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Prepper Book Festival 14: Books to Learn, Prepare, and Be Ready for Anything

Avatar for Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: July 3, 2019
Prepper Book Festival 14: Books to Learn, Prepare, and Be Ready for Anything

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In what has become a tradition, I am honored to introduce you to a dozen new books in Prepper Book Festival #14. These are books that will allow you to be better prepared, more self-sufficient, and better informed.  

Prepper Book Festival #14 | Backdoor Survival

Now you may be asking, “What the heck is a “Prepper Book Festival”?

The short answer is that three or four times a year I solicit nominations of book titles from publishers, publicists, and independent authors with the goal of identifying an eclectic mix of useful tomes for a survival library.  In addition to providing me with a review copy, each author agrees to answer interview questions and to provide three books in a reader giveaway.  

This is a win for everyone involved.  

These book festivals are popular and many participants return over and over again with new titles.  Some, in fact, become guest contributors with articles that share their extensive, specialized expertise with the rest of us.

With that introduction, here are the books I have selected for Prepper Book Festival #14.

2017 Prepper Book Festival #14: The Best Books to Help You Prepare

Non-Fiction Books

Off Grid and Free: My Path to the Wilderness

Off Grid and Free follows Ron Melchiore’s path to the wilderness, which led him to building an off-grid, sustainable homestead with his wife Johanna. Here you will find true stories of survival, determination, and adventure. Ron’s years of experience make this book an essential guide for all audiences wanting to learn more about living off grid and surviving in the wilderness. But more than a guide, Off Grid and Free reveals Ron’s candid humor and welcoming style, which will make you feel like you’re right there with him along the way.

The book includes Ron’s hiking of the 2,100 mile Appalachian Trail in winter, bicycling from coast to coast, the terror of being surrounded by a wildfire, surprise encounters with bears, and more. For readers with an outdoor spirit, people with an off grid and self-sufficiency bent, and dreamers who want to take an adventure, Ron hopes to inspire others to “take the road less traveled.”

By Ron Melchiore

Watch Your Back: How to Avoid the Most Dangerous Moments in Daily Life

The subtitle to this book is “Concrete Strategies for Staying Safe and Protecting Yourself from Assailants”.

Do you ever feel the urge to furtively look over your shoulder to check if someone’s following you? Have you second-guessed a decision to walk in a poorly lit area late at night? Every day, unsuspecting people fall victim to muggers, pickpockets, carjackers, and other criminals. What can you do to make sure you’re not one of them?

In Watch Your Back, Roger Eckstine presents dozens of possible risky scenarios that can occur in daily life and ways to counteract each threat. Potential hazards include:

  • Using the ATM
  • Road rage and the belligerent fender bender
  • Concealed carry and the rigors of daily life
  • And much more!

Eckstine illustrates his points by referencing case studies and news clippings of real-life events. You and your loved ones deserve to feel safe all the time. Watch Your Back has the advice you need to make this happen.

By Roger Eckstine

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Revised and Expanded

Completely updated, this is the best book on the topic of essential oils available anywhere!

A necessary resource for anyone interested in alternative approaches to healing and lifestyle, this new edition contains more than 800 easy-to-follow recipes for essential oil treatments. No one has provided more thorough and accurate guidance to the home practitioner or professional aromatherapist than Valerie Ann Worwood.

In her clear and positive voice, Worwood provides tools to address a huge variety of health issues, including specific advice for children, women, men, and seniors. Other sections cover self-defense against microbes and contaminants, emotional challenges, care for the home and workplace, and applications for athletes, dancers, travelers, cooks, gardeners, and animal lovers.

Since the publication of the first edition of this book 25 years ago, the positive impact of essential oil use has become increasingly recognized, as scientific researchers throughout the world have explored essential oils and their constituents for their unique properties and uses.

Gayes note:  This is the book that got me started with essential oils way back when.  To this day, it is my essential oils bible.

By Valerie Ann Worwood

Survive in Style: The Prepper’s Guide to Living Comfortably through Disasters

Survive in Style is a much-needed book that offers sound advice on achieving total self sufficiency for preppers and homesteaders. Unlike all other guides on self-sufficiency, this book goes into great detail on a variety of essential topics, describing the most important actions you need to take to become totally self-sufficient, things to watch out for, and ways to put these ideas into effect.

You’ll find practical advice on growing and preserving your own food, composting organic materials, recycling humanure and urine, securing a reliable supply of clean water, heating and cooling your home, providing fuel for cooking and heating water, supplying electricity, achieving health self-sufficiency, staying physically fit, providing transportation, and becoming economically self sufficient.

In clear, understandable language, world-renown author Dan Chiras introduces you to the smartest and most cost-effective ways to survive in comfort. The book represents a practical course of action in the form of a sixteen step plan, and is the book that you need to set yourself on a path of total preparedness.

Note: Currently available here.  Use code BDS2017 for a $6.00 discount.

By Dan Chiras

Centerfire Rifles: A Buyer’s and Shooter’s Guide: Special AR-15 Section Included

This is Steve Markwith’s fifth firearms book in the Survival Guns series. Steve applies his 25+ years as a full-time firearms instructor to guide the reader through the selection, function, and use of centerfire rifles. He uses eight guidelines for centerfire selection:

  1.  In widespread use
  2.  A reputation for dependability
  3.  Easy to operate
  4.  Readily available parts
  5.  Readily available ammunition
  6.  Easy to maintain
  7.  Accommodate practical accessories
  8.  Represent a good value

Steve takes the reader through action types, ammunition, sighting systems, rifle choices, accessories, range work and training, and accuracy and distance, cleaning and maintenance.

By Steve Markwith

The Prepper’s Canning Guide: Affordably Stockpile a Lifesaving Supply of Nutritious, Delicious, Shelf-Stable Foods

A practical and approachable guide to amassing an emergency food supply filled with your own natural dishes

As the disaster drags on for days, weeks, months or even years, food scarcity and starvation will fuel people’s desperation. Even preppers like you will need more than dried beans and rice to survive. With The Prepper’s Canning Guide, you’ll learn the lifesaving techniques to take your food storage to the next level, including how to:

•Store nutrition-packed foods
•Create delicious MREs
•Can protein-rich meat and poultry
•Make canned produce last longer
•Use time-tested water-bath methods
•Utilize modern pressure canning

From food safety guidelines to grid failure canning tips, this book will guarantee your family stays safe, secure and well-fed.

By Daisy Luther

Life on a Mountain Farm

Ready for a new start, Susan Perry leaves her hectic corporate job in Japan and buys a beautiful mountain farm in North Carolina, having no idea what she is getting herself into.

Looking to enjoy some gardening and a simple life in nature, she approaches her new life with child-like enthusiasm, eagerly developing new skills and taking on new projects. She learns how to use the medicinal plants growing on her property, puts in organic gardens, starts a flock of chickens, and operates a large farm tractor.

Soon, however, she finds the endless chores, contrary hired help, and complexities of managing country property more than she can handle. Family issues and financial woes add themselves to the mix. Disillusioned and exhausted, she wonders if country living was all a terrible mistake as she struggles to solve one dilemma after another. In the process, she discovers some deep inner beliefs that are not helping, and decides to make some changes. Her connection with nature and brave honesty bolster her self-confidence and help her create a more joyful, balanced, spiritually centered life.

By Susan Perry

Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils: Natural Solutions for a Healthy Family, Toxin-Free Home and Happier You

This new book offers over 50 of the most useful essential oil recipes for tackling every mom’s (or grandmom’s) daily needs.

As a mother, you are always looking for ways to make your family safer, happier and healthier. This book shows how essential oils can help you achieve all those things. And you’ll save money!

An easy-to-use handbook for creating natural solutions, green cleaners, and toxin-free personal care items, the Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils provides pure and potent recipes, including:

• Peppermint and Grapefruit energizing air diffusion
• Fennel and Eucalyptus respiratory relief rub
• Citrus-infused cleaning spray and scrub
• Lavender and Melaleuca skin-soothing salve
• Chamomile and Vetiver stress reliever
• Spearmint-powered digestive aid

Your family’s wellness starts with you. That’s why this helpful handbook also features a powerful regimen to reduce stress, increase energy and sustain your own personal vitality.

By Mariza Snyder

Survival Fiction

Brushfire Plague Retribution

They say “Only the Truth Can Set You Free.”

In the thrilling conclusion to the Brushfire Plague trilogy, Cooper Adams is on the run in a world ravaged by a virulent plague and the shattering consequences from the conspiracy he has unearthed. His perilous journey has him facing danger at every turn, finding new allies, and stirring up a budding rebellion.

As he is pursued by authorities bent on silencing him, he remains doggedly on a path to bring justice to the governor of Oregon—who remains at the center of the plot that dismantled America.

Will Cooper survive the violence and disease that is destroying the country he once loved? As his young son spirals downward amidst the decay, can he help him maintain his humanity? How can he finally confront the governor and deliver justice for the millions upon millions dead—including his wife?

Gaye’s Note:  The Brushfire Plague series is one of my all-time post apocalyptic series.

By R.P. Ruggiero

Alone: Beth Ann’s Story of Survival

So you think you’re afraid of the dark?

Twenty-two-year-old Beth Ann is content with her small-town life. That is, until the day America’s electric grid is destroyed by terrorists. What starts out as an inconvenience quickly becomes a catastrophe—not only do the lights stay off, but cars won’t run and phones are dead.

The world screeches to a halt. Without communication and basic supplies like food and water, widespread confusion spirals into deadly chaos within days.

A wealthy opportunist saves the townspeople with his secret cache of food and easily takes over the desperate town. But the darkness that follows is even more devastating than the electrical outage. When Beth Ann finds herself on her own, she must do whatever it takes to survive.

By C. M. Hollerman


The apocalypse came as a whisper.

Mother Nature had been sending signs for three years, but most didn’t pay attention until she pulled the plug on everything. Nobody will forget where they were and what they were doing at 8:13 on that morning. They’re all still waiting for 8:14. Well, at least the ones that have made it so far.

He was stuck in Atlanta traffic, making his way to work, when the world fell silent. His car, his radio, his phone, his watch, anything that needed a spark, a battery, or an outlet died. As aircraft fell out of the sky, panicked drivers lost control in the fast lane, and pace makers stopped keeping their rhythms, he got out of his car and popped the trunk.

Most didn’t pay attention, but he did. And he knew what was coming.

By E.E. Borton


Adele Michaels is an artist well known for her unusual style of painting. After her fairytale wedding to multi-millionaire Kyle Polez, she stopped painting and no one knew why, but broken bones and paint brushes don’t mix well.

After divorcing her abusive new husband, he continued to stalk her, finally landing him in a posh Texas mental hospital. With him safely locked away, Adele fled the area for a remote lodge in the Rocky Mountains, where she was finally safe … until the world changed.

A month after finding solace at the Geo Dome Resort, the country was thrown back a hundred years as the result of a nuclear Electro Magnetic Pulse. No lights, no heat and winter fast approaching. And that was just the beginning of her problems.

By Deborah D. Moore

Prepper’s Dilemma: Print or eBook?

In an informal poll, most of you have indicated a preference for print books, especially when it comes to non-fiction.  For that reason with just a few exceptions, the book festival winners will receive print books.

That being said, having a digital library that you can toss in your pack or Faraday cage along with a portable solar charger will allow you to have access to your books anytime, anywhere.  Did you know that you can even store a digital library on your smartphone or tablet?   It does not have to be a Kindle.  I personally keep a copy of my digital library on both an ancient iPad and ancient laptop.

The Final Word

This newest Prepper Book Festival holds special meaning to me. For one thing, for the first time, I have books on essential oils.  I also have a big fat book on surviving in comfort, which, as you know, is my own personal goal for maintaining sanity when and if the stuff hits the fan. 

That said, each book is a winner in its own right.  So sit back, enjoy, and watch for the author interviews and giveaways, starting next week.


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10 Responses to “Prepper Book Festival 14: Books to Learn, Prepare, and Be Ready for Anything”

  1. That is an impressive list of books. Hats off to you for assembling it, and the authors for donating their works!

  2. The link for “Survive in Style…” is not working and an Amazon search could not find it. Was hoping to check it out!

    • Survive in Style is a fantastic book. I just learned that Amazon will not be fulfilling Dan’s book orders so instead, you can go directly to his website and purchase a copy there at a discount.

      Here is a link: //

      Use code BDS2017 for a $6.00 discount.

  3. Oh my, what a great give-away. I am so big on books of all sorts having to do with emergencies, survival, preppers or what ever you choose to call your journey. Thank you for this great opportunity.

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