Every year, my good friend Brian Keene does a top ten list of the books he’s read in the past year. If you aren’t reading his books, you really should, he’s a tremendously talented author. When he does his lists, he has all sorts of rules he follows as to what may be included. My own requirements are a little more simple. If I read the book this year, it qualifies to be included. The only other rule I’m following here is the book has to be likely of interest to preppers. I read a ton of books in various genres but a lot of them aren’t really survival related.
So, without further ado, here are my personal top five books of 2011, in no particular order.
Getting Out Alive by Scott B. Williams. A unique and interesting approach to a survival guide, Williams covers thirteen scenarios in this book.
Pinned under a boulder
Stranded in the jungle
Breakdown in the desert
Lost at sea
Trapped in a skyscraper
Urban societal breakdown
Each chapter focuses on one of those situations. He writes a story, placing YOU in that scenario. How you came to be there, what you have with you, steps you might take to survive. He goes into great detail as to what you would be experiencing, both physically and psychologically. Williams then further illustrates each situation by giving real world accounts of people who survived (or didn’t in some cases) similar situations. Each chapter closes with a top ten list of survival tips applicable to that disaster. Williams is that rare breed of survival writers who have truly been there and done that. He’s traveled all over the world and learned his skills by doing, rather than watching a video or reading a book. You can find this book here.
Ex-Patriots by Peter Clines. This is the sequel to Clines’ first zombie book, Ex-Heroes. I grew up reading comic books and this series Clines is doing hits all the right notes for me. How would superheroes fare against a zombie apocalypse? While you don’t necessarily have to read the first book to enjoy Ex-Patriots, you’ll get a lot more out of it if you do. The first book provides a lot of backstory on both the characters and the world in which they live. Quite often, the second book in a given series pales in comparison to the first. Let me assure you, there is no sophomore slump here! Lots of fun to be had with this series, especially if you are like me and grew up reading Batman, X-Men, and all sorts of other spandex clad heroes. You can find it here on Amazon.
Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat by M.D. Creekmore. While a very slim 80 pages or so, this book is full of great information for both the budding prepper and the experienced survivalist. Creekmore knows from where he writes as everything in this book is based on his own experiences setting up a survival retreat on a very limited budget. He covers everything from finding land to stocking your shelves to providing power. Very well done. Find it on Amazon here.
The Prepper’s Pocket Guide by Bernie Carr. If I had to pick one book to give to someone brand new to prepping, this would be the book I’d choose. Carr covers just about every topic you can think of, hitting all the high points from food storage to water purification. The focus is on how to accomplish goals without necessarily going out and buying all the latest and greatest gadgets. The only complaint I might have would be few of the topics are covered in depth, which is kind of the idea behind any pocket guide. Carr gives you enough information to cover the basics, which is what new preppers really need, but you’ll have to look elsewhere for more detailed discussions. Overall, a great little book. You can find it here on Amazon.
Rounding out the top five is Ashfall by Mike Mullin. I reviewed this title in depth a short time ago. It not only is one of my top five reads this year, it is one of my favorite reads in the history of ever! I still cannot believe this is Mullin’s first novel. He writes like an experienced pro. I had a very hard time putting this book down at night, wanting instead to keep turning pages to see what happens next. The events are portrayed realistically and the characters are flesh and blood. I’m anxiously awaiting the sequel coming next year. I honestly just cannot say enough good things about this book. Highly recommended. Find it here as well as most major bookstores.
Well folks, there you have it. My personal top five survival reads this year. What made your own list this year?