Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gift Ideas: Books for 2010 and Beyond

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of worthy books on the coming intersecting crises and how we can prepare ourselves to survive (and perhaps even prosper). I do not claim to have a comprehensive knowledge of all the competing titles, but I can recommend a few that are on my shelf, and list some titles which oftwominds.com readers (a very smart selection of The Remnant, as you know) have recommended.

For a firm grasp on the basic context of our era:

The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century

Financial Armageddon: Protecting Your Future from Four Impending Catastrophes

Survival+: Structuring Prosperity for Yourself and the Nation

Yes, it is presumptuous to place my own book with those of my mentors, but as we all know, we stand on the shoulders of giants...

Here are a few of the many worthy source books. As to which is "more important," it is a matter of taste and perspective.

The Long Descent: A User's Guide to the End of the Industrial Age

The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization

The Fourth Turning

The Great Wave: Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

The End of Work

Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air

Globalization and Its Discontents

Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television

Planet of Slums

Fewer: How the New Demography of Depopulation Will Shape Our Future

The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know about America's Economic Future

Smells Like Dead Elephants: Dispatches from a Rotting Empire by Matt Taibbi


Self-reliance and Sustainable Prosperity

Of the many worthy books on survivalist/self-reliance topics, this one is the most comprehensive in my opinion: When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency by Matthew Stein.

This book covers not just emergency preparation but water issues (graywater, etc.), food growing, foraging and storage, shelter, first aid, "when high-tech medicine fails," clothing, energy, heat and power, metalworking and machinery, and much else. The book includes many resources for further investigation, diagrams and even sections on intuition and decisionmaking. It is a practical guide with what I call an integrated understanding of the choices facing each household.

My goal in writing Survival+ was to lay out the framework for understanding why the status quo is doomed to insolvency, and to lay out how the solution requires constructing new resilient communities and networks which are independent of global corporate and State plutocracies. There are few books which address this adequately, but there are many which focus on household preparation/sustainability. To list but a few:

Just in Case

The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-sufficient Living in the Heart of the City
I learned a lot about urban gardens from this book. Not a comprehensive guide to all things gardening but practical for a short book.

Depression 2.0: Creative Strategies for Tough Economic Times
Disclosure: I contributed a chapter to this book.

Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front

Readers have recommended/purchased with "Survival+":

Five Acres and Independence: A Handbook for Small Farm Management

Food Security for the Faint of Heart

How to Build Animal Housing: 60 Plans for Coops, Hutches, Barns, Sheds, Pens, Nestboxes, Feeders, Stanchions, and Much More

The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse
written by an Argentine, based on what he learned enduring/surviving that nation's catastrophic financial collapse. I have read his website/earlier work and found it practical though harrowing. Good for those who want to prepare for TEOTWAWKI.

How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It
This guide by respected blogger James Wesley Rawles is a best-seller among the many titles on survivalism, for good reason.

Wilderness Evasion: A Guide To Hiding Out and Eluding Pursuit in Remote Areas

The Dollar Meltdown: Surviving the Impending Currency Crisis with Gold, Oil, and Other Unconventional Investments

A Nation of Farmers: Defeating the Food Crisis on American Soil

Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times

Storey's Basic Country Skills: A Practical Guide to Self-Reliance


Special fiction recommendation: Yes, I am a biased observer, as Chris Sullins' gripping strategic action thriller was first serialized on this website:

Operation SERF


Diet, Nutrition and Health

Food, Inc. (documentary film)

The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health

The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

Diet for a Small Planet

Our Stolen Future: How We Are Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence and Survival


Finance/Economy

Power and Prosperity: Outgrowing Communist and Capitalist Dictatorships

The Rise and Decline of Nations: Economic Growth, Stagflation, and Social Rigidities

Fiasco: The Inside Story of a Wall Street Trader

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

The Misbehavior of Markets

The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else

End of the Line: The Rise and Coming Fall of the Global Corporation

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age

Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion:

Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media


I am confident there are hundreds of other equally worthy titles--this is merely a starting point for your own explorations. Please go to my complete list of recommended books and films for more ideas.

Permanent link:
Gift Ideas: Books for 2010 and Beyond


Order Survival+: Structuring Prosperity for Yourself and the Nation from your local bookseller or from amazon.com or in ebook and Kindle formats. A 20% discount is available from the publisher.

Expanded free eBook now available (85,300 words, 136 pages):
in HTML: Survival+ in PDF: Survival+

NOTE: the Kindle reader for PCs is now available for free which means you canread the Kindle version of Survival+ on your PC.

Of Two Minds is now available via Kindle: Of Two Minds blog-Kindle

Thank you, Matt N. ($4), for your many generous contributions, intellectual and financial, to this site. I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

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