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Long ago, I decided that if a book was worth reading it was worth buying in hardcopy. If you have read anything else in this blog you will know why. Electronic copies can be replaced, changed, eliminated or just become unavailable at the time you need them. Every home should have hardcopy books that the family considers critical to their well-being. The books on this list are some of the books that are included in my well-being library, come what may. 

Crisis Preparedness Handbook

Crisis Preparedness Handbook Cover.jpg

Spigarellia Aston, Patricia and Spigarelli, Jack; Crisis Preparedness Handbook, Third Edition,  Cross-Current Publishing; 2020

This book is a handbook to preparedness, as the title suggests. If you buy this book, be sure to read The Story behind This Book and How to Use this Book before you proceed to Chapter 1. 

the book is divided into six sections:

  1. Planning for a Crisis

  2. Storing Water for a Crisis

  3. Storing Food for a Crisis

  4. Growing and Preserving Food for a Crisis

  5. Preparing your Shelter for a Crisis

  6. Communications, Transportation and Protection for a Crisis

At this writing, I am in section 3 but I wanted to introduce you to the book. So far, this book is well written and laid out. It is different from many texts because it encourages the user to make some decisions about the level of preparedness they either want or can create at the present time then helps to obtain that desired level of preparedness. 

Three levels of food storage plans are presented with guidance on how to create the desired level for individual readers. 

The authors clearly have done the research even to to point of providing suggestions on where to obtain needed supplies. Throughout the book, there are short lists of things you can do right now to move forward with your preparedness plan.  Available from Amazon for about $30.

The Self-Sufficient Live and How to Live It

Self Sufficient Life  Cover.jpg

Seymour, John.; The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It: The Classic Back-to-Basics Guide to Going Off the Grid; DK Publishing; 2018

This book is a guidebook to living a self-reliant life. This book was originally published in 1976 and the author, John Seymour has now passed away. But the content remains timeless. The book is 400 pages of insight and guidance into creating a self-reliant life.  The  title may sound a bit like a go-it-alone book but the content is anything but go-it-alone. 

The chapter headings give a good feel for the content:

  1. The Meaning of  Self-Sufficiency 

  2. Food from the Garden

  3. Food from Animals

  4. Food from the Field

  5. Food from the Wild

  6. In the Dairy

  7. In the Kitchen

  8. Brewing and Wine-Making

  9. Energy and Waste

  10. Crafts and Skills


The highest level of detail is found in the chapter on food from the garden, but the author covers a wide variety of topics. Included are such things as storage, preserving and canning, energy sources, waste processing, woodworking and many more. The main focus is on establishing a self-reliant lifestyle with access to a sizable plot of land. But several things can be learned about become  more self-reliant even in a small space. The author is no lover of modern society and the pursuits of modern corporations and it shows in his writing. But he does have many useful tips  that you may find useful as you pursue self-reliance. There is a fair amount of information that I will probably never use. I did find many useful ideas and helps despite feeling that some of the book is just beyond the limits of my present location. After reading most of the book and perusing all of it, I think it was not a waste of time or money. Available from Amazon for about $20.

When All Hell Breaks Loose

Lundin, Cody; When All Hell Breaks Loose; Gibbs-Smith, Publisher, 2007

The title of this book may be off-putting to some. After you open the cover, the approach to writing will be seen as somewhat unconventional. The author is an "off the grid" kind of guy. When you see a picture of him you may be certain you cannot learn anything from him. But, you need to get over all of that and learn what he has to offer. 

I like the organization of the book. Part One is all about mental, psychological and spiritual preparation. The mental issues of survival will kill you and your loved ones first. Part Two covers physical preparedness, and he covers it very well in comprehensive fashion, addressing all kinds of issues you probably have not considered but which will  be present if society fails. 

For me, the focus seems to be how to survive where you are when the structure you are used to collapses. 

When All Hell Breaks Loose Cover.jpg

Extreme Survival Handbook

Caudill, Craig; Extreme Wilderness Survival; Page Street Publishing Co, 2017

The content of this book is similar to When All Hell Breaks Loose in many ways. You will find similar information but the context is expects a wilderness environment, not a urban or semi-urban environment. Because of the different focus, you will learn some different approaches and skills in this book. 

This book is much more conventional in its format and information compared to When  All Hell Breaks Loose. I like that he includes situational awareness and group survival methods but again they are presented in a wilderness environment so some adaptation may be needed for your individual application.

The Humanure Handbook

Jenkins, Joseph; The Humanure Handbook; Chelsea Green Publishing, 2005

Yes, you read the title correctly. This is a handbook on how to manage human waste. You may think this a strange selection. If energy systems fail, your sewer pipes will be full in a matter of minutes. You need a solution to this problem.


Living where we do, it would be very unwise to dig a latrine to cope with this issue. We have a high water table, especially during summer. Latrines will likely result in contamination of the high-level water and water in the river and canals. To avoid contributing to the problem, you will need to know how to compost and have not only skills but the tools needed to do it successfully.  This book  explains bot the how and the what. I have to admit that I have not done this yet but I am working on developing all the required  "whats" including the processes of general composting so I am ready if I have to add this material to my compost input steam. 

Survival Seeds

Anderson, M.; Survival Seeds, The Emergency Heirloom Seed Saving Guide; 2013

This book is a guidebook to gathering and saving seeds as a part of our gardens. I have moved to 100% heirloom seeds. Seeds gathered from plants coming from hybrid seeds do not produce the same plant in the second generation so you cannot save those seeds.  Heirloom seeds produce the same plant in every generation. Using heirloom or open-pollinated seeds makes it possible to obtain an endless seed supply if we use proper methods in the fall. This handbook will help you learn how to properly create your own seed supply. This is knowledge and skill that needs to be developed now, before you need it. Plus it is a great way to advance your self-reliance. 

Becoming a King

The Path to Restoring the Heart of a Man

Morgan Snyder; Becoming a King; W Publishing; 2020

The author winds the path to restore manhood. When I finished, I felt like I had just read the musings of a kindred spirit. The loss of true masculinity is, in my judgement, a key issue in the destruction of our society. The author defines things that all of us can do to help build I true identity as a man and as a trusted son of God. His focus is on restoring men to positions of power, not as the world defines it but as God defines it. Recommended actions are as simple as "carry a knife" to as complex as "become the kind of men that God can confidently and joyfully entrust with His kingdom". One key point I took from this book is that we should not read to "finish the book". It is changing my approach to some of my reading. The author teaches, "Master the books you have. Read them thoroughly. Bathe in them until they saturate you. Read them, reread them . . . digest them. In reading let your motto be 'much not many'".

This is the introductory handbook for everything that keeps me going in this effort. When men rise to their true potential, they will engage to provide and protect those they love, regardless or in spite of circumstances in our society. This book helps to set the stage for what is needed in the men of our time. 

The Harbinger

Jonathan Chan; The Harbinger; Front Line, Charisma Media/Charisma House Book Group; 2011

I had heard of this book a few years ago but never read it. A friend recently suggested I read it and I am glad I did. The book is a fictional story but it presents researched facts woven into the story. The main character is a man who meets a mysterious prophet who takes him down a path of discovery of facts related to the events of September 11, 2001. Terrorists flew two jetliners into the  World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and one into a field in Pennsylvania. That is the headline story but the story of this book is the interrelationships between those events and events that preceded and followed. Intriguing facts are woven into the fictional story line. In each case, the facts caused me to reconsider the significance of the primary and secondary events. As the title suggests, this book is a book of warning to help people recognize events in a different perspective and consider their own complicity in the events. 

If you are troubled by the spiritual conditions in our nation (spiritual not religious) then this book will be an insightful  read. 

The Harbinger II

Jonathan Chan; The Harbinger II; Front Line, Charisma Media/Charisma House Book Group; 2020

This book picks up the story a few years after the end of The Harbinger. The theme began in the first book continues but with additional ties to events that have transpired in between the two books. If you enjoy the first book, this is a great follow-up read. The number of events that are connected to 9/11 will astound you. It caused me to rethink a lot of what I thought I knew.


I have a much greater appreciation for how I think God works in our lives and just how much of scripture is not just historic but also prophetic. Several years ago, I had concluded that latter-day references to Babylon were directed at the United States. This series has cemented that belief and caused me to look at God's methods and prophecy in a different light. 

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