The Reader’s Choice Library: Prepper Fiction You’ve Gotta Read

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By the author of Be Ready for Anything and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted

A while back, I asked you to tell me your favorite non-fiction prepping books. (Here’s the list of books that were recommended for the Reader’s Choice Survival and Preparedness Library.) But since life can still be productive with a little entertainment, some readers also recommended prepper fiction that they had learned from.

The Reader’s Choice Prepper Fiction Library

Below, you can find 40 post-apocalyptic prepper fiction novels recommended by readers that will both entertain and educate you.

One Second After by William Forstchen

This book was written as a warning to Congress about the dangers of an EMP, but fast became a classic that convinced many people to become preppers.

The Going Home series by A. American

(Check out my review of the series) A man is stranded several hundred miles from home when the EMP hits. This series goes into long-term survival, the importance of community, and the terrifying possibilities.

The Journal series by Deborah D. Moore

After a major crisis rocks the nation, all supply lines are shut down. In the remote Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the small town of Moose Creek and its residents are devastated when they lose power in the middle of a brutal winter and must struggle alone with one calamity after another.

The Patriots series by James Wesley Rawles

America faces a full-scale socioeconomic collapse—the stock market plummets, hyperinflation cripples commerce and the mounting crisis passes the tipping point. As hordes of refugees and looters pour out of the cities, a small group of friends living in the Midwest desperately tries to make their way to a safe-haven ranch in northern Idaho.  (Note: religious themes throughout the book)

Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness.

Powerless World series by P.A. Glaspy

Russ and Anne Mathews live in a rural suburb in Tennessee. Regular people, with regular jobs, living a normal life – except for one thing. They are what many people call “preppers”. When the event they have been fearing arrives, their faith in their own capabilities and in humankind will be challenged, as they fight to protect and keep their supplies and, quite possibly, their lives.

Perilous Miles series by P.A. Glaspy

Carly Marshall is a twenty-first-century single mom. She works hard and lives modern. Take-out food, the latest technology, and all the modern conveniences of the time make up her life. She doesn’t have to worry about feeding her family. She doesn’t think twice about water coming out of the faucets. She’s on the path to advancement at her firm. Life can’t get much better. But what if it could get worse?

EMP Survivor series by Chris Pike

Assistant District Attorney Dillon Stockdale is on the phone with his daughter when an EMP obliterates the entire electrical grid of the United States. Anything relying on a computer is fried, including the plane his daughter is on. Gripped with the terrifying realization the plane has crash-landed somewhere in the expansive and dangerous landscape of Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin, Dillon sets out to rescue her before it’s too late.

299 Days series by Glen Tate

Meet Grant Matson: lawyer, father, suburbanite husband who awakens to the fragility of modern society and embarks on a personal journey that introduces him to a world of self-reliance and liberation.

The Changing Earth series by Sara J. Hathaway

This is an apocalyptic, adventure novel, featuring a dynamic young woman, mother, and wife, Erika, who is thrust into a world turned upside down by a series of natural disasters. Finding herself alone in a city mutilated by this disastrous situation, she must save herself. Once free of the city confines, she desperately tries to navigate through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to get back home to her family. Not knowing if they are alive or dead she must call on all of her survival instincts to plot a course through this broken environment. (Note: Great info about foraging and herbal medicine)

Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. It was the beginning of a new Ice Age and the end of civilization. But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival–a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known.

Wolf and Iron by Gordon R. Dickson

After a worldwide financial collapse cripples America, Jeremy Bellamy Walther, one of the few who knows how to reverse the catastrophe, begins a cross-country trek in order to spread his knowledge.

The Opus Odyssey series by Boyd Craven III

(Check out my review of this series.) Rick is like many Americans. He’s concerned with what he sees on the news, and how the country seems to be ready to tear itself apart. His biggest concern has been civil unrest. Already an avid camper, he sets out to secure his future, and career, by finding his own Eden. Tina is a small-business owner and knows what she wants in life. She and her furry companion find themselves at gunpoint when Rick walks back into her world and forever changes the dynamic between them. One dog, who’s been the savior, protector, and companion…Opus. The owner of two humans that mostly understand him. Mostly.

When the police walk into an ambush, a series of events forces the couple to bug out. The problem with having to leave for a small town, at a remote location, is it really isn’t a secret. Small towns bring their own problems with crime, and power plays. Everybody knows everybody, and the gossip mill runs as fast as lightning. Will the trio be as prepared as they need to be?

Fire from the Sky series by N.C. Reed

Clayton Sanders has a secret that has pushed him to the brink, forcing him to become a criminal in order to be where his family needs him to be, even though they don’t realize it yet. Because Clayton knows something they don’t. Something that hasn’t happened, but will. Something that will burn everything it touches. And change the face of the world forever. 

Anonymous Justice series by Boyd Craven III

We hear with increasing frequency, reports of mass shootings or terrorist activities on American soil. Don’t you get tired of the media sensationalizing everything? Do you hate how the police have their hands tied on how they can react, by politicians who are more worried about political correctness and getting re-elected? Don’t you fantasize about just giving the bad guys what they have coming to them? That’s what this story is about. It’s guaranteed to offend the crap out of some people! It’s not illegal to fantasize in this country… Yet.

The SHTF series by L.L. Akers

(Check out my review of this series.) As a prepper, Grayson Rowan was prepared for almost anything; anything other than being totally alone when the sh*t hits the fan. While he sat back and watched the United States rattle swords with Korea, play chicken with Russia, and strong-arm China, he felt sure if the lights went out, that he and his family would be ready and safe–whether it was due to a natural disaster or a man-made event. They had everything they needed at their homestead. What he wasn’t prepared for, was his family not being home if it ever happened.

Boston Brahmin series by Bobby Akart

With social unrest sweeping the country, Europe on the brink of war and the U.S. economy under siege by foreign nations, a new threat emerges. The nation is caught in the crosshairs of a power struggle between wealthy oligarchs and the political leaders who claim to have the country’s best interests at heart.  As the collapse events escalate, enter The Loyal Nine – direct descendants of the Founding Fathers, a modern-day Knights Templar whose mission is to protect America, and the republic, from those who would inflict tyranny upon her.

Forgotten Forbidden America series by Thomas Watson

As the district manager for a sporting goods store, Nelson knows what it takes to survive off the grid. Michelle is a nurse, a mom, and fully capable. Nelson and Michelle are hardworking Americans with a secret: they are part of a circle of individuals who are prepared for the worst. They know that the worst is coming; it’s just a matter of time. When the stock markets in Asia crash, the family knows that it is time to pull together with their circle of friends and get to their safe zone. But nothing worth doing is ever easy. Not content to just seize the assets of Americans, the United States government paints a target on the backs of survivalists and preppers, demanding that all Americans turn in their guns, ammunition, and food, and placing restrictions on travel. 

After the Crumble by Devon Porter

Our future has crumbled. In the late 2020s, the grid finally flickered out for the last time, succumbing to attacks from a newly formed Resistance, fuel scarcity, and general entropy. It is now the year 2037 and many have died, with the few that managed to escape death solely concerned with their daily survival. Gavin Collier is one of those lucky few, but survival alone isn’t enough for him anymore. Recognizing that the meaning of life didn’t crumble along with the rest of the world, he embarks on a dangerous and personal journey for reasons that few can understand. 

The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games,” a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.

The Perseid Collapse series by Steve Konkoly

On August 19, 2019, an inconceivable attack against America’s infrastructure will unleash a human darkness over the United States–with a vast appetite for chaos and violence. Alex Fletcher, former Marine, will wake to this brutally hostile landscape, thrown headfirst into an epic, impossibly grueling journey to save his family and friends.

Borrowed World series by Franklin Horton

When terrorists bring down the grid a stranded traveler fights to reach home. He was a prepper and had been expecting this day. He was ready. Are you?

Locker Nine series by Franklin Horton

Grace Hardwick’s dad is a science fiction writer who makes his living destroying the world. When Grace decides to go away for her first year of college her dad, Robert, can’t help but think of all of the potential ways that society could collapse and strand his daughter hundreds of miles from home. Then, near the end of her freshman year, it happens. Like a scene from one of Robert’s books, coordinated terror attacks take place at dozens of locations around the country – including on the campus of Grace’s university. Grace and her father barely have time for a single rushed phone call before they lose signal. 

Dark New World series by Henry Gene Foster & JJ Holden

Society crumbles after an EMP attack, and the terrifying nightmare has only just begun… Three people from different walks of life each experience the end of America. Cassy is a 33-year-old prepper and single mother, away on business. Ethan is a hacker and conspiracy nut living underground. Frank is a family man out camping with friends and family. When a devastating EMP attack in the middle of the night destroys America’s infrastructure, they are propelled on an unforgettable journey across an ocean of chaos to reach safety.

Economic Collapse series by Mark Goodwin

Matt and Karen Bair thought they were prepared for anything, but can they survive a total collapse of the economic system? If they want to live through the crisis, they’ll have to think fast and move quickly. In a world where all the rules have changed, and savagery is law, those who hesitate will pay with their very lives. America is on the cusp of financial annihilation and desperation pushes society to the brink. Government borrowing and monetary creation reach their limits and funds are no longer available for entitlement programs. The thin veneer of civility quickly gives way, revealing the brutal underside of humanity. 

The Jakarta Pandemic by Steven Konkoly

Cases of a highly lethal virus appear in major cities around the globe. Most ignore the warning signs. Alex Fletcher, Iraq War veteran, has read the signs for years. With his family and home prepared to endure an extended period of seclusion, Alex thinks he’s ready for the pandemic. He’s not even close. The unstoppable H16N1 virus rapidly spreads across the United States, stretching the fragile bonds of society to the breaking point. Schools close, grocery stores empty, fuel deliveries stop, hospitals start turning away the sick…riots engulf the cities. As hostility and mistrust engulf his idyllic Maine neighborhood, Alex quickly realizes that the H16N1 virus will be the least of his problems.

Travelers series by Tom Abrams

HE THOUGHT HE WAS PREPARED. HE THOUGHT HIS FAMILY WAS SAFE. HE WAS WRONG. Five years after a pneumonic plague killed two-thirds of the world’s population, army veteran Marcus Battle is isolated. He’s alone with his guns, his food, and the graves of his wife and child. Unaware of the chaos that’s befallen everything outside of his central Texas ranch land, Marcus lives a Spartan life. If anyone steps onto his property he shoots first and never ask questions. But when a woman in distress, chased by marauders, seeks asylum, Marcus has a decision to make. Does he throw her to the wolves to protect himself or does he help her and leave the shelter and protection of home?

The Walk by Lee Goldberg

It’s one minute after the Big One. Marty Slack, a TV network executive, crawls out from under his Mercedes, parked outside what once was a downtown Los Angeles warehouse, the location for a new TV show. Downtown LA is in ruins. The sky is thick with black smoke. His cell phone is dead. The freeways are rubble. The airport is demolished. Buildings lay across streets like fallen trees. It will be days before help can arrive. Marty has been expecting this day all his life. He’s prepared. Or is he?

Dies the Fire series by S. M. Stirling

The Change occurred when an electrical storm centered over the island of Nantucket produced a blinding white flash that rendered all electronic devices and fuels inoperable—and plunged the world into a dark age humanity was unprepared to face… 

Life After War series by Angela White

Fated to lead New America, seven gifted people survive a nuclear apocalypse only to find themselves on a cross-country quest through horrors that will shake the very core of who they thought they were. These long-denied protectors of humanity are destined to rebuild their country…if they can stay alive long enough to find each other.

The Stand by Stephen King

A patient escapes from a biological testing facility, unknowingly carrying a deadly weapon: a mutated strain of super-flu that will wipe out 99 percent of the world’s population within a few weeks. Those who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge—Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a peaceful community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious “Dark Man,” who delights in chaos and violence. As the dark man and the peaceful woman gather power, the survivors will have to choose between them—and ultimately decide the fate of all humanity. (Note: Gets very supernatural at the end but a great read)

Alpha Farm series by Annie Berdel

From the beginning, Emma was always looking for modern ways to becoming self-sufficient. Following the signs of a faltering economy and a nagging in her Spirit to return to her family farm, Emma begins rebuilding a life independent from The Grid and away from her high-stress corporate job. Is it any wonder that when a localized Electromagnetic Pulse is detonated over the New Madrid Fault Line and The Grid is taken down, that Emma immediately goes into action? Well, at least until Senator Varga and her personal Army shows up at Emma’s door. That is one curveball that Emma was not expecting. 

Dark Titan series by Thomas A. Watson and Monique Happy

A massive solar storm–the Coronal Mass Event that had been predicted for years–finally hit Earth, and the electromagnetic pulse it created instantaneously threw the world back to the Bronze Age. Soon the radioactive fallout from space would spread death and disease across the globe. Owens and his friends had been preparing for something like this for years, and now it had finally happened. But when it came, it came at the worst possible time. He was a thousand miles away from his family and his redoubt – and his only chance to survive the dark days ahead. 

The Charlie’s Requiem series by A. American and Walt Browning

Could you imagine being at Disney or Universal Studios when an event such as an EMP occurred? What would those tens of thousands of people do? Where would they go? 

Until the End of the World series by Sarah Lyons Fleming

Cassie Forrest isn’t surprised to learn that the day she’s decided to get her life together is also the day the world ends. After all, she’s been on a self-imposed losing streak since her survivalist parents died: she’s stopped painting, broken off her engagement to Adrian and dated a real jerk. Rectifying her mistakes has to wait, however, because Cassie and her friends have just enough time to escape Brooklyn for her parents’ cabin before Bornavirus LX turns them into zombies, too. This is difficult enough, but Cassie’s tag along ex-boyfriend and her friend’s bratty sister have a knack for making everything, even the apocalypse, more unpleasant. When the two attract a threat as deadly as the undead to their safe haven, Cassie’s forced to see how far she’ll go to protect those she loves.

Surviving the Evacuation series by Frank Tayall

Zombies. The outbreak began in New York. Soon it had spread to the rest of the world. People were attacked, infected, and they died. Then they came back. No one is safe from the undead. As anarchy and civil war took grip across the globe, Britain was quarantined. The British press was nationalized. Martial law, curfews, and rationing were implemented. It wasn’t enough. An evacuation was planned.

Day of Wrath by William Forstchen

Bob Petersen arrives with his daughter at the Middle-Grade school in Maine where he teaches, expecting another regular day but worried about what recent ominous news reports might portend. Suddenly his school — along with many others across the United States — is under attack. Gunmen burst in, slaughtering children and adults alike. This novella by New York Times bestselling author William R. Forstchen imagines a horrifying scenario where, in the course of one day, the terrorist group ISIS carries out massacres in schools and on highways across the United States. With a surprisingly small but well-organized and ruthless force, the nightmarish devastation brings America to a state of near-paralysis. 

The Beginning of the End by Michael Snyder (Here’s my review of this book)

The Beginning of the End is a mystery/thriller set in the United States in the near future. It is a time of unprecedented economic collapse, deep political corruption, accelerating social decay, out of control rioting in the cities and great natural disasters. In the midst of all of this chaos, a former CIA agent, a respected financial reporter and a blogger that takes his prepping to extremes all find themselves dropped into the middle of an ancient conflict between two shadowy international organizations. The three of them are absolutely horrified to discover that one of those shadowy international organizations is planning to hit New York City with the largest terror attack in U.S. history. 

The New World series  by G. Michael Hopf

(Check out my review of this series.) Young Gordon Van Zandt valued duty and loyalty to country above all, so after 9/11, he dropped out of college and joined the Marine Corps. This idealism vanished one fateful day in a war-torn city in Iraq. Ten years later, he is still struggling with the ghosts of his past when a new reality is thrust upon him and his family: North America, Europe, and the Far East have all suffered a devastating Super-EMP attack, which causes catastrophic damage to the nation’s power grid and essential infrastructures. Everything from cell phones to cars to computers cease to function, putting society at a standstill.

Cry Havoc by A. American

The news is full of disturbing events today. There’s war and rumors of war. There’s the false recovery of the economy. Failing faith in the US economy is extremely high. Foreign banks have either slowed their purchases of Treasury Bonds or, in a few cases, begun unloading them. We have a current election that is rife with corruption, extreme partisanship, and outright fraud. We’ve all heard of the spooky bank holiday. This sort of thing usually happens on a weekend, and on Monday morning you simply cannot access your account. You have no access to your money. Don’t think it can happen? Neither did the people of Greece. Or Germany when they were limited to fifty Euros a day. What follows is just one idea of what this could look like.  It’s just some thoughts on it. On how people could act. What the government may do in response and how people might respond in turn. (Note: I couldn’t put this book down!)

Patriot Dawn by Max Velocity

The United States has descended into Civil War. The storm was rising for some time, a Resistance in the hearts of American Patriots to the strangulation of liberty by creeping authoritarianism. The scene was set. It just took a little push. A terrorist attack on the United States leads to war with Iran, followed by collapse, as the economy goes over the cliff. The final blow is a widespread opportunistic Chinese cyber attack, taking down the North American Power Grid. 

What are your favorite prepper fiction books?

For ongoing recommendations (plus interviews with the authors themselves) check out Jim Cobb’s podcast, Library at the End of the World.

What are your favorite prepper and survival novels? Share your favorites in the comments section and I’ll add them here at the end, with links to help other readers find them. If you need me, I’ll be over here…reading.

More reader recommendations:

Into the Forest by Jean Hegland

Over 30 miles from the nearest town, and several miles away from their nearest neighbor, Nell and Eva struggle to survive as society begins to decay and collapse around them. No single event precedes society’s fall. There is talk of a war overseas and upheaval in Congress, but it still comes as a shock when the electricity runs out and gas is nowhere to be found. The sisters consume the resources left in the house, waiting for the power to return. Their arrival into adulthood, however, forces them to reexamine their place in the world and their relationship to the land and each other.

The Parable of the the Sower by Octavia Butler

When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death Lauren Olamina, a minister’s young daughter, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny… and the birth of a new faith.

The Divide (A Great State) by Shelby Gallagher

Julie Atwood is struggling with the day-to-day challenges of being a single mom. She works for a non-profit by day and clips coupons by night. The time in between is spent doing homework with her son. She wants a stable and secure life for him, but she needs a new start for herself. That won’t come easy, though. Julie is recently divorced, financially stressed, and still reeling from a violent attack in her past. She will become self-reliant—and never be a victim again.

The Stranded series by Jeff Probst and Christ Tebbetts

A family vacation becomes a game of survival! It was supposed to be a vacation–and a chance to get to know each other better. But when a massive storm sets in without warning, four kids are shipwrecked alone on a rocky jungle island in the middle of the South Pacific. No adults. No instructions. Nobody to rely on but themselves. Can they make it home alive?

The Arisen series by Glynn James and Michael Stephen Fuchs

When the Zombie Apocalypse came, one country had shut down its borders in response to a major terrorist attack. Now Fortress Britain is the last bastion of the living – with 50 million beleaguered survivors facing down a world of 7 billion animated corpses.

The Redfall series by Jay J. Falconer

After his wife turned terrorist, Simon Redfall thought his life couldn’t get any worse. On the lam and all alone, Redfall risks his life to attend the public execution of the woman he once loved. The only reward for his sympathy is an angry mob trying to tear him to shreds. When a deluge of red rain begins to fall, Redfall is pulled to safety by eccentric preppers and asked to join their mission to uncover a global weather conspiracy smothering the planet. As the red storm clouds spread, so does trouble when power grids falter, militants weaponize, and world leaders start pointing fingers.

The Bunker series by Jay J. Falconer

Jack Bunker vowed to never step foot on another battlefield. But the former Combat Engineer’s new peaceful life in the Colorado mountains shatters after an attack takes out America’s power grid. When suspicious activity plagues the nearby high-security military facility, Jack fears he’ll soon have another war on his hands.

Apocalypse Trails series by Joe Nobody

Commander Jack Cisco has been under the Pacific Ocean for months aboard the USS Utah, conducting a top secret surveillance mission. When their boat finally returns to port, the officers and crew are shocked to find the entire West Coast of the United States has been destroyed or abandoned.

Once Upon an Apocalypse by Jeff Motes

The Day The day was like any other day—until it became “The Day.” At 4:05 p.m. the United States was attacked with an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) weapon. A 20 mega-ton nuclear warhead was detonated high in the atmosphere above Kansas, blanketing most of the contiguous United States and parts of Canada and Mexico with an electro-magnetic pulse that damaged nearly all microprocessors and electronic controls beyond repair. Nearly every system that depends on computers and electronics has ceased to work. The electrical grid goes down. The water system goes down. The sewer system goes down. The phone system goes down. The cellular system goes down. Cars stop. Tractors stop. Radio and TV stations go dark. The internet is no more. No more ambulance services. No more emergency services. No more government services. No more 911. In the twinkle of an eye America is sent back deep into the 19th century. Jill Barnes, a single mom, finds herself stranded on the side of Interstate 459 near Birmingham, Alabama. Jack Chance, a bank vice-president, is stranded on Interstate 85 near Montgomery, Alabama. John Carter, a contractor, finds himself stranded near Leeds, Alabama. Each must travel home to Clarke County in rural southwest Alabama. (religious themes)

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other. The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, “each the other’s world entire,” are sustained by love.

Lights Out by David Crawford

Lights Out chronicles the challenges of Mark “Karate Man” Turner when the lights go out over most of the free world. He must find in himself the ability to unite his family, friends, and neighbors if any of them are to survive the harsh reality that everyday life becomes when the veneer of civilization is stripped away.

Walking in the Rain series by William Allen

Sixteen-year-old Luke was trapped in Chicago when the lights went out and civilization began to unravel. Determined to get home to his family, Luke begins a thousand mile odyssey that will show him the depths of human depravity while also giving him a chance at redemption.

The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 by Lionel Shriver

“The Mandibles” begins in 2029 (100 years since the “crash” of 1929). In what is later called “The Great Renunciation”, the president (who is a “Lat”: of Latin descent), calls for the renunciation all US debt and defaults on all foreign debt. Invoking the International Emergency Powers Act of 1977 (it’s real), he calls for all gold to be confiscated. Blame is placed on nebulous “hostile foreign” entities who have tried to replace the dollar with the “bancor”. The President, in addition to recalling all gold (including jewelry and dental work) from every citizen, has ordered the military to do a door-to-door search for hoarded gold and for those responsible to be fined and imprisoned. In addition, the US has “reset” all US Treasury bonds to zero and inflation has driven the price of a (scarce) head of cabbage up to $30. Some folks are happy that the “uber-rich” or the 1%-ers are falling like dominoes seeing it as finally a way to erase the vast economic disparities. The US starts printing (now almost worthless) money by the truckload, though with the toilet paper scarcity – well, you can imagine what happens.

Holding Their Own series by Joe Nobody

This first book of the Holding Their Own series, A Story of Survival, is set in the near future, when the world is burdened by the second Great Depression. The United States, already weakened by internal strife, becomes the target of an international terror plot. A series of attacks results in thousands of casualties and disables the country’s core infrastructure. The combination of economic hardship and the staggering blow of the terror attacks results in a collapse of the government.

Contamination series by T.W. Piperbrook

In a world plagued with violence and infection, Ken and Roberta Smith want nothing more than to find their son. Having been on the road for four days, they must now cross the remaining three hundred miles of desert wasteland to get to him. Isaac Smith has been trapped in Phoenix since the infection began. The city is virtually impassable, and the infected are everywhere. Will he escape the carnage around him? Or will he die in the city he once called home?

Euphoria Z series by Luke Ahearn

Civilization shuts down as the world’s population fills the streets in a deadly orgy. They feel only pleasure and never pain, even as they are injured, maimed, and mutilated. The few who remain unaffected struggle to survive, unaware that things are about to get unbelievably worse. Cooper is among the few survivors of a conspiracy to depopulate the world. One week ago, college was his biggest concern. Now he is on a perilous journey to find his sister. But zombies aren’t the only threat he faces. In this nightmarish reality, the living can be far more dangerous.

(Speaking of zombies, check out our free QUICKSTART Guide to starving the beast.)

Grid Down by Bruce Hemming

If you enjoyed One Second After and Lights Out then you will love this fast-paced novel of 3 different groups surviving the confusion and terror of The End Of The World As We Know It. From one harrowing adventure to the next this novel will keep you on the edge of your seat, cheering the characters on as they face the impossible odds against them.

Surviving The Dead series by James Cook

Eric Riordan was once a wealthy man leading a comfortable, easy life. Until one day his oldest friend, a Marine Corps veteran and a former mercenary, told him how the world was going to end. He did his best to prepare. He thought he was ready for anything. He was wrong.  As the dead rise up to devour the living, one man finds himself struggling to survive in the ruins of a shattered world.

The Girl At The End Of The World by Richard Levesque

Her fight begins the day the world ends. Scarlett Fisher is an average California teenager. She likes hanging out with her friends and talking on the phone. She does all right at school, and she’s made the best of her parents’ divorce. But in one way, she’s special: on her fifteenth birthday, a fast-moving plague wipes out almost everyone she’s ever known, yet somehow it passes her by. Her family dead, alone in a corpse-strewn metropolis, she has no choice but to survive. She needs food, shelter, a safe place to sleep. She discovers that an ordinary girl is capable of extraordinary things, and that she’s more resilient than she imagined. Even so, she wishes more than anything that she could just find another survivor. Unfortunately for Scarlett, not everyone who survived the plague is looking for companionship. And she’s about to find out just how difficult survival really is.

The Survivalist series by Arthur T. Bradley

The Superpox-99 virus has wiped out nearly the entire human race. Governments have collapsed. Cities have become graveyards filled with unspeakable horror. People have resorted to scavenging from the dead, or taking from the living. The entire industrialized world has become a wasteland of abandoned cars, decaying bodies, and feral animals. To stay alive, U.S. Deputy Marshal Mason Raines must forage for food, water, and gasoline while outgunning those who seek to take advantage of the apocalyptic anarchy. Together with his giant Irish wolfhound, Bowie, he aligns with survivors of the town of Boone in a life and death struggle against a gang of violent criminals.

World War Z by Max Brooks

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Extinction Horizon series by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Master Sergeant Reed Beckham has led his Delta Force Team, codenamed Ghost, through every kind of hell imaginable and never lost a man. When a top-secret Medical Corps research facility goes dark, Team Ghost is called in to face their deadliest enemy yet–a variant strain of Ebola that turns men into monsters.

The Days of Noah series by Mark Goodwin

Is there a secret cabal working to collapse the international economy in order to usher in a global government and one-world currency? Noah Parker, like many in the United States, has been asleep at the wheel. During his complacency, the founding precepts of America have been slowly, systematically destroyed by a conspiracy that dates back hundreds of years. The signs can no longer be ignored and Noah is forced to prepare for the cataclysmic period of financial and political upheaval ahead. Watch through the eyes of Noah as the world descends into chaos, a global empire takes shape, ancient writings are fulfilled and the last days fall upon the once great, United States of America.

The Days of Elijah series by Mark Goodwin

After a massive wave of disappearances, twenty-six-year-old CIA analyst, Everett Carroll, finally believes what he’s been told about the biblical prophecy of the rapture. But will he be able to survive the gauntlet of destruction known as the Great Tribulation? Seven seals, seven trumpets and seven vials of God’s wrath are about to be poured out upon the earth, and woe to the inhabitants thereof! Global currencies have collapsed, famine and plague have claimed the lives of millions, and the world has crumbled into chaos. The only reason Everett and his girlfriend, Courtney, have survived the mayhem is because they were warned by John Jones, Everett’s recently deceased boss, that all of these tragedies would occur. (religious themes)

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Seven Cows, Ugly and Gaunt series by Mark Goodwin

Danny and Alisa’s lives are turned upside down when Danny begins having prophetic dreams about the judgment coming upon America. Through one of Danny’s dreams, they learn about the imminent threat of an EMP attack which will wipe out America’s electric grid, sending the country into a technological dark age. (religious themes)

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

Hig somehow survived the flu pandemic that killed everyone he knows. Now his wife is gone, his friends are dead, and he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, Jasper, and a mercurial, gun-toting misanthrope named Bangley. But when a random transmission beams through the radio of his 1956 Cessna, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life exists outside their tightly controlled perimeter. Risking everything, he flies past his point of no return and follows its static-broken trail, only to find something that is both better and worse than anything he could ever hope for.

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

When explosions are observed on Mars at an astronomical observatory the interest of the scientific community is greatly aroused. It is soon discovered, when they land on Earth, that the explosions are rocket-like projectiles that have been launched from Mars. An unnamed protagonist is one of the first to discover that these are actually spaceships carrying monstrous beings from the planet. The story centers on the unnamed narrator’s attempt to reunite with his wife after witnessing the devastating attacks that soon follow.

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads—driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America

The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman

This is the graphic novel version that inspired the popular television show.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Picture of Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • One of my favorites is “Once Upon an Apocalypse, The Journey Home “, by Jeff Motes. I can’t remember the other part of this series. It is written in the second person, it takes a little getting used to. A good read.

  • In regards to One Second After, it should be noted the other 2 books in that series, One Year After and The Final Day, both great additions to this series.

    Some of my favorite not on this list are:
    The Days of Noah: Mark Goodwin
    The Days of Elijah (companion to Days of Noah): Mark Goodwin
    Seven Cows, Ugly and Gaunt: Mark Goodwin

    Although they have a specific view on religion that I do not completely agree with, it was free from profanity, and helpful in preparing the mind.

  • Wow! What a list! I thought I had all the EMP, Apocalypse, Zombie, books, but looks like I gotta go find some more! I love these kind of books, and get a lot of them in Audio, as I don’t have time to sit and read. One or two, are on the list above. Here’s my list I have in audio:

    01. Contamination (T.W. Piperbrook)
    02. Euphoria Z (Luke Ahearn)
    03. Grid Down (Bruce Hemming)
    04. One Second After (William R. Rorstchen)
    05. Surviving The Dead (Jame Cook)
    06. The Girl At The End Of The World (Richard Levesque)
    07. The Hot Zone (Richard Preston)
    08. The Survivalist (Arthur T. Bradley)
    09. Apocalypse (Kyle West)
    10. Plague Of The Undead (Joe McKinney)
    11. The Apocalypse Crusade (Peter Meredith)
    12. World War Z (Max Brooks)
    13. Empty Bodies (Zach Bohannon)
    14. Extinction Horizon (Nicholas Sansbury Smith)
    15. Zom-B Series (Darren Shan)
    And More!

  • Just what I need. Another list of books. YIKES!!! LOL
    I’ll file this right next to the list of movies you posted a while back.
    Now I have to figure out how to add several hours to each day.
    Thanks. (Seriously)

  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It will will really make you appreciate what you have. If you are looking for something to cheer you up after that, the Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks makes some good points about preparedness.

  • Some good ones you missed: Redfall series (Falconer), Bunker series (Falconer), Apocalypse Trails series(Nobody) and Once Upon an Apocalypse. These are all excellent good stories with lots of prepper tips. These are just a few that I have read including half of those you listed.

  • The Stranded Series by Jeff Probst is for younger readers. But a great read for adults too. It is a great series to get kids interested in survival and prepping.

  • Thanks so much Daisy! I have been looking for a list of good books. My whole prepper experience started with One Second After. That book scared the living hell out of me, and I realized then & there, that while I knew how to survive 48-68 hours of after an earthquake, flood, or fire; I was nowhere near prepared for a REAL disaster! I always tell new readers-harden your heart. It’s that real.

  • The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman and the war of the world by H.G. Wells and Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Although these are considered science fiction, they hold human truths that have been seen in this world in the past 80 years. The way the Government, local authorities, the general public sees each other and behaves towards one another during a crisis, holds true today as they hold true in these stories.

    I have seen first-hand how things get in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Venezuela. The above three novels covers the horror a person/ a people can face when the world they knew is turned upside down before their very eyes. The fact that someone is able to survive such an incident is purely by luck with a little skill mixed in for good measure. You can make the right decision and still be killed by the unknown factor. You can’t trust anyone or anything; even when you are so desperately in need of help. Little acts of kindness is the difference between life and death. I have seen cruelty go unchecked without any repercussion or accountability. Human Beings treated like dirt, with total disrespect as if they were a blight upon this planet worthy of extermination. I have seen mankind at its worst. I have seen humanity at its best too. Hope that guilds us one and all. The un-tapped potential that each one of has to offer the world and each other is rarely used. But, it is there none the less. I have found that the death of just one person diminishes the world by that one person. Death takes all that person has and will ever have from us all. May be someone will take his or her place; but it will never be the same ever again. Such is a waste of potential of a Human Being.

  • Saw this book on another site
    A Great State The Divide by Shelby Gallagher, who is a new author Story deals with a single mother who is trying to prepping and what happens when TSHTF. It looks to be a series about the protagonist and her young son.

  • Don’t forget about “Into the Forest” by Jean Hegland; recently made into a movie.

    Set in the near-future, Into the Forest is a powerfully imagined novel that focuses on the relationship between two teenage sisters living alone in their Northern California forest home.

    Over 30 miles from the nearest town, and several miles away from their nearest neighbor, Nell and Eva struggle to survive as society begins to decay and collapse around them. No single event precedes society’s fall. There is talk of a war overseas and upheaval in Congress, but it still comes as a shock when the electricity runs out and gas is nowhere to be found. The sisters consume the resources left in the house, waiting for the power to return. Their arrival into adulthood, however, forces them to reexamine their place in the world and their relationship to the land and each other.

  • Daisy, you can’t miss the World Made by Hand series by James Howard Kunstler. Great writing , wonderful character development and a very real scenario of what happens after peak oil and other vital resources .

    World Made by Hand is a dystopian novel by American author James Howard Kunstler, published in 2008. Set in the fictional town of Union Grove, New York, the novel follows a cast of characters as they navigate a world stripped of its modern comforts, ravaged by terrorism, epidemics, and the economic upheaval of peak oil, all of which are exacerbated by global warming. Narrated by Robert Earle, a local carpenter who has lost his wife and son, the novel focuses on four separate “cultures” that represent the directions society could go after a breakdown of modern social norms. The citizens of Union Grove are living on the tail end of a national catastrophe, with their community slowly falling apart from neglect and natural decay.

  • I,too, recommend the World Made ByHand series by James Howard Kunstler. He is an excellent writer and the characters are not aliens or zombies but real people dealing with every day issues with out electricity or modern medicine.

  • Great list! I try and read a book a day, and find novels a great way for tips to sink in. Have just read a few Jack Hunts and Franklin Horton so cant wait to start on some of these.

  • The “World Made by Hand” series by JH Kunstler.

    There aren’t preppers in these books, but these books describe what happens in the country after the big cities are destroyed and how some people survive in smaller towns by learning to once again live without electricity and cars and all modern conveniences. How they adapt, how they protect themselves, how they gather together. Excellent series.

  • I’ve been enjoying the “World Made by Hand ” series by James Howard Kunstler. It’s a little different in that it’s set several years after the collapse rather than the day after like a lot of these other novels.

  • Anything and everything written by:
    Jerry D. Young
    T.O.M. (Tired Old Man)

    Three different authors, three different takes on how to make it in a Post Apocalyptic World.

    JDYoung also has 4 stories I call his happy ending love stories. He is currently writing a series entitled “The Dark Times”. His work is available thru Amazon.

    The other two have regrettably passed on and you kinda/sorta have to hunt for their stories on Self Sufficient/E-Prep forums.

    Also – if you pay attention – you can glean a tremendous amount from the “Little House on the Prairie” series.

  • Long before the current post apocalyptic fiction, William Johnston’s wrote the “Ashes” series. It’s what got me hooked on post apocalyptic fiction.

  • There are two great books with the same title:
    Lights Out by David Crawford is the story of a family and community’s struggles after an EMP. It is a very realistic story about group survival.

    Lights Out by Ted Koppel. A nonfiction book about the possibility of an EMP and it’s effect on the US. Because of his journalistic reputation Koppel had access to highly placed government officials and asked them about the state of preparedness of the US. You will NOT be reassured!
    He also interviews many people who are prepared for emergencies. This is a great book!

  • “After It Happened ” Series — Devon C. Ford “Invasion USA” Series “The EMP” Series Ryan Westfield and the other two books ” One Year After” and “The Final Day” by William Forstchen

  • I love this list. Lots of my favorites plus some new possibilities to explore. Including Grapes of Wrath is just brilliant!

    Such a variety of situations and approaches. Thanks for pulling this together, Daisy.

  • The very first apocalyptic books I ever read are by Kent David Kelly, called “From the Fire” and were read many moons ago. He has combined them into one book. It was my introduction to nuclear destruction and the absolute necessity for preparedness. Great read!

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