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The Bookshelf ©2006 James Wesley, Rawles The SurvivalBlog Bookshelf (The SurvivalBlog Staff's Recommended Books, Magazines, and DVDs)

Note: Many of these books and DVDs are available though our Amazon store. By using the provided links, you'll help support SurvivalBlog, with sales commissions. Thanks! We also sell a variety of preparedness gear, via Amazon. Jim's Recommended Books: Jim's Non-Fiction “musts”:

   KJV Version Reference Bible with Apocrypha
   First Aid -- (American Red Cross Handbook) Responding To Emergencies
   Strategic Relocation--North American Guide to Safe Places by Joel and Andrew Skousen
   Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook by David Werner
   Where There Is No Dentist by Murray Dickson
   The Encyclopedia of Country Living (Tenth Edition) by Carla Emery (See review, below)
   Making the Best of Basics - Family Preparedness Handbook by James Talmage Stevens
   Ball Blue Book of Preserving
   Cookin' with Home Storage by Vicki Tate
   Nuclear War Survival Skills by Cresson H. Kearney (Available for free download.)
   The Alpha Strategy by John Pugsley. (Out of print, but a PDF is available for free download.)
   Boston's Gun Bible by Boston T. Party (See review, below)
   Survival Guns by Mel Tappan
   Tappan on Survival by Mel Tappan

Jim's “Second Tier” List of Recommended Specialty Books:

   Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables by Mike Bubel
   Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition by Abigail R. Gehring
   Putting Food By (Plume) by Janet Greene
   Stocking Up: The Third Edition of America's Classic Preserving Guide by Carol Hupping
   Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook by Peggy Layton
   Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times by Steve Solomon
   All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew
   Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners by Suzanne Ashworth
   Small-Scale Grain Raising by Gene Logsdon
   How to Find Your Ideal Country Home: A Comprehensive Guide by Gene GeRue
   Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and with (Almost) No Money by Dolly Freed
   Starting a New Life in Rural America: 21 Things You Need to Know Before You Make Your Move by Ragnar Benson
   The Fifty Dollar and Up Underground House Book by Mike Oehler
   Emergency War Surgery (NATO Handbook:- Third United States Revision, 2004) by Dr. Martin Fackler, et al.
   PDR for Nonprescription Drugs, Dietary Supplements, and Herbs, 2008 (See review, below)
   Physicians Drug Handbook
   Physicians' Desk Reference 2009 (PDR, 63rd Edition)
   The Merck Veterinary Manual
   Where There Is No Vet by Bill Forse
   The ARRL Operating Manual For Radio Amateurs (ARRL Operating Manual)
   Passport to World Band Radio, 2009 Edition
   Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry Dean Olsen
   Essential Bushcraft by Ray Mears
   SAS Survival Handbook by John "Lofty" Wiseman
   Ultimate Sniper 2006 : An Advanced Training Manual for Military and Police Snipers (2006 Updated Edition) by Maj. John L. Plaster
   Total Resistance by H. von Dach
   The Survivor book series by Kurt Saxon. Many are out of print in hard copy, but they are all available on DVD. Here, I must issue a caveat lector ("reader beware"): Mr. Saxon has some very controversial views that I do not agree with. Among other things he is a eugenicist.

Other Nonfiction Books Recommended by SurvivalBlog Readers:

   The Little Black Book of Violence by Lawrence A. Kane and Kris Wilder
   Engineer Field Data (FM 5-34) (U.S. Army manual)
   U.S. Army Ranger Handbook (U.S. Army manual)
   Crisis Preparedness Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Home Storage and Physical Survival by Jack A. Spigarelli
   Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation
   The Foxfire Book series (in 11 volumes, but the first five are the best)
   When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency by Matthew Stein 
   Preparedness Now!: An Emergency Survival Guide (Expanded and Revised Edition) by Aton Edwards
   Five Acres and Independence: A Handbook for Small Farm Management by Maurice G. Kains
   How to Stay Alive in the Woods by Bradford Angier
   The New Organic Grower by Eliot Coleman
   Tom Brown's Field Guide to Wilderness Survival
   Tom Brown's Field Guide to Nature Observation and Tracking
   Tom Brown's Guide to Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants (Field Guide)
   Ditch Medicine: Advanced Field Procedures For Emergencies by Hugh Coffee
   Living Well on Practically Nothing by Ed Romney
   The Secure Home by Joel Skousen
   Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life, by Neil Strauss
   98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive by Cody Lundin
   When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikesby Cody Lundin
   The Last Hundred Yards: The NCO's Contribution to Warfareby John Poole
   Camping & Wilderness Survival: The Ultimate Outdoors Book by Paul Tawrell
   Engineer Field Data (US Army FM 5-34) --Available online free of charge, with registration, but I recommend getting a hard copy. preferably with the heavy-duty plastic binding.
   Great Livin' in Grubby Times by Don Paul
   Just in Case by Kathy Harrison
   Storey's Basic Country Skills: A Practical Guide to Self-Reliance by John & Martha Storey
   Adventure Medical Kits A Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness & Travel Medicineby Eric A. Weiss, M.D
   Rodale's Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening: The Indispensable Green Resource for Every Gardener  
   Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook (it superceded the very out-of-date ST 31-91B)
   Wilderness Medicine, 5th Edition by Paul S. Auerbach
   Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Longby Elliot Coleman
   Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition by Abigail R. Gehring
   The Weed Cookbook: Naturally Nutritious - Yours Free for the Taking! by Adrienne Crowhurst
   The Modern Survival Retreat by Ragnar Benson
   Last of the Mountain Men by Harold Peterson
   Primitive Wilderness Living & Survival Skills: Naked into the Wilderness by John McPherson
   LDS Preparedness Manual, edited by Christopher M. Parrett
   The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century by James H. Kunstler
   Principles of Personal Defense - Revised Edition by Jeff Cooper
   Survival Poaching by Ragnar Benson
   The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses by Eliot Coleman

Jim's Recommended “Be Ready to Barter” Reference Book List:

   Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and Their Values
   Blue Book of Gun Values
   The Official Red Book: A Guide Book of United States Coins 2009
   2009 Standard Catalog of World Coins 1901-2000
   2010 Standard Catalog of World Coins 2001-Date
   Antique Trader - Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide
   Wristwatch Annual 2009: The Catalog of Producers, Prices, Models, and Specifications
   Jewelry & Gems the Buying Guide: How to Buy Diamonds, Pearls, Colored Gemstones, Gold & Jewelry With Confidence And Knowledge

Note: If you enjoy reading my blog, you will also likely enjoy reading these non-fiction books that I authored:

   "Rawles on Retreats and Relocation" -- this book has details on selecting the locale for a self-sufficient survival retreat.
   "How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It". A detailed guide to family preparedness for turbulent times

Recommended Books on Current Events and Economics

   The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable  by Nick Taleb
   Government By Emergency by Dr. Gary North
   Crash Proof 2.0: How to Profit From the Economic Collapse by Peter Schiff
   Financial Armageddon: Protecting Your Future from Four Impending Catastrophes by Michael J. Panzner
   When Giants Fall: An Economic Roadmap for the End of the American Era by Michael J. Panzner
   The Ultimate Depression Survival Guide by Martin Weiss
   Financial Reckoning Day Fallout: Surviving Today's Global Depression by Addison Wiggin and Bill Bonner
   The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century by James H. Kunstler

Fiction with Survival and Preparedness Themes (Some of these are out of print but usually available via inter-library loan):

   Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
   Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (A classic nuke scenario. This book was a key influence in my writing and it was my inspiration to write "Patriots" in a similar style.)
   Lights Out by David Crawford (Post-EMP attack.) Also available as a Kindle e-book.
   The Rackham Files by Dean Ing (includes the text of "Pulling Through" a more modern nuke scenario + a mini nuke survival manual) Not to be confused with my screenplay--also titled "Pulling Through".
   Some Will Not Die by Algis Budrys (Plague total wipe-out scenario. This book was another with an influence in my writing.
   No Blade of Grass by John Christopher (Massive crop disease/social breakdown scenario, from the British perspective.)
   Enemies Foreign and Domestic by Matthew Bracken
   Molon Labe! by Boston T. Party
   Earth Abides by George Stewart
   Vandenberg by Oliver Lange (Invasion scenario. Note: It was later republished under the title: Defiance: An American Novel)
   The Weapon by Michael Z. Williamson (SurvivalBlog's Editor at Large)
   Unintended Consequences by John Ross (This otherwise excellent novel was marred by some vulgarity and gratuitous sex scenes. Beware!)
   Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
   Wolf And Iron by Gordon Dickson
   The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
   Fire and Ice, by Ray Kytle
   Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace

Note: If you enjoy SurvivalBlog, I believe that you will also enjoy reading my novel “Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse” and my screenplay “Pulling Through”.The latter is currently available for free download.

Survivalist Fiction Recommended by SurvivalBlog Readers:

   One Second After by William R. Forstchen (An EMP scenario.)
   World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstler
   Last of the Breed by Louis L’amour
   Survivors  by Terry Nation
   Conquistador: A Novel of Alternate History by S.M. Stirling
   The Road by Cormac McCarthy
   Warday: And the Journey Onward by Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka
   Malevil by Robert Merle
   Farnham's Freehold by Robert Heinlein
   The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein
   Tunnel in the Sky by Robert Heinlein
   King Rat by James Clavell
   Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

The Rawles Kids' Favorite Books for Young Adults:


   Boy Scouts Handbook: The First Edition, 1911
   The Dangerous Book for Boys
   The American Boy's Handybook of Camp Lore and Woodcraft
   How to Stay Alive in the Woods


   My Side of the Mountain
   Robinson Crusoe
   Treasure Island
   The Swiss Family Robinson
   The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
   Little House on the Prairie Series
   The Chronicles of Narnia Series
   The Tripods Series
   Johnny Tremain

Fiction for Young Adults Recommended by SurvivalBlog Readers:

   The Tomorrow Series
   Life As We Knew It
   Escape from Warsaw (Original title: The Silver Sword)
   A Tale of Two Cities
   Captains Courageous

The Late Memsahib's Top “Must Have” Book:

The Encyclopedia of Country Living (Tenth edition) by Carla Emery. Sasquatch Books. (Get the Ninth or later edition.) This book is 845 pages of valuable 'how-to' country survival knowledge. The Memsahib (1964-2009) wrote: “The first time that I butchered chickens, I used this book. When I needed 15 different ways to fix zucchini I turned to this book, when I wanted to make soap, pickles, jelly, bread from scratch, butter, and cream cheese, I found everything I needed to know in this book!”

Other Books Recommended by The Late Memsahib:

   Gardening When It Counts by Steve Solomon
   How to Survive Without a Salary: Learning How to Live the Conserver Lifestyle by Charles Long
   Small-Scale Grain Raising by Gene Lodgson
   The Family Cow by Dirk van Loon
   Raising a Calf for Beef by Phyllis Hobson
   Small-Scale Pig Raising by Dirk van Loon
   Raising Rabbits the Modern Way by Bob Bennett
   Raising Sheep the Modern Way. Updated and Revised Edition by Paula Simmons
   Ducks and Geese in Your Backyard: A Beginner's Guide by Rick and Gail Luttmann
   The Complete Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ody

Recommended Magazine Subscriptions:

   Backwoods Home
   Countryside & Small Stock Journal
   Home Power

Some of JWR's Favorite Practical and Tactical Training DVDs:

Clinton Anderson: On the Road to the Horse Colt Starting

The Art of the Tactical Carbine

Knifemaking Unplugged Some of JWR's Favorite Movies with Survival Themes:

A Proviso: None of these films except for City of Ember are suitable for children!

   The Andromeda Strain (1971)  The recent remake has also had positive reviews)
   Black Hawk Down 
   City of Ember (suitable for ages 12 and up)
   Defiance This movie was based on the book Defiance: The Bielski Partisans by Nechama Tec
   Doctor Zhivago  
   Empire of the Sun  
   Enemy at the Gates  
   Farewell to the King  
   The Flight of the Phoenix (Buy the original version, made in 1965, starring Jimmy Stewart. The recent remake pales in comparison.)
   The Great Escape  
   I Am Legend (a good remake of The Omega Man (see below.)
   Jeremiah Johnson  
   The Magnificent Seven the American remake of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (Shichinin No Samurai)
   The Matrix Series (The Matrix/ The Matrix Reloaded/ The Matrix Revolutions)  
   The Omega Man (It has far too many 1970s cliches, but still worth watching. More recently re-made as I Am Legend )
   Open Range (IMHO, one of the better western films made)
   The Outlaw Josey Wales  
   Panic in Year Zero (The corny film that first got me thinking about TEOTWAWKI, when I was a lad)
   The Patriot  
   The Pianist
   The Postman (A typically "Hollywood" overblown production, but still a good think piece)
   The Quiet Earth
   Red Dawn  
   The Road Warrior , aka Mad Max movies (Mad Max 2 "The Road Warrior" is by far the best of the three, although Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome has its merits)
   Schindler's List (BTW, it is too bad that Spielberg didn't show Oskar Schindler arming his Jewish employees--which is what actually happened)
   Serenity (I also highly recommend the short-lived cable television series Firefly , from which this feature film spun off.)
   Seven Samurai (Shichinin No Samurai)
   Shane (IMHO, the best western film ever made)
   Soylent Green (This one barely made my list, but you may find it worth watching)
   The Terminator movies (Terminator 2 is by far the best, IMHO. (Terminator 3 was a bit lame, but worth seeing if only for the glimpses of "Crystal Peak".) The television series Terminator - The Sarah Connor Chronicles also has its merits.)
   Things to Come (1936)
   Tremors (more for fun rather than an education. Only the first movie is worth watching, IMHO.)
   True Grit  
   Victory at Sea (Documentary on World War II.)

Note: If you enjoy movies with survival themes, then you will like reading my “Pulling Through” screenplay (available for free download.) Some of JWR's Favorite Movies (of Various Themes and Genres):

Proviso: Most of these films are NOT for children. If you have teenagers, I recommend that you pre-view these films to check their suitability for your kids at their particular ages.

   The Abyss  
   Amazing Grace (Biography of the abolitionist William Wilberforce)
   The Best Years of Our Lives  
   Big Trouble in Little China  
   Blade Runner  
   Breaker Morant  
   The Bridge on the River Kwai  
   The Brother From Another Planet  
   Buckaroo Banzai - Across the Eighth Dimension  
   The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (suitable for ages 12 and up)
   Conspiracy Theory
   Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  
   Dances with Wolves  
   Dr. Strangelove
   The Gods Must Be Crazy
   Groundhog Day  
   Johnny Tremain  Suitable for children 10 and up
   Lawrence of Arabia  
   The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (live action, directed by Peter Jackson)
   O Brother, Where Art Thou?
   The Passion of the Christ  
   The Prince of Egypt (animated)--Suitable for children
   The Princess Bride -- Suitable for ages 14 and up
   Raiders of the Lost Ark (The later installments in the Indiana Jones movies aren't nearly as good.)
   A Room with a View  
   Saving Private Ryan  
   Secondhand Lions  
   Sergeant York  
   Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow  
   The Sound of Music
   They Live
   The Thing
   The Third Man
   The Thirteenth Floor (I think that this film was probably an inspiration for The Matrix.)
   Total Recall  
   The Train
   Les Visiteurs (Original French Version)  
   Wall-E -- Suitable for children
   Willow -- Suitable for ages 14 and up
   Zero Effect  
   Book Reviews:
   The Late Memsahib's Book Review: Physician Desk Reference (PDR) for Herbal Medicine
   PDR for Nonprescription Drugs, Dietary Supplements, and Herbs, 2008 (Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR) for Nonprescription Drugs and Dietary Supplements), 987 pages
   This is a huge book. (The price is huge too, $59.95) This book has information on over 700 botanicals as well as a new section on nutritional supplements. Each botanical entry gives common names and scientific names. A plant description is given. (Though not good enough to help you recognize the plant in the wild.) It tells the compounds found in the herb and the effects of the compounds. A very strong plus! There is usage (both proven and unproven) for each entry. Mode of administration and sometimes dosage amounts are given. The reason I really like this book is for the section on precautions and adverse reactions. Remember the Hippocratic oath---Do thy patient no harm! (There are many materials on herbs out there which say nothing about overdoses and adverse reactions.) There is a section of color photos of 300 or so of the botanicals. Which leads me to what I think is the real lack of this book which is plant identification. There is a photograph for less than half of the plants. And the photo are each hardly larger than an inch square. Not to mention the pictures are generally bad. So you are going to need at least one other herb book--specifically for plant identification. I have mixed feelings about this book. It probably has way more information in it than most people need. And it is more expensive than most can afford. And if the balloon goes up we aren’t going to have access to the 700 botanicals detailed in this book. But on the other hand if it is TEOTWAWKI, I’m going to want some really good books on herbs. And this just might be one of them. - The Memsahib
   JWR’s Book Review: Boston's Gun Bible
   Boston's Gun Bible stands alone as the very best all-around reference for firearms owners. Not only does it cover practical rifles, pistols, and shotguns in detail, but it has a wealth of valuable information on related subjects such as optics, practical carry, training, legal issues, and legislative issues. The new expanded and updated edition (with 200 extra pages) is fantastic!
   This weighty tome is an absolute must for all gun owners. At $28 it isn't cheap, but as I stated before in reviewing the previous edition, it is worth every penny. Boston's observations and conclusions about guns are precisely researched, scientific, and relatively dispassionate. Unlike many other writers in the firearms field, Boston has consistently shown that he is willing to change his mind when presented with logical evidence.
   This is a book that may very well save the life of yourself or a loved one. It is also a highly influential book that may contribute in the long run to the restoration of our Constitutional Republic and freedom around the world. Boston's Gun Bible doesn't just whine about the decline of our God-given Constitutional liberties. Rather, it shows practical solutions that individual Citizens can and must take to insure the liberty of future generations. It is nothing short of a monumental work of non-fiction!
   Don't just buy one copy. Buy two! You will soon find that you'll need an extra copy to lend out to family members and friends. By the way, if you already have the older edition, then I strongly suggest that you buy the latest expanded edition. This has valuable new information, so is well worth getting a new copy.
   As a published writer, I stand in awe of this important piece of non-fiction. It deserves a place of honor on the bookshelf of every freedom-loving Citizen.
   JWR's Book Review: How to Find Your Ideal Country Home
   How to Find Your Ideal Country Home: A Comprehensive Guide by Gene GeRue. 1999 Edition, Warner Books. ISBN 0-446-67454.
   I had my first look at this book back in 1994, when the author contacted me after having read the draft edition of my novel The Gray Nineties. (Which was then available as shareware.) Ay the time, Gene GeRue had just come out with his first edition. I was impressed with how thorough he was. His premises were sound, and his research was excellent. Imagine my surprise this year when I found an updated edition. It is even more thorough, and even more detailed!
   GeRue systematically details the criteria to look for in a country home. He hits all of the key factors: climate, topography, soil, vegetation, water, demographics, agriculture, services, taxes, land/home prices, and so forth. He includes a lot of detailed maps.
   The author also includes a section on analyzing you. This is important and shouldn't be overlooked. It is important to understand your personal needs, expectations, and personality. Some people just aren't cut out for living in the country! The book also delineates between wants, needs and fantasies. Sometimes people have preconceptions that require a "whack upside the head."
   This book is not all "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm." There are some great doses of reality--such as finding a job or developing a home-based business before you move to the hinterboonies. He also discusses risks such as flood plains, fire prone regions, prisons, toxic waste, radon gas, incineration, and so on. He also describes the factors in choosing an existing home versus building on bare land.
   I highly recommend this book. Referring to the content of GeRue's book as a baseline, you can add the factors that you find important for a true survival retreat. (See my blog posts and Recommended Retreat Locales web page for suggestions.)

Note: Permission is granted to re-post this page in its entirety at other web sites, but only if attribution to is left intact, this notice and copyright notice are left intact, and all of the page's original links are left intact (unaltered.) Any other use is a violation of copyright.

Copyright 2005-2013. All Rights Reserved by James Wesley, Rawles -™

James Wesley Rawles' "Survival Book"

James Wesley Rawles' "Gun Book"

James Wesley Rawles' "Garden Book"

Jack Spirko's "Survival Book"

Jack Spirko's "Survival Book"

Jack Spirko's "Permaculture Book"

Jack Spirko's "Gun Book"

MD Creekmore's site: "Survival Book"

John Jacob Schmidt's "Survival Book" "Survival Book"

Dave Duffy, Massad Ayoob, John Silveira, and Claire Wolfe's "Survival Book"

Dr. Bones & Nurse Amy's "Survival Book"

Lisa Bedford's "Survival Book"

Paul Wheaton's "Survival Book"

Paul Wheaton's "Permaculture Book" "Survival Book"

Joel Skousen's "Survival Book"

Alex Jones's "Survival Book"

Alex Jones's "Survival Book"

Chuck Baldwin's "Survival Book" John Birch Society's "Survival Book"

Mike Adams' "Survival Book" "Survival Book" "Survival Book" "Survival Book"

William Frank Buckley 's "Survival Book" "Survival Book"

Bob Livingston's "Survival Book" "Survival Book" "Survival Book" "Survival Book"

An opinionated rural north Idaho housewife's "Survival Book" "Survival Book" "Survival Book" "Survival Book" "Survival Book" "Survival Book" "nutnfancy Book" "Survival Book" "Permaculture Book" "Gun Book" "Preparedness Book" "Survival Book" "Survival Book" "Survival Book" "Gun Book"

Jeff Quinn's "Book" "Gun Book" "Gun Book" "Gun Book" "Gun Book" "Gun Book"

book.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/12 18:32 (external edit)