice, I go to the one with gray hair these days. Call me biased.

    Before delving into herbal medicine in a big way, remember that some of our most potent medications in the pharmacy are derived from plant sources:
    Warfarin/coumadin/main component of rat poison- extract of spoiled clover
    Digoxin/digitalis- extract of the foxglove plant

    More than a few young men have died from ingesting a lethal tea made from plant products which promise to give them an erection that will ” last all night.”. Most of your “Peter-harder pills” these days had their start in cardiac trials and are inotropic meds.

    That which does not kill us will make us stronger? Well, these will kill you if you don’t follow instructions for safe use.

    1. CaliRefugee;
      Ok I had to laugh a good one at this.

      “If you have trouble talking to your Doctor or Nurse Practitioner”

      Not me man, when I go to the Doc first thing I do is strip down bare-butt naked and tell em, “well here it is, nada you ain’t seen before, so tell me what’s wrong with me besides I’m Old, Fat, and Ugly!!! ” Heck of a way to start an “interview” huh???? HAHAHAH
      Now keep that image in your brain for the rest of the day and you’ll be HAPPY to get back to that Book about Gardening LOLOL

      PS, get a good Pharmaceutical Book.
      Handbook of Pharmaceutical Excipients Fifth edition Edition
      by Raymond C. Rowe, Paul J. Sheskey and Sian C. Owen (eds) Rowe (Author)

      1. Mondays are bad enough, without the image of you, butt naked at the Docs office. Ow, that’s depressing

      2. Thanks for the laugh- made my day. Heck, I didn’t even have to get completely undressed for a complete physical last year.

        1. aka;
          Honestly it’s not so bad till the Nurse points at ya and starts to laugh :-( :-(


    2. Cali,
      The antidepressants that interact with cheeses, smoked meats, tannins are NOT SSRIs. They are MAO Inhibitors such as Nardil, Parnate or Marplan.

  14. Last year when we thought we should move, sent over 3k books to library. Kept all “how to” books, most cookbooks, all medical, animal and text book type stuff. All prep books, history and law books maintained, and oddly, I kept ALL the classics and childrens library. Glad I did.

  15. As far as PDR’s are concerned, I upgrade ours every time I see a newer version at the thrift store, which is pretty often, usually around $2. My current edition is a 2015, recent enough for layman use (DW is a senior RN / ER MGR, I’m a former Paramedic), also on the PDR list is PDR for Herbal Meds. I’ve only seen one at a used book store in 25+ years so if you see one…GRAB IT! or order a used one on Amazon or other site.

    Others not mentioned are: (All are free downloads)

    Survival & Austere Medicine 3rd Ed. (by the Remote, Austere, Wilderness & Third World Discussion Boards) and be sure it’s the much expanded 3rd edition (600+ pg. vs 200+ of the 2nd edition)

    Where there is No Doctor (Hesparian Foundation)
    Where there is No Dentist (Hesparian Foundation)

    Available at the Hesparian website for sale are 2 additional beneficial Medical books;
    Book for Midwives and

    Where there is No Veterinarian. Both are reasonably priced, written for the layman and packed with valuable information

    1. Rucksack Rob welcome to the site. PDR is a must and to get a newer one. Thanks for reminding me. I’ll be looking for the others. It will be nice to see other medically competent contributors besides Caili and myself. God but it would be nice if we could get an actual pharmacist on board.

      I’d appreciate you and yours giving me an opinion on my VA medical comments towards the end of yesterdays comments.

      By folks, were off to Vegas today for the wife’s birthday vacation, I’ll read frequently but doubt that I’ll check in until back home in a week or so.

  16. Morning folks, great article Ken! I enjoy both paper and ebooks, so my system for the most part is; fiction on kindle and reference on paper. I may cross formats with fictional stories but always pick up hard copies of how-to’s.
    Still working through Atlas Shrugged on paperback, seriously considering downloading the kindle version soon. Dang old eyes!
    Hope everyone had a blessed Easter, stay safe all!

  17. I am an avid reader-I have many, many books on my phone but prefer real books for the better reads. I won’t repeat the excellent books listed already but will add these:

    ‘Herbal Antivirals’ and ‘Herbal Antibiotics’ by Buhner are fabulous.
    ‘Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook’ by Green is concise. I like it and I have been making herbal remedies for over 20 years.
    ‘Botany in a Day’ by Elpel is profoundly good if you even think for a moment you might have to forage or identify plants.
    ‘Seed to Seed’ by Ashworth excellent for how to save seeds
    ‘Breed your own Vegetable Varieties’ by Deppe.
    Any herbal or natural healing books by Dr. John Christopher.
    ‘Every woman’s herbal’ by Christopher and Gileadi
    ‘Gardening when it counts’ by Solomon.
    Any emergency childbirth book or midwifery manual.
    ‘The ABC herbal’ by Horne
    I could list so many more and would say to get books on all manner of food preservation and butchering books if you don’t know how to butcher. I would also say to get regional books in terms of gardening, etc. (David the Good’s books for the southeast are must haves if you plan to survival garden in the deep south and his ‘compost everything’ is good for everyone.)

  18. Thanks for the suggestions, going to order the Survival Medicine Handbook this week on payday-this is an area where we’re severely lacking (no one in our ‘village’ has any type of medical training).

  19. Lee Valley is a Canadian company (I’m not related in any way) who sells a lot of quality tools for gardening, wood working etc. Many of which do not need power. They also sell related books. They reproduce old books that are very helpful from a SHTF point of view. 2 Eg. 1. Audels Carpenters Guide in 4 vol. from the 1920s, How to use any hand tool in great detail. Popular Mechanics shop notes. We have from 1910, 1915, & 1920. How to make & use tools, build gates, water lifts from wells, uses of wheels, pulleys etc. These older books are very reasonably priced & very enjoyable & profitable reads.

  20. – After looking over the various books others have referenced, I would have to add a Merck Manual. Up until about the thirteenth edition, it included a chapter on home nursing, making especially the older, cheaper copies (I think I paid $3 for mine) extremely valuable in a SHTF scenario. The newer ones are almost a medical school course in themselves, but may be a bit of a slog for those unfamiliar with medical terminology. Get yourself a good medical dictionary (Mine is Dorland’s) and look up any unfamiliar words.
    Along that same line, a Merck’s Veterinary Manual is a fantastic find, with the same medical dictionary. The older ones, again, are really of more use in a grid-down situation.
    Hugh Laurie’s book “Ditch Medicine” is available online as a free download. That is still another good reference.
    Lastly, Paperback copies of Louis L’Amour novels are good fiction reads, and frequently include some 19th and early 20th-century Home remedies for injuries like gunshot wounds, etc. The vast majority of these are still sound, if not the most ideal means. Something that will work now, is a lot better than exactly the right thing, three days later. They would be worth as many older paperbacks as you have room to store.
    – Papa S.

  21. ‘Bushcraft’ & ‘Basic Safe Travel and Boreal Survival Handbook’ ; ANYTHING by Mors Kochanski – not many could survive in -35 oC winter temps

  22. Rodale’s How To Grow Vegetables and Fruits by the Organic Method – my companion book since I bought it new in 1977. For fiction the much less gun-centric (than so many of the more recent books) novels Alas Babylon and Malevil.
    When the nearby Borders closed down a few years ago was fortunate to be able to buy out the farming and self-sufficiency offerings at quite a discount.
    Best children’s survival fiction I’ve read is The Ark by Margot Benary-Isbert.

  23. Anyone know of a good book or article that clearly explains good crop rotation? Half the time my garden is small (city dweller) and I don’t grow some of the things most books put into the rotation.

    1. Robi, from what I have read from other successful small gardeners (sadly I am not too successful)…is that especially in smallish areas, “proper” companion planting is important. Some garden plants help others grow. Some Garden plants protect others for certain insects/grubs etc…

  24. To Gulo:

    Thanks for the response with the correct information about MAO-inhibitors and smoked meats and cheeses.

    More proof that even those of us still working in the field need to take the time to consult our reference manuals while working. I did not have mine handy when posting the info about medication/drug interactions.

    Also a good idea to ask the same question to at least 2 different people to ensure you get a consistent answer. Smart people will admit they made an error. I WOULD ALSO RE-EMPHASIZE THAT THE PERSON TAKING A PRESCRIBED MEDICATION BECOME AN EXPERT ON THAT MED AND THE SIDE EFFECTS. You are the true stakeholder in the outcome of taking a prescribed medication.

  25. thank you ken and contributors for the extensive reading list!!! :)

  26. This is not actually a prepping book, but it does address a good mindset to develop.

    How I Found Freedom in An Unfree World by Harry Browne.

    It was written in 1973, Hardcover went out of print in 1980 and soft cover went our of print in 1990. It can only be found used, And the used price is $50.00 +

    But thanks to the internet it can be found in PDF format. I have the PDF (E-Version) one and at some point would like to get a hard copy but $50.00 is a lot for an old 40-year old book. But then is is a very good book on mindset and how to live a better self fulfilling life. For the last 8-years I’ve been looking for a used copy at thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets and used book stores and it just doesn’t seem to be out there. I think this is because people hold on to it.

  27. Nobody has mentioned Dangerous Personalities by Joe Navarro.

    He was a FBI profiler who explains what makes someone a threat. I learnt a lot about what to look for. It also talks about situation awareness which has been covered in articles here.

  28. So many amazing books in these comments. Fortunately I have many of them. The Foxfire series, the Storey Publishing books, and Rodale book get read over and over again. I guess to some extent the Scout Manuals as well. I few I would like to add that I didn’t see mentioned are:

    Naked into the Wilderness by the McPhersons. Not like the TV show, but full of decent ideas and instructions.

    Gunsmithing Kinks by John Brownell

    Also add a detailed manual on each gun that you own.

    Also add a basic metallurgy book. You would be surprised what you can learn. Blacksmithing Basics for the Homestead is a good one but is also limited. A real book on the process of taking ore from the ground and the complete process is best.

    Finally, I would make sure I had a complete botanical reference for the area in which I lived. In my area that is a 5 book collection.

    I hope this day finds you healthy and happy.


    1. BG could you mention the titles of that ore to complete process please? Also the botanical reference? It seems hard to pick out the decent books out of the poorly done rewrites. Someone else may find your informed opinions worthwhile.


      1. NH MIchael, I apologize for just now seeing your post. ABC of Iron and Steel by Dan Reebel is a good starter. If you can read this book and not be put to sleep, I suggest moving on to the Steel Council series of technical manuals that can be downloaded from their website.

        As far as the botanical references, each area is different. In eastern Texas we are blessed with TEEX manuals and books such as “Trees of East Texas”. If your county has a farming extension agent or local university with a horticulture department, I would give them a call and see what they suggest. In my area, Texas A&M will suggest to you what book you need for your area. Another suggestion is to see if your area has a Master Gardener program. I have learned more by joining my local Master Gardener program as learning from any book. Nothing like a woman who has been grow vegetables for 66 years in your area to help you understand gardening.

        Best regards,


        1. Thanks BG interesting book list. Master Gardeners is also a good resource.

          Was looking at a few boxes of water damaged 1950-60’s Popular Mechanics. Nothing salvageable but made me sad all the good information that used to be so commonly available.

          It’s been a couple of years since I found a good practical book at a library sale. Used to be a gold mine now mostly hobby books and Fiction.

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