Top 10 books for a WROL library…..

  • 1

In a grid down, societal collapse, WROL situation – what books would you want on your bookshelf?

Here are a few suggestions:


1. Without Rule of Law: Advanced Skills to Help You SurviveI am still reading this book and find it very informative. To the non-military person – like me – I am getting a lot out of it.  Very useful should a WROL situation happen.

From Amazon“WARNING: This book contains material that may be offensive to some readers. It is an instructional guide covering tactical actions and capabilities which should only be executed in last-resort survival situations.
“This book was written for non-military readers who believe in self-reliance and wish to develop advanced, just-in-case capabilities for themselves and their families. It leads the reader through progressively more complex preparations and activities. “


2. Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart – This book was long overdue when it came out. Great information on how to protect your retreat – wherever it is – city, country  -wherever.



From – “HOLDING YOUR GROUND is an instructional guide and planning tool that addresses defensive preparation of a location. If the government can no longer protect your home, farm or property, HOLDING will teach you how. HOLDING covers virtually every aspect of protecting you and your family in the event society breaks down. Many people have preparations for food, water, shelter and personal defense. HOLDING will teach you how to configure your home, train your team, and properly equip any location for defense.

Covering topics ranging from hiding in plain sight to pre-positioning of supplies, HOLDING uses common sense, military tactics and historical examples that allow you to prepare for defense without affecting your property’s value or appearance.”


#3. The Doom and Bloom(tm) Survival Medicine HandbookGreat medical reference to have for when there is no available urgent care of hospitals. Jam packed with information in it’s 440 pages.


From – The #1 Amazon Bestseller “survival medicine handbook” is meant for those who want to ensure the health of their loved ones in any disaster situation, from hurricanes to a complete societal collapse. Integrative medical strategies abound for situations in which medical help is NOT on the way. This book will teach you how to deal with all the likely medical issues you will face in a disaster situation, and shows you strategies to keep your family healthy even in the worse scenarios. You’ll learn skills like performing a physical exam, transporting the injured patient, and even how to suture a wound!


#4. The Urban Homestead (Expanded & Revised Edition): Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City – This book is packed with information from gardening to making your own cleaning solutions. Tremendous value here and I have learned a lot.– The expanded, updated version of the best-selling classic, with a dozen new projects.

This celebrated, essential handbook shows how to grow and preserve your own food, clean your house without toxins, raise chickens, gain energy independence, and more. Step-by-step projects, tips, and anecdotes will help get you started homesteading immediately. The Urban Homestead is also a guidebook to the larger movement and will point you to the best books and Internet resources on self-sufficiency topics.

Written by city dwellers for city dwellers, this copiously illustrated, two-color instruction book proposes a paradigm shift that will improve our lives, our community, and our planet. By growing our own food and harnessing natural energy, we are planting seeds for the future of our cities.

Learn how to:

  • Grow food on a patio or balcony
  • Preserve or ferment food and make yogurt and cheese
  • Compost with worms
  • Keep city chickens
  • Divert your grey water to your garden
  • Clean your house without toxins
  • Guerilla garden in public spaces
  • Create the modern homestead of your dreams
#5. Storey’s Basic Country Skills – This book is an encyclopedia of skills that would be valuable in a grid down, WROL situation. I can’t emphasize enough how much homesteading/country living information this book has.

From– This is the book for anyone who wants to become more self-reliant, from suburbanites with 1/4 of an acre to country homesteaders with several. The information is easily understood and readily applicable.More than 150 of Storey’s expert authors in gardening, building, animal raising, and homesteading share their specialized knowledge and experience in this ultimate guide to living a more independent, satisfying life.Readers will find step-by-step, illustrated instructions for every aspect of country living including:

  • Finding country land
  • Buying, building, and renovating a home
  • Developing water sources and systems
  • Understanding wiring, plumbing, and heating
  • Using alternative heating and energy sources
  • Vegetable, flower, and herb gardening
  • Traditional cooking skills such as baking bread and making maple syrup
  • Preparing and preserving meat, fruits, and vegetables
  • Building and maintaining barns, sheds, and outbuildings
  • Caring for common farm and ranch animals, and pets
#6. The Survival Handbook – Essential Skills for Outdoor Adventure – This book covers a wide range of situations with excellent contains the absolute best illustrations and instructions on how to do…..just about anything – in the great outdoors. Excellent training tool.

From – From planning an expedition, to packing essential kits, to discovering what to do on a trail, The Survival Handbook is an invaluable tool when you’re in the great outdoors.Among a myriad of outdoor skills, it teaches readers how to make shelters, find water, and spot, catch, and cook wild food. And if there’s an emergency, it shows which essential first-aid techniques to use when, how to mount a rescue, and even how to get yourself found. 

7. Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre – In a long-term, grid down, WROL situation the ability to maximize food production on your land – whatever the size – will be essential. This books contains volumes of information on doing just that. One of my personal favorites and given to me by my brother.


Via – Start a mini farm on a quarter acre or less, provide 85 percent of the food for a family of four and earn an income.

Mini Farming describes a holistic approach to small-area farming that will show you how to produce 85 percent of an average family’s food on just a quarter acre—and earn $10,000 in cash annually while spending less than half the time that an ordinary job would require. Even if you have never been a farmer or a gardener, this book covers everything you need to know to get started: buying and saving seeds, starting seedlings, establishing raised beds, soil fertility practices, composting, dealing with pest and disease problems, crop rotation, farm planning, and much more. Because self-sufficiency is the objective, subjects such as raising backyard chickens and home canning are also covered along with numerous methods for keeping costs down and production high. Materials, tools, and techniques are detailed with photographs, tables, diagrams, and illustrations.


 8. The Forager’s Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants – Unless you posses the knowledge and skills to identify that which you can eat in the woods – this book is for you.


Via – A practical guide to all aspects of edible wild plants: finding and identifying them, their seasons of harvest, and their methods of collection and preparation. Each plant is discussed in great detail and accompanied by excellent color photographs. Includes an index, illustrated glossary, bibliography, and harvest calendar. The perfect guide for all experience levels.


 #9. Encyclopedia of Country Living, 10th Edition – Another information packed book to assist living in a tie without electricity and other “modern” resources. Excellent addition to the preparedness bookshelf.


Via – This book is phenomenal! Besides offering general information on
gardening and variations on the usual ways to prepare and preserve
produce, Carla Emery includes thousands of other exotic and old
fashioned recipes. That alone would be remarkable, but she doesn’t stop
there. She covers information on every aspect of farming and
homesteading from buying a farm to delivering your own baby—yes, if you
are all alone when you go into labor!

Here is a general idea of what she includes, as well as some of the
weirder specifics:

How to get water – dowsing, getting it to your farm, using it, pollution
Living primitively – shelter, backwoods refrigeration, campfire kitchens
Alternative energy – information and resources, using a solar cooker (We
have one, and they really do work.)
Washing clothes by hand
Candle making – paraffin and beeswax
Foraging – also poisonous plants and mushrooms
Wood – harvesting, heating, wood cook stoves
Fertilizing your soil
Raising earthworms for gardening, bait, or money making
Using draft horses and oxen
Grain (all kinds!) – planting; mowing by hand; binding sheaves and making
shocks to cure them;
threshing by hand, with animals, or machinery; winnowing; drying;
storing; grinding; and protecting from pests
Preserving food – canning, freezing, drying, salting, larding, fermenting,
jams and juices, making vinegar
Saving seeds for next year plants
Herbs – culinary, not medicinal
Pressing oil from seeds
Acorns – making meal and flour
Bamboo – growing, recipes, and various other uses
Wild Rice – foraging and growing your own
Flax – growing and making linen
Maple sugaring – collecting sap and making syrup
Dandelion root or chicory coffee
Beekeeping – keeping bees, harvesting and using wax and honey
Raising, feeding, and caring for all types of livestock
Building barns, fences, chicken coops, rabbit hutches, etc.
Pastures, forage, hay, feeds
Predator control
Diseases and veterinary care
Reproduction from breeding to births
Dehorning, castrating, hoof trimming
Sheep shearing and using wool
Pigs – housing, fencing, and how to catch a pig!
Rabbit raising
Poultry – chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, guineas; hatching chicks;
preserving eggs and testing them for safety; using feathers
Dairying – milking and milk handling; all types of dairy products; cream
separators and butter churns
Butchering – preserving meat; making sausage, soap, and lard; tanning
hides; making pickled pig feet!
Home funerals and burying your dead 


#10. Holy Bible – no explanation should be needed.


Any other suggestions? Glad my shelf holds more than 10!!


Take care all – 



20 survival items ebook cover

Like what you read?

Then you're gonna love my free PDF, 20 common survival items, 20 uncommon survival uses for each. That's 400 total uses for these innocent little items!

Just enter your primary e-mail below to get your link. This will also subscribe you to my newsletter so you stay up-to-date with everything: new articles, ebooks, products and more!

By entering your email, you agree to subscribe to the Modern Survival Online newsletter. We will not spam you.

  • 1


  1. I like your list – I would add:

    Articles of Conferderation, Bill of Rights, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Emancipation Proclamation, Federalist Papers, Gettysburg Address, 1783 Treaty of Paris, and 1787 Virginia Plan – not really a “book”, more of a collection of papers in a binder.

    FM 21-76 US Army Survival Manual

    The Art of War

    Light Reading – Catch-22, 1984, Animal Farm, A Clockwork Orange, Atlas Shrugged, Battlefield Earth, Lord of the Rings, On the Beach, and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

    • Harry –

      Excellent suggestions.

      I think an older collection of encyclopedia’s would be worthy as well for educational purposes.

      Thanks – Rourke

  2. I’ll put the Bible in the #1 slot. I’m surprised that Where there is no Dr/Dentist didn’t make the list. Asked by someone with little medical training, is the Survival Medicine book better?

    • Gilfner –

      Where There is No….. could and should me on the shelf. I like the Doom and Bloom book – it is great.


  3. Rourke-your suggestions are excellent and I am pleased that I have read a few of these -own a few and have borrowed from the library. I will orderr Without rue of law.
    I recommend the following books:
    Disaster preparededness for EMP attacks and solar storms by A.T. Bradley,PHD
    The Survival nurse by Ragnar Benson
    LDS Preparedness Manual Handbook 2 (2012 edition)pub. by Ladder day Saints) (505 pp sold at cost-excellent guide )
    Green Medicine by Dr.Larry Malerba (MD and Homeopathist) He is exc. He has helped me and our daughter immensely with health issues other Drs could not help at all.
    Hiding and Storing Your stuff byDesert Publications

  4. Sorry, Rourke, I am a day late in my suggestions. Hopefully, I’m not “A Dollar Short”, (too late) as well. You have given some credence to our research. At a glance, I noticed we possess at least half of these titles. We have a pretty good library. It is too big to tote around, so I put the most important manuals in a computer backpack/shoulder bag. In our priority system, these are the titles that were not listed in your Top Ten:

    1) Special Operations Medical Handbook(s). We have both old and new versions. (COL Farr)
    2) Illustrated Surgery Guide (Brewer)
    3)Survive TEOTWAWKI (Rawles)
    4) When Technology Fails (Stein)
    5) US Army or US Air Force Survival Manuals

    I just listed 5 books to balance out with the 5 titles that we agreed upon. We also purchased the “Where There Is No Doctor /Dentist” in paperback. We have homesteading guides, symptoms/remedies, building shacks/shanties, living off grid, wilderness/travel medicine and several survival guides.

  5. sorry for my typing errors.
    Currently there is an active solar flare and the Mississipi is so low barges cannot move. PRAY and PREP hard.Arlene

  6. Rourke, not going to have much choice but to get an older set of Encyclopedia’s. From what I understand, thanks to the internet, no one is publishing new ones anymore. I was talking to a used book seller recently (While we were looking for good prepping & home school books) and she said that she has stopped accepting encyclopedia sets (even free ones that people just want gone) because she already has so many and she can’t store anymore. It would be cool if someone could suggest best brands or years of encyclopedia’s to look for since we preppers will have our choice of them.

  7. Rouke,

    Excellent list, I’m 5 for 10 so time for me to get reading.

    Suggested #11: Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Family Safe in a Crisis By Peggy Layton

    Keep up the good work,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.