Top Survivalist Books- Build Your Survival Library

book shelf

Do you rely on Google each time you have a question or need to learn something new?

What if you didn’t have access to Google?

How would you go about learning or looking up that important or life saving information?

Here’s a hint…BOOKS!!!

The Smell of Books

I believe books are often overlooked when it comes to survival preparations.

This is why I came up with a post including the top survivalist books. I believe that you should consider purchasing these books and begin building your own survival library.

Books are great resources and can provide some life-saving information

I also believe that book will be useful if the GRID shutdown happened, and we were unable to access the internet.

Having a physical resource to learn how to do something that is typically done through other means such as store-bought or done using electricity is very important.

Below are a few topics I believe each person should own at least one book in, and a short description of the book.

All Things Gardening

Usually I would include gardening under the homesteading category, but I believe there are so many elements to gardening that it needed its own category.

If you’ve read any of my other posts, then you know I am PASSIONATE about people having their own gardens no matter the size.

Here are a few gardening topics I believe are important to own and add to your book collection.

QUARTER ACRE GARDEN The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre by Carleen Madigan is awesome because it shows you to have an all-inclusive garden on only a quarter acre!

SECRET GARDEN Have you ever thought how to hide your garden from others? Secret Garden of Survival by Rick Austin teaches you how to grow a camouflaged garden. This is a good skill especially in the future if there is a food shortage.

SEEDS I prefer to grow my garden from seeds. I even have a seed storage in case of emergency. You can read more about the importance of seed saving on my Thriving Gardens Post. I like The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds book by Cheryl and Robert Gough because it discusses over 300 Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, Flowers, Trees, and Shrubs saving tips. This book is a comprehensive guide to gathering, preparing, and planting seeds.

backyard homestead book. secret garden book. Saving seeds book

Herbal/ Alternative Medicine

Herbal and alternative medicinal books are important for when you don’t have access to medical care or if your prefer a natural remedy to your ailment.

I was SHOCKED when I first began reading about natural remedies because there are so many replacements to typical medical treatments.

EATING– I like the How Not to Die book by Michael Greger because it teaches how what we eat can impact and increase our chances for various diseases. I believe it is important to be mindful now and in the future of what we eat.

HERBAL REMEDIES- I like The Lost Book of Remedies by Claude Davis because it is filled with so much information about the benefits of herbal remedies and how to administer herbal remedies yourself. This book is written by a wild west expert who is passionate about the lost remedies and wild edibles that kept previous generations alive.

OILS– I believe that essential oils have so many benefits for our bodies. I personally like the Young Living brand, but believe there are so many great companies producing oils now. A great resource to get the most out of our oils is the Essential Oil Natural Remedies by Athea Press because it has a A-Z reference list of how to use each oil.

how not to die book. herbal remedies books. oils book

Prepper and Survival Skills

BUSH CRAFT This topic can entails the usage and practice of skills, acquiring and developing knowledge and understanding, in order to survive and thrive in the natural environment. The Bushcraft Boxed Set by Dave Canterbury is a great addition and one of my favorite top survivalist books because it entails a variety of topics. It discusses first aid, thriving in the wilderness, hunting, gathering, and more. It also has a practical portion and encourages you to practice what you learn. I go these books for Christmas and absolutely LOVE them!

SELF DEFENSE Understanding how to defend yourself with and without a weapon is very important. These are crazy times we live in, and being able to defend yourself and others is an essential skill. The 100 Deadly Skills book by Clint Emerson is amazing because it gives you tips from the SEALS. It also discusses topics such as eluding pursuers, evading capture, and surviving any dangerous situation.

PREPARATION Being prepared is the core of being a prepper and survivalist. Preparing can be very overwhelming, so having a book to help organize and guide you is very important Total Survival by James Jones is a great resource because it teaches you how to organize various aspects of your life so that you are prepared to THRIVE when the unexpected hits. It covers how to prepare for a variety of events such as Natural Disasters, Civil Unrest, Financial Meltdowns, Medical Epidemics, and Political Upheaval.

bush boxed set. 100 deadly skills. total survival book

Homesteading Books

I entitled this section as homesteading because I wanted to include a variety of topics that benefit your daily life at home.

  • CANNING I suggest you purchase a book about canning because canning your food can help grow your food storage. Plus when canning is done properly, it can last on your shelf for YEARS! I like the Homestead Canning Cookbook by Georgia Verozza because it includes canning techniques and recipes. It also gives tips on how to canning can increase a sustainable lifestyle.
  • COOKING FROM SCRATCH Having a resource to help you learn how to cook from scratch is very important. I love cooking from scratch because I know exactly what ingredients I am consuming. Having a book about cooking from scratch is useful because you can refer to techniques and recipes. I suggest The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila because it includes over 100 food you can make yourself and stop purchasing from the store.
  • PROJECTS Having a book about various homesteading projects is useful because it can give you direction and guidance on various sustainable projects. I have found that The 40 Projects for Building Your Backyard Homestead by David Toht is PACKED full of great information for projects ranging from raising chickens, gardening, and becoming more self-sufficient.

There are TONS of great Homesteading books out there. Find what interests you and then purchase a book that has that specializes in that topic.

homemade pantry book. backyard book. canning book


PDF and Kindle Versions

You can also look for PDF’s of how-to’s on a variety of topics. Pinterest is a great place to start because it is over flowing with various topics and how to lists on a variety of subjects.

In addition to saving the PDF’s to an electronic device, I suggest you print them out and keep them safely in a binder or folder for future referencing.

Kindle versions of books are also an affordable option if you have a compatible device such as a tablet or IPad. The downside to relying on kindle versions is that if you lose electricity, you would not be able to access your kindle books.

Let’s Be Bookworms

Now that you have an idea of some top survivalist books to add to your library, I suggest you go and buy a few!

I’ve suggestion 12 books, but of course there are thousands of books out there that would be useful to own!

Amazon is a great place to purchase books. books

You can also support your local book store and see if they have books on these various topics.

Another great place to find survivalist books is at the thrift store! You can get a lot of useful books for a great price!

You could also go to your local library and photo copy useful pages of books and save them in a binder.

The thing I love about books is that you have a physical copy of the resource to help you learn something new. Also, who doesn’t LOVE the smell of books? I know I do!

What book do you want to add to your collection?

What book would you suggest to someone to add to their survival book collection?

Happy Reading!

-Lily W.

Let's Stay Connected!
Share This Post With Your Friends

5 thoughts on “Top Survivalist Books- Build Your Survival Library

  1. Mike says:

    Hello there! I really like how you brought up what if Google suddenly went down. That would be quite catastrophic for the world. I feel like the old art of reading books might not be as popular as it used to be but it is definitely a very needed skill for survival. I like the books and topics you suggested as they are definitely skills that can really come in handy. Gardening is definitely something that is overlooked since food is so readily available in America. Having that gardening skill will ensure that one will never starve in case there is somehow a food shortage (I guess that was something that my parents taught me also since they were refugees from war and had to rely heavily on that skill).

  2. Cynthia says:

    Thank you for this great selection of books!  While many people consider “prepping” to be end of the world stuff, that’s not’s not the only use for this knowledge.  Natural disasters, war, terrorist attacks and, most recently, riots can interrupt our ability to remain in our homes, move about freely, access medical care or obtain food. Sometimes it’s only for a short time, sometimes longer, sometimes we don’t know.  It’s good to be prepared and these books are just the way to do it.   

    1. Lily says:

      Hi Cynthia!

      I’m glad you found the list helpful. I agree that the term ‘prepping’ can be perceived as end of the world stuff, yet there are every day circumstance and disasters we all should prepare for as well! 

  3. Mike says:

    Hello there! These are great books you have suggested when it comes to survival. Being able to survive is one of the most vital skills that one should always have at hand. Unfortunately, we live in a fairly safe society where pretty much everything is provided. I really hope a day where things come crashing down does not happen any time soon. Despite the fact that everything seems to be provided, one should still work on developing those skills. I might be wrong, but some of the books you suggested seem a bit lengthy, do you have any suggestions for one that has a quick reference?

    1. Lily says:

      The Bush Craft books are each very small and easy to quickly reference to!  I agree that we all should work on the various skills because they are useful in everyday life as well. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *