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The Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse
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The Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  864 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
Sam Sheridan has traveled the world as an amateur boxer and mixed martial arts fighter; he has worked as an EMT, a wilderness firefighter, a sailor, a cowboy at the largest ranch in Montana, and in construction under brutal conditions at the South Pole. If he isn’t ready for the Apocalypse and the fractured world that will likely ensue, we are all in a lot of trouble.

Published 2013 by Blackstone Audio
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Peter Derk
Nov 19, 2013 Peter Derk rated it liked it
In preparation for the apocalypse, Sam Sheridan decides to learn skills necessary to survive TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It). Shooting, hunting, wilderness stuff, arctic wilderness stuff.

The most important chapter, to me, was the last. Basically, it explained a lot about what happens when disasters go down in current times. It's really fucked up. There's a great piece about what happened at the Superdome when Hurricane Katrina refugees were stuck there. Basically, the news of the
Mar 13, 2013 Melissa rated it liked it
Shelves: apocalyptastic
Oh how I love me some 613.69. This book is specifically about surviving apocalyptic situations, as the "diary" entries at the beginning of each chapter illustrate. First a giant earthquake dropped a car on my family! Then we get home to no power & the moans of the undead fill the air! Then we try to escape in our car & a giant alien craft comes after us! Truly, this has been the worst month ever. Sadly, as Sheridan's attempt to cover what skills might be needed should the world end, this ...more
Apr 14, 2016 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Are you prepared for the end of the world as we know it? Probably not. Although Sam Sheridan's book is not written to convince his readers that the end is imminent, it does make clear that in the aftermath of a cataclysmic event, most of us would be stuck without the knowledge and tools to survive. Driven by a commendable desire to protect and provide for his family in a disaster, Sheridan sought out and trained under a variety of experts to acquire those skills he deems most useful in a post-ap ...more
Jan 27, 2013 Karen rated it it was amazing
In "The Disaster Diaries", author Sam Sheridan uses a series of fictional disasters as the connecting thread to weave together his exploration of the skills that might be needed to survive a world in chaos. Sheridan writes in a style reminiscent of Curt Gentry's book The Last Days of the Late, Great State of California. Where Gentry used a catastrophic earthquake to look at California's politics, economy and history, Sheridan uses an earthquake as a jumping off point for a ongoing series of disa ...more
Krista Stevens
Feb 22, 2013 Krista Stevens rated it it was amazing
Great in so many ways. Sheridan considers all of the different possibilities the world as we know it could end (nuclear war, aliens, asteroids, zombies, pandemic, etc.) and then determines what skills would be necessary to survive. Then he goes and trains with the best people in those fields and this is the result of that research. He also weaves in some short fictional pieces of he, his wife and their son trying to survive in each scenario. The writing is superb ("There is a tendency to ascribe ...more
Gwen Burrow
May 16, 2014 Gwen Burrow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This book was truly one of a kind. Sam Sheridan (already a trained boxer and fighter) puts himself through eskrima, survival training, firearms courses, stunt driving, elk hunting, dogsledding, igloo-building, and more in order to prep for just about any kind of disaster. He's best when he simply recounts the training and the talented (sometimes near-whacko) dudes who coached him. He's weakest when using zombies and aliens as a narrative device--and when he props up his survivalist argument with ...more
Mar 11, 2013 Ohyassi rated it it was ok
Utterly useless, it seems like he wrote it just to have an excuse to race stunt cars and hunt elk.
Sam Sheridan's The Disaster Diaries is a fun dash through dire straights of all sorts with a "What Would YOU Do?" spin (or maybe a "What COULD You Do?" spin is more like it). For most of us, what we could do is not much. Why? Because we're pampered, spoiled, complacent, and dependent babies. Meaning: The first minute all hell (and there are many varieties, apparently) breaks loose, we'll be toast along with the majority of our wimpy compatriots.

The book is episodic in nature. In each chapter, Sh
Mark Tullius
Mar 12, 2013 Mark Tullius rated it it was amazing
Last year, I wrote a blog on how Disaster Diaries by Sam Sheridan was the first book I’d ever pre-ordered. I thoroughly enjoyed and learned a great deal from both of his fighting books and I have an almost unhealthy preoccupation with the shit hitting the fan on a very large scale. As a child who grew up afraid of nuclear war, and a parent who’s spent too much time paying attention to politics and studying so-called conspiracies, it’s hard to find balance between being paranoid and prepared. I w ...more
Aug 25, 2015 Terry rated it really liked it
A few months ago, I read "The Knowledge" which tried to outline the information that'd be important to reboot civilization. The Disaster Diaries felt like a companion book in that it outlined what skills an individual would need to survive the mechanics of TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World As We Know It).

Over the book's chapters, the author trains with firearms, survival, combat, driving, and legion other specialists. The author has a leg up on most of us being a former MMA fighter, but I didn't g
Heather Penner
Apr 07, 2015 Heather Penner rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Through the entertaining hypothetical scenarios of a big earthquake, followed by a zombie apocalypse, followed by an alien invasion, followed by the next ice age... Sam Sheridan researches and reports back to us on critical techniques for personal survival. Some of his teachings were humorous (what not to do when learning stunt car driving!), some were horrifying (how best to slice a person during a knife fight) but all were very interesting (how to build an igloo, and much more) There is a lot ...more
Feb 10, 2013 Sara rated it it was amazing
The Disaster Diaries is a fascinating look at how to get prepared for surviving the end of the world as we know it, or at least a good old-fashioned natural disaster. It's not a how-to manual so much as a what-and-why discussion. In the course of covering a range of survival skills, from knife-fighting to hot-wiring a car, the book explores what we might expect from human behavior and mental health when society breaks down, and the author's conclusions are surprising. Sheridan writes from a plac ...more
Nov 09, 2016 Allison rated it liked it
This book could have used better editing. His son's age went from 2 to 4 to 3, even though his apocalypse scenarios were supposed to be happening in chronological order. Besides that, he sometimes went off on tangents and had trouble focusing on what I felt was supposed to be the overarching theme of the book: surviving an apocalypse!
However, there were some interesting things I learned and, in general, I had a good time reading it. At least I have a little idea of some of the skills I would nee
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I love a good post-apocalyptic/dystopian hypothetical situation, but something about how this reads just made it fall flat for me. His imaginings of what could happen, in italics, are far more interesting than his accounts of training or learning related things. I had to put it aside for other things.
Jun 28, 2013 Loren rated it it was ok
Journey into the mind of a megalomaniac, a narcissist, a "tough guy", an elitist and a sexist. Or don't. There's plenty of survivalist books out there that don't force feed you this much crap from an obvious no hack.
Vlad Limbean
Aug 19, 2014 Vlad Limbean rated it liked it
Funny writing style. Informative.
Max Nova
Jun 20, 2015 Max Nova rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Disaster Diaries” is an exuberant sprint through all manner of survival topics. Sheridan bounces all over the place: Performing under extreme stress, disaster preparedness, physical fitness, firearms, emergency medical care, hotwiring cars, primitive wilderness survival, hunting, knife fighting, winter survival. Could you actually survive after reading this book? Hell no. But it’s a fun introduction to a bunch of skills and Sheridan points the way to good resources for learning more.

This pa
Spike Gomes
Nov 19, 2016 Spike Gomes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What happens when the poop hits the spinning blades? Well, for myself, if I'm to be completely honest, death within a couple weeks. My survival knowledge consists mostly of a CPR class I had to take for work and some rusty First Aid and map reading lessons from Boy Scouts and JROTC. Certainly my deep knowledge of the religious mores of Tokugawa Japan, the ability to properly write a sonnet and finely honed skills at mastering a slew of retro video games from the 80s aren't going to be in very hi ...more
Ryan Kirk
Dec 12, 2016 Ryan Kirk rated it really liked it
So, I'm a sucker for disaster books in general, and I found myself enjoying this one quite a bit. Being a new father, like the author, made the material relatable as well.

If you're looking for a how-to manual for surviving the apocalypse, this isn't it. But if you are interested in reading one man's story about trying to learn how to be more self-reliant, this is pretty good. I wasn't a fan of the way it began, but by the time the story really got started, I found that I was really enjoying myse
Walter Romines
Jun 07, 2017 Walter Romines rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A well thought out approach to learning to survive.

The author has a realistic approach to the mindset of survival training. Leaning skills in order to survive is commendable, he has a concise plan on what he wants to learn and describes the reasoning why to us in a clear refreshing way.
Sean Goh
Apr 23, 2015 Sean Goh rated it really liked it
Interesting and wide ranging book on what one might need to survive TEOTWAWKI (The end of the world as we know it).
The greater the fitness level, the greater the cognitive resilience to stress and stress hormones.

Comfort is the killer of will.

The single biggest long-term problem facing you in a true apocalypse is adjusting your reality. Getting through denial, the "This can't be happening" stage, that's the bitch of the bunch.

The first way to end a fight is to force the aggressor to mak
Shawn  Stone
I was really impressed with “The Fighter’s Mind”, so I decided to check out Sheridan’s appearances on various podcasts and discovered that his most recent book, “The Disaster Diaries” deals with the topic of post-apocalyptic survival.

In "Disaster Diaries", the author subjects himself to a range of training missions in the hopes of becoming a proficient survivalist.

Anyone familiar with the writings of Neil Strauss may have read “Emergency” whereby Neil attempts the same thing. However, where Neil
May 10, 2013 Morrigan rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-read

Sam Sheridan has a child. Now, he is freaking out. Not about diapers and sleep. He is freaking about zombies, a tsunami, an earthquake, aliens, robots, bombs, cannibals....he is freaking out about the end of the world, the apocalypse. As a new father, he realizes he is solely responsible for safeguarding someone's life, his wife and son. Now it is the time to put all the knowledge he has learned, all the training he has done and all the instincts he has developed to the test. And he realizes he
Nov 01, 2016 Jorge rated it really liked it
Jorge Trejo
Block 2
The disaster diaries is about a man called Sam Sheridan. He has insomnia and is constantly waking up in the middle of the because he has horrible nightmares about the apocalypse like when he dreams “the child in my arms, before the flash fades and- the mushroom cloud stands revealed”(Pg. 2 chapter 1). These are the type of dreams he has constantly and he is worried that when the apocalypse does happen he won't be able to protect his son and wife. So he went to many different c
Rena Sherwood
Don't let the title or the cover fool you -- this is one of the most hopeful non-fiction books I've read in years, along with Neil Strauss' Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life. Yeah, be prepared for problems but don't have your heart set on the apocalypse actually happening.


I thought I was the only one who was looking forward to the apocalypse (because that's the only way I will finally get a horse -- if they are all set free and up for grabs and there is no such thing as bills or health i
May 11, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was ok
While this is a fun read, I can't recommend it unless you read only the last chapter. It's based on the idea that Hollywood is right in all its dire predictions of zombies, aliens, global warming leading to an ice age, cannibals, and lots of other minor details that make up anyone's conception of the "Apocalypse". The author then finds a way to learn how to counteract all those details by learning about guns, stunt driving, survival living, knife fighting, etc. He works the fictional in with the ...more
Megan Reichelt
Feb 04, 2013 Megan Reichelt rated it really liked it
I really loved this book. I thought it was going to be fluff, but not only does he write extremely well, he includes chapters on the science of stress and the nature of humanity in a crisis. Even though he is a highly skilled individual at the beginning of the book, he approaches learning each new skill with a patience and humility that I envy. And sure he learns hunting and fighting and wilderness survival, but he also learns stunt driving and igloo building and how to create a community.

He cl
Dec 27, 2014 Matthew rated it really liked it
This book is pure fun.

This author managed to find the time and resources to travel around and take various classes to develop skills that might be useful in a disaster/apocalypse setting. This is his description of those various classes and outlines some of what he learned. He took medical classes (a WEMT class by SOLO), primitive survival classes, psychology classes, driving classes, and even when up to the arctic circle to live with the Innuit and learn how to survive in the arctic environment
Jeffrey Tilley
Aug 16, 2013 Jeffrey Tilley rated it really liked it
First and foremost, this is not a "how to" book. While informative, it is more of a first hand report on one mans journey to gather the skills necessary to face a potential apocalypse. More than that, and far less advertised, it's really about a new father overcoming the anxiety of bringing a child into a world fought with potential disaster. This is where the book excels. Sheridan starts off his journey as a new father filled with first hand knowledge of how bad the world can be and how bad thi ...more
Ken Melby
Jul 11, 2013 Ken Melby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I loved Sam Sheridan's Previous books A Fighter's Heart and The Fighter's Mind and I have read quite a few survival/ disaster books as well, so this was right up my alley. And although I found this book very entertaining and well written, it didn't really add anything to my survival reptiore.

If you are looking for an intro into this genre that combines a good personal narrative with really helpful advice, I'd reccomend starting with Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life.
That being said, Sam
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After high school Sam went into the Merchant Marines, then quit and spent some time traveling Europe. He went to Harvard, also working a summer on the largest cattle ranch in Montana. Immediately after graduating, Sam took a job on a private sailing yacht for 18 months all the way to Australia. From there Sam went to Thailand, where he lived in a Muay Thai camp and fought, featuring on National Ge ...more
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“If you had a yard as a child, you probably remember it with a startling intimacy. You knew that yard: every inch, every bush, each step on the tree you could climb, the whorls and knots in the branches, the bare dirt spots, the sandy gravel, the soft grass. It was deep, profound, intimate local knowledge. You intuitively knew what was happening around you at all times. Primitive man would have felt that way about a much larger stretch of ground, but it was still "his" territory. This very ability is really what allowed Homo sapiens to expand and succeed the way he did.” 4 likes
“So yes, get prepared, but don't "be first"—don't start talking about *us* and *them* already, because then you're making *them* into the *other*, and that's when the shooting starts. Far too many of the survival books I've read go there, way too early. You're becoming part of the problem; you're not the hero, you're the bad guy. It's all *us*.” 3 likes
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