General Discussions for North Carolina Preppers
I have learned from and enjoyed many of the works of fiction that deals directly with survival and prepping in catastrophic situations. However, the other night I was considering some of the books that have made a significant impact on me and how I look at survival and prepping. I admit they do not cover all those wonderful practical ideas and checklists of things that a good survivalist should know before the apocalypse. But these books (or series) did change how I look at the world in some way. I would love to hear about some of your favorites, too.
1) Dune by Frank Herbert--I am speaking about the first one or two books in the original series. Most of you know this is a sci-fi classic. For you poor souls who have never read it, most of the story takes place on a very, very dry planet that is the only source of a valuable commodity. Because of the scarcity of water, the characters wear something called a "stillsuit" that captures, filters, and processes into drinkable water ALL of the wearer's moisture production--respiration, perspiration, and body waste (yes, that means what you think it means.) No, I don't think a stillsuit is practical, but Dune did change how I look at water shortage and what can be done in a survival situation.
2) Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel--I would also include at least one or two other books in this series such as Valley of Horses. This is a story about a young human girl who is raised by Neanderthals. It is a very well researched book and how cave men (and the heroine) live and survive. Hunting with a slingshot (the kind you spin over your head), making of many tools and weapons, hunting, food gathering, shelter, etc. are all covered. It is a cool story. It covers the challenges and methods of living in groups, hunting big game, making flint tools, etc. The heroine can do it all just like Alaska Rose!
3) Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and the whole series. I absolutely love these books. Stick with me here--it really isn't as strange as it sounds. A 20th century woman ends up in the 1700's in Scotland during the time of the Highland uprising against the English king. She is a nurse which comes in handy. I won't tell you any spoilers, but in later books she has developed her 20th century medical skills and ends up in NORTH CAROLINA! You women should read it just for the pleasure of meeting the hero of the book, Jamie Frazer. Mmmm.
I have had the pleasure of meeting the author at a book signing in Arizona. She lives in Scottsdale. She is absolutely one of the funniest people I have ever seen. Her background is science, research, and technical writing so her books are well researched. What I found relative to my prepping is how a 20th century woman adapted to living in a world prior to technology and survived in a hostile world. There are wars, torture, farming, hunting, and a lot of medical information adapted to less than ideal circumstances. The lead characters, Clara and Jamie, demonstrate the importance of self-reliance, weapons and knowledge of how to use them, helping others but keeping a good dose of distrust, etc.
I have to agree. There are several non-fiction books that have guided me in dealing with people on one-to-one and group situations. They have nothing to do with survival, per se, but the lessons learned do, as they are pretty much universal in modern western civilization.
"Power" by Michael Korda - Intense lessons on dealing with people that are difficult to deal with.
The "Miss Manner's" books on etiquette - Far more than just which fork to use, Judith Martin goes into the way people react to one another in social situations, many of which can be confrontational. Not getting into a gunfight over a situation is much better than getting into one, in my opinion.
"Dress For Success" by John T. Molloy - More than just clothing. How people see each other and react accordingly. While not 'camouflage' in the generally accepted belief, the principles outlined in the book are just as applical in the field as on the street.
"Breaking The Rules" by Kurt Wright - A book as well as a seminar that gave me great insight into what people are really like behind their public face. Why they often react the way they do to various stimuli. How to have the best possible relationship with a person, even if it is not an ideal one. And when to walk away.
The next books are fiction, but not exactly 'survival' related. I read these as a teen and they helped me develop and codify my beliefs in many areas.
“An Elephant For Aristotle” by L. Sprague de Camp – The most ‘survival’ related.
“Bulldozer” by Stephen W. Meader – A young man growing and learning some hard lessons.
“Have Space Suit, Will Travel” by Robert A. Heinlein – Intelligence, spirit, and determination.
“Starship Troopers” by Robert A. Heinlein – The best socio-political thinker of the fifties and sixties, in my opinion.
“A Hero For Henry” by Herbert R. Purdum – A comedy western that has good social insights about courage and doing the right thing.
The works of Louis L'Amour – Don’t quite know what to say about these except I learned a great deal about dealing with people on their level, and what it takes to be ‘A Good Guy’
Might not work for everyone, but what is in these books have made me what I am, good, bad, or somewhere in-between.
Jerry D Young
I go for the over-the-top, EOTWAWKI, books. I really enjoyed Patriots and One Second After. After those types of books I go straight to the non-fiction: Survival Preparedness Handbook, Gardening, Solar Power, etc...
Great list, Jerry. I'm a Heinlein fan, too. I thought about the western genre, but couldn't think of any specific book that exemplified that "cowboy up" mentality. The L'Amour library does it! I love the reference to Miss Manners. Wouldn't this be a better world if we all practiced those lessons right now?
Maustypsu, I agree with you about reading the hard core stuff as well as the non-fiction. (Our reference library is now about 140 books!) But I have to admit, I am still a sucker for a good Sci-Fi/Fantasy series, mystery, historical novel...
Heinlein is my favorite author, bar none, followed by Michael Crichton. Do you Grok?
When I was about 20 years old, I read my first sci-fi book, "Stranger in a Strange Land." I haven't read or heard "grok" in a very long time. It makes me smile.
MountainMama - I give you water!
That is a great one. I guess I need to go back and read all my old favorites again.
I guess you don't grok.
If I remember right, that was from Dune and meant as a bond between friends. It has been so long ago, I am not positive.
No it's also from "Stranger in a Strange Land." I guess bond between friends and family is close, but not complete. You do not Grok in fullness.
Give me a break--I read it almost 40 years ago when you were still in diapers. Oops, there goes your shelter!
Cool. Thanks for posting one I haven't read. Will add it to my list.
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