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Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs: The Thrivalist's Guide to Life Without Oil
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Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs: The Thrivalist's Guide to Life Without Oil

3.28  ·  Rating Details ·  64 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
In the latter half of the twentieth century, the percentage of the total American population living in suburbs grew to nearly fifty percent. Fossil fuels were cheap and plentiful, and car-dependent, energy-intensive lifestyles came hand in hand with this demographic transition. In the age of Peak Oil, environmental catastrophe, and a failing economy, it is imperative that ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by New Society Publishers (first published January 1st 2011)
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Emily Mellow
Feb 27, 2012 Emily Mellow rated it liked it
Shelves: gardening
I had to give this book 3 stars because it really inspired us to make some changes and re-prioritize. For example, suddenly spending $120 on several fruit trees really made sense and we took the plunge, and now it feels like we are really on our way towards having an urban farm.
I wanted to give less stars though, because I really didn't enjoy the tone of the book. I imagine it was written by someone who is very passionate about getting everyone to make these changes, but not someone who has much
...more
Vicki Claudio
Jun 28, 2012 Vicki Claudio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was very impressed with this book, which covers the usual concerns about survival in times of emergency or disaster: food, shelter, water, etc., but also asks the question, What if things don't go back to normal? The author paints a grim picture but points out the importance of taking a long-term view of one's preparations,for example, the dangers of relying too heavily on stored foods that can't be replaced easily or grown locally. I also appreciated her view that those of us in the suburbs ...more
Paul
Oct 24, 2011 Paul rated it it was ok
With many authors predicting very hard economic times (H.S. Dent, George Friedman)I have been collecting ideas and insights for such events. Be prepared and all of that kind of thinking.

I worry with all of the politicians who suddenly think they will not work towards the common good but rather "It is my way or the highway" we may well see depression era hard times yet. That has led me to search out ideas on how to survive the coming years if such conditions force us to engage in survival mode th
...more
Paul Heidebrecht
Feb 17, 2012 Paul Heidebrecht rated it liked it
I'd be careful inviting Wendy Brown to a party. She could be a real downer. She's quite sure we're in for more economic depression and plenty of natural disasters. She not only believes suburbanites need to find ways to live without the utilities working but she and her family are doing it in Maine. She calls it a lower-energy lifestyle. Most suburbanites I know will see it as a nightmare. We're talking garden plots in the backyard, plus chickens and rabbits, plus composting toilets, plus making ...more
William Gerke
Mar 24, 2012 William Gerke rated it really liked it
Wendy Brown tackles her own vision of what will be necessary to survive when peak oil concerns shift us into an "oil free" state. Clear, concise, and well organized, the book is more of a template than a guide. She gets you thinking about food, shelter, transport, etc. but then points you to other resources to fill in the gaps. Her position on where the future is headed feels a bit extreme at time, but probably only because there's still a part of me that doesn't want to believe that she's right ...more
Terri
Mar 30, 2012 Terri rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-books-read
This is a book that makes you think about how to survive during a disaster in which you are pretty much left to fend for yourself. The interesting thing is, this is not a "downer" book. It actually gives you lots of ideas on how to prepare yourself for such an event. I learned some new things that have given me a lot to think about. The book as a whole is presented in a format that helps you get ready in 21 days. It was a lot for me to digest and I have kept the book because it's a definite ...more
Lisa Pool
Aug 24, 2013 Lisa Pool rated it liked it
There are two strains of thought on survivalism: the first is the stock up on food and guns and barricade yourself in your home; and the second is more of a make your neighborhood a community, turn your yard into a garden and build a chicken coop. This book is along the lines of the 2nd strain which made for a fun, light read. Each chapter is broken down on a particular subject such as clean water or raising livestock (such as small goats, chickens and rabbits). The last chapter is an imagined ...more
Tom
Dec 13, 2011 Tom rated it it was ok
This book would not be on my survival bookshelf (if I had one). I had a hard time finding information here, partly because of Brown's meandering conversational writing and partly due to the overall paragraph-monograph format of the text. It just doesn't work well for skimming, which is what I would do if I really needed to use a book in an emergency.

The story here is that Brown (and I'm guessing her family, reluctantly) are survial-focused Maine residents. The chapters cover large topics about l
...more
Amy
Dec 31, 2012 Amy rated it it was ok
Wendy Brown is a little extreme to my way of thinking about the end of oil, like one day the tap will just turn off and we won't have seen it coming. I read this book to get some tips of living locally and more sustainably and I did get a few tips. I found the book fell short of being helpful... maybe because I care about this subject I have read and thought about it some and the book is for those who have not. For example the idea of potato towers was intriguing, but I couldn't understand from ...more
Cyndi
Jul 16, 2011 Cyndi rated it it was ok
I guess I didn't read the review of this book very well, because it was not what I expected. I read the first half or so and then skimmed most of the rest. It was basically a list of things to do if you want to be a survivalist with some thoughts on each thing. Most of the thoughts seemed quite basic and I'm not sure I feel more prepared for impending doom than I did before reading. I think it might be a book that doesn't translate well to from a blog...
Quinn
Feb 14, 2012 Quinn rated it liked it
I do love the idea of a thrivalist,that one can thrive in a world void of the comforts we have grown to depend on and completely taken for granted.To thrive in a life after, not just survive the event(s) that causes this change. It is a nice introduction, and if this is your first book on the topic than it bring up some ideas that would be useful to think about.(
Carmela
Aug 09, 2016 Carmela rated it did not like it
I like the layout, that preparing yourself couldn't be done overnight, but if you do it in a systematic way(i.e. by "days"), you could get it done. , but most of the information was repetitive and her style of narration did not work for me.
Alli
Jun 06, 2016 Alli rated it really liked it
Very good! It focuses on surviving without oil or electricity grid. And the count-down is a good way to organize priorities!
Matt Joslin
May 22, 2015 Matt Joslin rated it it was ok
This book had an interesting twist on the subject. I found many of the "facts" to be simply wrong. It read like installments of a blog. My biggest question is, why did I finish it?
Phil
Oct 12, 2013 Phil rated it it was amazing
Some of this I had heard before, other stuff not. Loved the practical nature and the recipes and the few, but worthwhile pictures. A must read for families!
Kerry
Dec 24, 2011 Kerry rated it liked it
Provides some good practical things to think about just in case. Gets a little preachy in places, but still enjoyed it enormously!

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