Reading for the Apocalypse

by GClarkHellery

So while you’re whiling away the evenings waiting for the full moon to pass or the zombie masses to toddle off, you’re going to need a good book to keep you entertained. Now, every girl has her favourite author/story so I’ll leave the choice of personal reading up to you, but here’s a few books I’d recommend popping in your survival pack, ready for the off.

General survival guide:
Bear Grylls: Living Wild – The Ultimate Guide to Scouting and Fieldcraft
Ok, the man drinks his own pee, but we all do things we’re not proud off after a hellish night surviving in the wastelands of the post-apocalyptic world (or most town centres on a Saturday night). This book is filled with all you need to know, from how to stay healthy, find food and build a shelter.

There is also a ‘Wilderness Survival Guide for Dummies’ which covers much of the same. It’s down to individual preference, but personally I think Bear Grylls is kind of cute and on a cold night filled with rotting zombies, a girl needs cute.

Plants:
The Royal Horticultural Society has a lot of books about growing plants and I’d recommend at least one, although I’m more of a throw the seeds in the ground and hope for the best kind of girl. A horticultural book will help you know what crops to plan and the best ways of getting the most out of your seeds as well as ways of killing off pests such as scavengers or greenfly enhanced like hulk by gamma rays. Alternatively check out our ‘Digging for the Apocalypse’ sections here for more info.

However, one book I think is important is one about plants that kill. A girl never knows when she might need to ‘whip something special’ up for the vampire in her life and again there’s plenty to choose from including Amy Stewert’s ‘Wicked Plants: The A-Z of Plants That Kill, Maim, Intoxicate and Otherwise Offend’ or Fred Gillam’s ‘Poisonous Plants in Great Britain’.

A guide to mushrooms and fungi is handy as you never know what tasty treat might be growing under the ashes of the fallen trees. There’s plenty to choose from and I’d recommend one that’s small enough to carry in your day pack but which also covers more than just Britain (you never know which countries you might visit on your apocalypse journey).

Fashion:
Fashionistas come and go, leaving behind them a litany of books, pumped out and dismissed faster than last years trends, or the genetically modified humans from 28 Days Later.

Trinny & Susannah’s ‘What You Wear Could Change Your Life’ takes on new mean in the apocalypse, where if you go overboard with the fushia jumpers, you could become a festive treat for an alien race who can only see radical colours.

There’s also Gok Wan’s ‘Work Your Wardrobe: Gok’s Gorgeous Guide to Style that Lasts’. When the apocalypse hits, we can’t guarantee when the fashion houses will get back into business or when Zara will get their next delivery so we need to remain fashionable with limited means.

Travel:
Depending on your planned destination you can pick up a specific travel guide easily. Remember, planning is key to any successful holiday/food raid/vampire hunt so know your destination. A decent guide will let you know about local sites of interest, decent eateries as well as local customs and ways to fit in with the locals, although blending in with a tribe of invading aliens might prove tricky.

Rough Guide – ‘Make the most of your time on earth: 1000 Ultimate Travel Experiences’.
Imagine all those fantastic places you can now visit and not have to worry about long queues or noisy visitors?! Remember though, where ever you go to pick up the local anti-werewolf protection. Like mosquitoes you need to make sure your protection is specific for your location. You don’t want to be facing a pack of werewolves with an excess of silver-tipped arrows when you should have packed extra wolfsbane.

A diary:
Keep a note of places you’ve visited, specific threats such as covens of witches, and anything else which might be useful such as if you’ve hidden weapons or food (see Sarah Connor for Apocalypse weapons/food caches). During the apocalypse your plans can change and you may be forced to return to places you’ve already visited so it helps if you can refer to an area and plan ahead. You can also note if you’ve managed to create any medicinal remedies and their contents so they can be recreated when needed.

Write your own:
Authors are always recommended to write a book which they would enjoy reading so during the apocalypse, why not try writing your own book? The possibilities are endless and once you’ve fallen through into another realm (figuratively and possibly literally) you can write all your fears, frustration and hunger away, into characters you control.

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