Avalanche Lily’s Bedside Book Pile

Here are the current top-most items on my perpetual bedside pile:

  • I just finished reading One Second After by William R. Forstchen, with a foreword by Newt Gingrich. This is a novel based on the the after-effects of a high altitude EMP blast that wipes out North America’s power grids one spring afternoon. It focuses on the aftermath in a small town in western, North Carolina. It was written with the literal intent to inform and raise the awareness of the American public to the very real danger our country could face from an EMP attack. The storyline was intensely gripping, keeping me up late reading two nights in a row. As I write this, I am still staggered by what I’ve read. Without giving away the story line, I have a number of immediate responses to this novel: get food, lots of food, for yourselves, friends and neighbors, get medical supplies everything and anything, wean yourself off of meds if possible; get ammo, lots of ammo for hunting, barter, and self-defense. Learn how to live without electricity, get non-electric tools and appliances and learn how to use them. I was struck by the lack of preparedness of the local, state and federal governing bodies for an EMP attack in the story (and in real-life), the incredible responsibility the town leaders had to govern the town, the decisions they had to make: declaring martial law, implementing and carrying out lethal punishment for those pillaging and stealing, food rationing, medicine rationing, and “triaging” those who could get more food according to the jobs they performed in the community and who would get medical treatment or not. It also addresses the fine line between caring for others and lapsing into totalitarianism. The book also emphasized the need to maintain 19th Century skills, knowledge, and tools. I consider this book a must read for anyone that is preparedness minded. It also a good book to hand to family and friends, to motivate them to get prepared.

  • We watched I Have Never Forgotten You, a documentary about famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal. This fascinating biography is available on DVD, and also as a “Watch it Now” streaming video from Netflix.
  • We followed up by watching The Odessa File . (Which had been mentioned in the Wiesenthal documentary.) It is a late-1960s movie, set in 1963. It stars Jon Voight, who convincingly plays the protagonist, a West German journalist who tracks down the former commandant of a Nazi work camp. This former Schutzstaffel officer is still hiding in West Germany under an assumed name, 18 years after the end of WWII. This movie is available as a “Watch it Now” streaming video from Netflix. It has some violence, so it is not one for the kids.
  • Jim noticed that the movie The Young Victoria had lots of good reviews, so we watched it on Saturday night. It had some very good acting, amazing costumes, and lavish sets. It was a remarkably good film. It is rated PG, so it would be suitable for older teenagers. Jim enjoyed it, so I wouldn’t categorize it as a chick flick. This got me interested in the history depicted in the film, so I spent a couple of hours reading about the British royal family, and the genealogical details starting with Victoria’s father and uncle, and down to Queen Elizabeth II.

Next, I plan to read Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, and Survivors by Terry Nation. I’ll post my comments on those novels in the next couple of weeks.