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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

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  651 ratings  ·  112 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
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
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
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
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
Heather Penner
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
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
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
Gwen Burrow
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
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
John Onoda
This (mostly) non-fiction book reports author Sam Sheridan’s efforts to learn about and master the skills a person would need to employ if caught up in some End-of-the-World catastrophe. Sheridan, a Harvard grad, martial artist and professional writer about physical activities, takes pains to describe not only the physical skills one would need to acquire but the mental and psychological states that would have to be brought to bear. What’s very clear is that you'd need both.

I liked Sheridan’s st
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
Sam Sheridan is a Harvard-educated MMA fighter. So you know what you're getting yourself in. As Sheridan becomes a new father he becomes aware of how little control he has to protect his family. That, and a pretty funny-grim imaginary narrative (earthquake! nuclear winter! zombies! spider-robots!), forms the frame of this nice little book. Each chapter covers another area that lends to survival, such as personal fitness, mental health coping, medical response and, yes, how to fight off a gang of ...more
This isn't a book for people who are growing beards, ranting about chemtrails, and think the end is nigh. It's a sensible and enjoyable look at what it would take to survive in a grid-down situation, and Sam Sheridan goes through the training for a bunch of different aspects of survival. It was probably pitched as a TV series at some point, but it works as an enjoyable fast read (I did it on audiobook over the course of two 12-hour drives).

The gist of every chapter is that Sheridan introduces a
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
This was interesting--Sheridan tells a (somewhat ridiculous) end-of-the-world story involving earthquakes, zombies, alien attacks, etc. with stories of learning real-life skills--hunting, stunt driving, wilderness survival--interspersed. It was one of those books that I think I might have enjoyed more reading the print version for some reason though. The best part, for me, was the final chapter, where Sheridan talks about the fact that previous disasters have shown that society doesn't actually ...more
This was a pretty fun book. It definitely is not a doom-and-gloom warning about possible future apocalypse, but the author explores different types of disaster scenarios and the skills he believes would be important in survival situations.

Part of the book is written as a fiction and follows his family through a series of disasters from earthquakes to zombies to aliens to another ice age. In between the clips of his fictional survival, he talks about the skillset and how he obtained the skills an
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.
This is like armchair quarterbacking for the post-apocalypse crowd. Author Sam Sheridan comes up with varied (sometime plausible, sometimes not) doomsday scenarios and follows with a chapter of training he took to cover such an instance. Massive earthquake and an object is getting ready to smash the vehicle his son and wife are trapped in? He learns weight lifting for minimum energy and maximum output. Aliens are attacking and you need to get away but have no car? He shares his time with an lati ...more
Disaster Diaries is a great primer for entering into the world of "preparedness" or prepping (and possibly paranoia). Learning a little about surviving a wilderness situation, medical emergency, or fight can help you realize how domesticated many of us have become. There are so many skills that most modern humans have forgotten--skills that were dearly paid for and passed down from generation to generation by our "primitive" ancestors.
As he discusses, preparedness isn't just about being ready fo
Max Nova
“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
I have no idea what made me pick this book up, but I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed it! This is coming from someone who's interest in the apocalypse doesn't go beyond the Walking Dead. This book was entertaining and informative. I even suggested it to my CPA mother (Love you Ma!). I appreciated how the author didn't take a hysterical tone with this book. It allowed me to understand him on a deeper level. I gave the book a chance because of the author's approach in writing this book. I don't thin ...more
Vlad Limbean
Funny writing style. Informative.
The Disaster Diaries talks about how a reader might develop the skills to survive any kind of disaster. Sam Sheridan combines serious discussions on preparing for trouble with a tongue in cheek approach that talks about how he and his family deal with an earthquake to a zombie apocalypse and an alien invasion. While he talks about the staples such as building fires, shooting, and first aid, he spends a lot of time talking about developing the right mindset for survival, which is the most importa ...more
I was fascinated by this book. I found Mr. Sheridan's exploration of both the practical and psychological facets of apocalypse survival to be very personally edifying. The topics he explores are applicable to both the theoretical topic at hand, as well as everyday life. His study in the uses of deadly force (guns, knives, etc.) were especially interesting, and I think should be required reading for anyone owning weapons.

I would LOVE it if every person writing, or considering writing, any work of
Jeffrey Tilley
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

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
"Not paranoid, just prepared."

"The Disaster Diaries" came to be because the author, Sam Sheridan, started worrying about being able to protect his son in case there was a disaster of epic proportions.

I wondered how Sheridan would handle this combo fiction/non-fiction book because some of the scenarios he was envisioning were alien invasions and zombies. But even though some of the book was rather tongue-in-cheek humor, it actually was about the author learning the skills he thought he might need
Ken Melby
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
I liked this book. It's somewhere between 3 and 4 stars for me. With all the post-apocalyptic novels getting published, this author takes a travelogue approach: he recounts his experiences preparing for different aspects of the end of the world.

Each chapter is fairly brief, but he goes over:
- Mental preparedness (and how to respond under stress)
- Physical strength, particularly olympic lifting: back squats, holding your breath as you left, and the snatch and clean, and running, both intervals an
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Q and A on Survival 2 12 Jan 28, 2013 07:51PM  
Goodreads Librari...: clarifying merging 6 40 Aug 31, 2012 07:12PM  
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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
More about Sam Sheridan...
A Fighter's Heart: One Man's Journey Through the World of Fighting The Fighter's Mind: Inside the Mental Game

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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*.” 2 likes
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