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Build a library of general knowledge, first aid, homesteading, emergency preparedness, home and machine repair, gardening and more. Keep your family prepared for emergencies.
This is my preparedness library. This it is not exhaustive, but it’s a list of the books, films and other media I think are important. These are books that I’ve read or that are well-respected in their fields. I’ve read most of them or have them on my immediate to-be-read list (that stack of books by my nightstand or on the read first list on my Kindle). Some may be available as a digital file only. I do not link to a free .pdf version of a book still in print as these are often pirated, so check your local library if you can’t afford to purchase! Check out this post on all the free ways to read book.
Don’t have an e-reader? Check out the Kindle apps for your PC, Android, i-products and more.
NOTE: Do not rely on your library to be electronic only. Long and short term power outages make our electronics unavailable. Keep the most important books in a physical form in your home that you can grab and learn from in need. I never mind having novels or books I’m researching in electronic formats because they may be more readily available for me to read in the bank line, etc. But keep physical copies of your preparedness library available.
Survivalism / Preparedness
- Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios by Lisa Bedford – love this book from a Mom’s perspective.
- SAS-Survival Handbook by John Wiseman
- Survival Hacks: Over 200 Ways to Use Everyday Items for Survival – Creek Stewart
- The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster by Bernie Carr
- The Survival Savvy Family: How to be Your Best During the Absolute Worst by Julie Sczerbinski
- Getting Home by Alex Smith – great detailed book on what a Get Home Bag is and what needs to be in it. I found it to be really informative, and not just a list.
- The Preparedness Planner by Jennifer Osuch. The most comprehensive storage planner and record keeper on the market. It is a non-electronic (no computer programs required) food storage and food rotation record keeper, which cannot be found anywhere else. (Read my review here)
- The Penny-Pinching Prepper by Bernie Carr
- Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew – how we garden
- Texas Gardening the Natural Way by J. Howard Garrett – while this book is specific to Texas climates (there is a vast difference in climates in TX..take your pick!) the basic information on organics is useful everywhere.
Homesteading / Animals
- Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery
- Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills by Abigail Gehring
- Animal, Vegetable, Mineral by Barbara Kingsolver
Food Preservation & Storage
- Putting Food By by Hertzberg, Greene & Vaughn
- The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook by Tammy Gangloff (reviewed here)
- Dehydrator Bible by MacKenzie, Nutt & Mercer
- Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook by Mary Bell
- Ball Complete Guide to Home Preserving by Judi Kingry
- Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival by Angela Paskett (read review here)
- The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months by Daisy Ell (read my review here)
- Simply Canning: Survival Guide to Safe Home Canning by Sharon Peterson
- The Organic Canner by Daisy Luther
- Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition and Craft of Live-Culture Foods
- Where There is No Doctor by David Werner
- Where There is No Dentist by Murrah Dickson
- The Survival Medical Handbook by Joseph Alton & Amy Alton (Dr. Bones & Nurse Amy)
- Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid for Survival by James Hubbard, M. D.
- The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Burns by James Hubbard, M. D.
- The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Wounds by James Hubbad, M.D.
- Duct Tape 9-11: The Many Amazoning Things You Can Do to Tape Yourself Together by James Hubbard, M. D.
- Natural Homestead by Jill Winger
- The Made from Scratch Life by Melissa K. Norris
- 101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home: A Nerdy Farm Wife’s All-Natural DIY Projects Using Commonly Found Herbs, Flowers & Other Plants by Jan Berry
- One Second After by William Forstchen – the book that opened our eyes as adults and set us on this new path (READ MY REVIEW HERE)
- Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank – the book that got me started thinking about what if a nuclear disaster happens
- Going Home by A. American – available in book format or slogging through a forum for free (you’ll have to skip other people’s posts to get to the next installment as you go) – #2 on my list of must reads. There are now 4 sequels to the book, as well.
- Lights out by David Crawford – post EMP/nuclear world where a community has to survive
- 77 Days in September by Ray Gorham – following a man as he has to trek cross-country to his family after being stranded by an EMP
- Patriots: A Novel of the Coming Economic Collapse – (followed by Survivors). I’m gonna be truthful – I found this book sexist, focused more on the military than the practical, but I did learn a few things because of the military perspective.
- Restoration Series – Terri Blackstock – EMP type disaster and how a community survives it (you can get the entire series for Kindle for $1.99 here)
- Collapse: New America Book One by Richard Stephenson – This is a 3-pronged story arc as America collapses from financial and meteorological disasters.
- Alpha Farm A Prepper Chicks Series vol. 1 – Annie Berdel – Imagine a network set up where preppers help each other and those in need. (READ MY REVIEW HERE)
PREPAREDNESS LIBRARY FOR KIDS
- Boy Scout Handbook by Boy Scouts of America
- Dangerous Book for Boys by Iggulden – I wish there was a good equivalent for girls that didn’t focus on crafts and such – but with girl language, but I haven’t found anything, yet, but there’s nothing saying your daughter couldn’t read it and learn tons!
- Willy Whitefeather’s Outdoor Survival Handbook for Kids by Willy Whitefeather
- Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George: She finds herself lost in the Alaskan wilderness, without food, without even a compass to guide her.
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered Windbreaker and a hatchet. NOTE: Anything by Gary Paulsen is great to read in this genre, but I only have so much room…can’t include them all).
- The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss: A shipwreck; a deserted island; a single family, wondering if they can survive.
- The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford: The tale of two dogs and a cat who are separated from their family and make an incredible journey cross-country to return to them. Remade as a Disney movie called Homeward Bound, it’s a survival tale from an animal’s perspective and a favorite of my kids.
- Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Dafoe: This classic tale of shipwreck and survival on an uninhabited island.
- Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare: Twelve-year-old Matt must try to survive on his own.
- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George: Young Sam Gribley lives a comfortable life in New York City, but tired of urban living, he, with his parents’ knowledge, runs away to the Catskills Mountains, determined to live on the site of his great-grandparents’ old homestead.
- Island of the Blue Dolphin by Scott O’Dell: This story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for eighteen years on an island off the coast of California.
- Call it Courage by Armstrong Sperry: Mafatu’s name means “Stout Heart,” but his people call him a coward. Ever since the sea took his mother’s life and spared his own, he has lived with deep fear. And even though his father is the Great Chief of Hikueru–and island whose seafaring people worship courage–he is terrified, and so scorned. By the time he is twelve years old, Mafatu can bear it no longer. He must conquer his fear alone…even if it means certain death.
- I Survived Series by Lauren Tarshis/Scholastic Press: A series of survival stories from the sinking of the Titanic to the Joplin Tornado, all told from a child’s perspective
- Snook Alone by Marilyn Nelson: Snook must learn to fend for himself in the wild, all alone in a world of fierceness and wonder. This is an illustrated book of verse that is so perfect. Note: this is good as a read aloud for ages 4-8
- Arrowhawk by Lola Schaefer: This is the true story of Arrowhawk-an endangered bird of prey who, with sheer determination and will, survives eight weeks in the wild with a poacher’s arrow through his thigh and tail. Note: A lovely picture book for ages 4-8
- Jake & Miller’s Big Adventure by Bernie Carr – In Jake & Miller’s Big Adventure, young readers discover it’s never too early to start prepping. Learning how to use life-saving survival equipment like canned goods, water filters, first aid kits, Mylar blankets and emergency radios can keep you safe, healthy and happy even in the scariest of adventures—whether you’re deep in the jungle or hunkering down at home. ages 4+ (Read my review here)
- Stranded on Terror Island by Lee Roddy: Josh Ladd is suddenly stranded on a remote Alaskan island when the plane he is traveling in crashes. Note: Roddy has a whole series of mystery/adventure/survival books. I would consider these being a little easier to read, along the lines of Hardy Boys.
- Shackleton’s Stowaway by Victoria McKernan: The story of a stowaway on the ill-fated journey to cross the Antarctic Continent by the famous explorer.
- Castaways: Stories of Survival by Gerald Hausman: Six unforgettable tales of people who are set upon by raging weather, swooping seas, hunger, thirst, wild animals, overwhelming loneliness, and, harshest of all, thier own inner demons.
- Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps by Andrea Warren: Forced to work for the Nazis, then torn from his family as they are herded into a concentration camp, Jack fights to survive.
- A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park: Nya goes to the pond to fetch water for her family. She walks eight hours every day. Salva walks away from his war-torn village. He is a “lost boy” refugee, destined to cover Africa on foot, searching for his family and safety.
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: The Capitol keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. NOTE: This series is for the 12+ crowd, in my opinion.
- If We Survive by Andrew Klavan: High schooler Will Peterson and three friends journeyed to Central America to help rebuild a school. In a poor, secluded mountain village, they won the hearts of the local people with their energy and kindness. But in one sudden moment, everything went horribly wrong. A revolution swept the country. Now, guns and terror are everywhere—and Americans are being targeted as the first to die. NOTE: Ages 13+
- Into the Forest by Jean Hegland: Two teenage sisters living alone in their Northern California forest home. Over 30 miles from the nearest town, and several miles away from their nearest neighbor, Nell and Eva struggle to survive as society begins to decay and collapse around them. NOTE: Ages 13+
- Book of Eli – starring Denzel Washington, a man travels with a mysterious book that will save man-kind. Mad Max-esque feel to the movie. Liked it.
- The Day After – I remember watching this and being completely shaken by it when it was broadcast.
- Panic in the Year Zero – 1962 movie about an LA family caught in the mountains and trying to survive until civilization can start again.
- Red Dawn 1984 Who doesn’t love this movie? A bit campy, low-budget, but great movie – WOLVERINES!
- Red Dawn 2012 A remake of an idea, not a movie. Don’t go into it thinking it’s the 1984 movie redone, because it is completely different, and I actually liked it (which, if you know me, I don’t like it when people mess with the stuff I love).
- The Wall – Read my Review HERE – Both a book (Die Wand) and a movie, it is the story of a woman who goes on a weekend retreat to a cabin in the woods with friends, and finds herself alone, trapped in the valley by an invisible wall, and the last living person on earth.
- Right at Your Door – Read my Review HERE – Dirty bombs are released in LA. A man must choose his life or his wife’s when he has already sealed his house, and she shows up with obvious signs of suffering from the toxins. And then the government shows up…
Non Fiction Movies/TV