The SurvivalBlog Bookshelf

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(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”:

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

Other Nonfiction Books Recommended by SurvivalBlog Readers:

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

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

Recommended Books on Current Events and Economics

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

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:

The Rawles Kids’ Favorite Books for Young Adults:



Fiction for Young Adults Recommended by SurvivalBlog Readers:

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:

Recommended Magazine Subscriptions:

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.)

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