Books About Survival

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They say that you never know how much you will fight to survive till you are put in a situation where you have to. Through history men and women have braved the elements of nature and pushed the limits of the human body to explore new frontiers and seek adventure. In the face of unforeseen circumstances, misfortune and overwhelming odds, they survived to tell the tale. The stories they tell are remarkable because they are a testament to human endurance and the will to survive.

  1. Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer: The books details the author’s first-hand experience stranded at Mt. Everest by a storm that killed eight other climbers. Surviving the challenging conditions of the highest peak in the world is hard work on the best of days; this book chronicles what it is like on one of the worst days.
  2. Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston: This book recounts Ralston’s experience in the Utah desert with his arm trapped by a rock, without water or food; he had to ultimately amputate his arm to live. This story is the exemplification of man’s will to survive.
  3. Lost in the Jungle by Yossi Ghinsberg: Ghinsberg, along with 3 other men went to explore unchartered parts of the Amazon jungle in Bolivia. After being split off from the group and lost in the jungle, he spent 3 weeks trying to find his way out.
  4. Left for Dead: Surviving the Deadliest Storm in Modern Sailing History by Nick Ward: While participating in UK’s Fastnet’s Race, the deadliest storm in modern history hit within 48 hours of the race. Abandoned by his all his crewmates except one, Nick Ward struggled to survive in the face of the raging storm on a sinking boat.
  5. Alive: The Story of Andes Survivors by Piers Paul Read: This book chronicles the harrowing events on a plane crash carrying members of the Uruguayan Rugby Team into the Andes Mountains in 1972. Facing freezing temperatures, starvation, avalanches and no hope of rescue they took extreme measure like cannibalism and trekking hundreds of miles to seek help in order to live.
  6. Ten Degrees of Reckoning: The True Story of a Family’s Love and the Will to Survive by Hester Rumberg: This heart wrenching book tells the story of a woman, Judith Sleavin, who along with her husband and her two children set out to sail around the world in 1993. An unforeseen accident causes the death of her family and forces a paralyzed Judith to cling to life for forty four hours in the water.
  7. Adrift: Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan: Lost at sea on a life raft with only a few supplies, Adrift tells the story of the ingenuity and the mental fortitude required to survive. Plagued by hunger, thirst, exposure, sharks and mental agony of isolation, Steven Callahan battled the elements and his own mind to live.
  8. Desperate Passage: The Donner Party’s Perilous Journey West by Ethan Rarick: This book recounts the most horrific incidents of the westward migration of the 19th century in America as 81 men, women and children of what came to be known as the Donner Party got trapped by the winter in 1846 and the measures they had to take to survive.
  9. Into the Void by Joe Simpson: In 1985 the author with his partner took on the previously unclimbed Siula Grande mountain. Falling into a crevasse and presumed dead by his partner, Simpson had to find his own way back to base camp without food and with a broken leg.
  10. South: The Story of Shackleton’s Last Expedition 1914-1917 by Ernest Shackleton: The book chronicles the story of Ernest Shackleton and his crew as they get marooned on the most unforgiving landscape on the planet, Antarctica.

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