The best books for surviving a zombie apocalypse

Who am I?

Like many of my generation, my formal introduction to the zombie genre started with George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Stories of the zombie apocalypse, and the arterial sprays, dismemberments, and eviscerations that accompanied it, have fascinated me ever since. But, I'm also a psychology professor. Although I was initially captivated by the carnage of the undead, I quickly found that the mindsets of the survivors were equally fascinating. More than anything, I love seeing how fictional worlds represent real-world psychological concepts.

I wrote...

Parenting in the Zombie Apocalypse: The Psychology of Raising Children in a Time of Horror

By Steven J. Kirsh,

Book cover of Parenting in the Zombie Apocalypse: The Psychology of Raising Children in a Time of Horror

What is my book about?

Parenting is difficult under the best of circumstances—but extremely daunting when humanity faces cataclysmic annihilation. When the dead rise, hardship, violence, and the ever-present threat of flesh-eating zombies will adversely affect parents and children alike. Depending on their age, children will have little chance of surviving a single encounter with the undead, let alone the unending peril of the Zombie Apocalypse. The key to their survival—and thus the survival of the species—will be the caregiving they receive.

Drawing on psychological theory and real-world research on developmental status, grief, trauma, mental illness, and child-rearing in stressful environments, this book critically examines factors influencing parenting, and the likely outcomes of different caregiving techniques in the hypothetical landscape of the living dead.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?: A Neuroscientific View of the Zombie Brain

Why did I love this book?

Work smarter, not harder. If you want to survive a zombie apocalypse, you'll need to understand the behavior of the undead. And it all starts with a necrotic brain. If you know why zombies hunt, infect and kill their victims, you can devise effective strategies for avoiding and moving among the undead and, if necessary, killing them. I loved that the neuroscience in this book is very real, even if the zombies are not (yet). It is one of the best applications of nonfictional content to a fictional world available today — a must-read for lovers of brains, both alive and dead.

By Timothy Verstynen, Bradley Voytek,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Even if you've never seen a zombie movie or television show, you could identify an undead ghoul if you saw one. With their endless wandering, lumbering gait, insatiable hunger, antisocial behavior, and apparently memory-less existence, zombies are the walking nightmares of our deepest fears. What do these characteristic behaviors reveal about the inner workings of the zombie mind? Could we diagnose zombism as a neurological condition by studying their behavior? In Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?, neuroscientists and zombie enthusiasts Timothy Verstynen and Bradley Voytek apply their neuro-know-how to dissect the puzzle of what has happened to the zombie…

Book cover of The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead

Why did I love this book?

I will never survive a zombie apocalypse. I'm pretty sure my last words will be, "OMG, Zombies! I'm going to take a selfie! Arrgghh." But for those with good sense and practical intelligence, plans for defeating the undead will need to be developed and set in motion. That's where The Zombie Survival Guide comes in. Max Brooks' offering is a fascinating "how-to guide" for living in a world overrun with the living dead. This book has it all, from weapons and combat techniques to offensive and defensive strategies. The information in this book is invaluable for those prepping for the inevitable plaque of the undead. 

By Max Brooks,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Zombie Survival Guide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Don't be reckless with you most precious asset - life. This book is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now without your even knowing it.

It covers everything you need to know, from how to understand zombie behaviour to survival in any territory or terrain.

The Zombie Survival Guide offers complete protection through proven tips for safeguarding yourself and your loved ones against the living dead.

It might just save your life.

'A bloody-minded, strait-laced manual for evading the grasp of the undead.' Time Out

'So meticulous and well researched that…

Book cover of The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse: A Cookbook and Culinary Survival Guide

Why did I love this book?

An undead-rising means that there will be no early-bird buffets, no fast-food drive-throughs, and no food delivery services. And all of the Michelin chefs will be zombies, incapable of providing star-level dishes. But that doesn't mean you have to eat poorly! Wilson's and Bauthus' book details the culinary techniques and recipes needed to meet even the most finicky eater's gustatory and nutritional needs. The names of the recipes are worth the read alone! My personal favorite is "The Wok-ing Dead Stir-fry," although "Life's Chard, but it will be OKale" is a close second. 

By Lauren Wilson, Kristian Bauthus (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Just because the undead's taste buds are atrophying doesn't mean yours have to! You duck into the safest-looking abandoned house you can find and hold your breath as you listen for the approaching zombie horde you've been running from all day. You hear a gurgling sound. Is it the undead? No--it's your stomach. When the zombie apocalypse tears down life and society as we know it, it will mean no more take out, no more brightly lit, immaculately organized aisles of food just waiting to be plucked effortlessly off the shelves. No more trips down to the local farmers' market.…

The Invisible String

By Patrice Karst, Joanne Lew-Vriethoff (illustrator),

Book cover of The Invisible String

Why did I love this book?

Families will be torn apart during the zombie apocalypse, both literally and figuratively. Distance or death will separate children from most (if not all) of those they love. In either case, feeling linked to those no longer near will be an essential part of the healing process. The picture book, The Invisible String, is a story of love, separation, and loss. It handles the topic beautifully. I recommend it often, especially to those wanting to help children cope with the death of a loved one.

By Patrice Karst, Joanne Lew-Vriethoff (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Invisible String as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With over 400,000 copies sold, this accessible, bestselling picture book phenomenon about the unbreakable connections between loved ones has healed a generation of readers--children and adults alike--and has been updated with new illustrations and an afterword from the author. Now available in paperback for the first time!

Parents, educators, therapists, and social workers alike have declared The Invisible String the perfect tool for coping with all kinds of separation anxiety, loss, and grief. In this relatable and reassuring contemporary classic, a mother tells her two children that they're all connected by an invisible string. "That's impossible!" the children insist, but…

Book cover of Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse: First Aid Kit Building and Mini Med School for Preppers

Why did I love this book?

When the dead roam, this book will function as a med-school, first responder, and training physician all rolled into one. That's a good thing, for medical professionals will be at ground zero for the zombie apocalypse. And most won't survive the first few days of the dead, as preserving life will seem more paramount than preserving death. And by the time staff figure out that both are equally important, it will be too late. Nevertheless, those who survive the apocalypse's initial stages will eventually need medical care. Even a minor wound could prove deadly if poorly cleaned. I found the information and practical advice in the book fascinating and potentially helpful under dire circumstances.

By Ryan Chamberlin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THIS IS YOUR BOOK OF SECRETS The one ensuring your survival! If you've been afraid of what's coming, rest easy, those days are over! By cutting the extra and expanding the essential, we've combined the most important sections from our Survival Medicine series, The Prepper Pages, & created this Mini Med School - just for preppers. An apocalypse is inevitable, because the term "Zombie Apocalypse" is a metaphor for expecting the unexpected. By covering hundreds of conditions known to occur frequently in disasters, this book is going to leave you confident with the way you'll react in medical emergencies. It's…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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