What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

Suggest books for me > Making do with what you have

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message 1: by Shanna_redwind (last edited Oct 04, 2016 05:52AM) (new)

Shanna_redwind | 858 comments I'm looking for books that for whatever reason, people are short on resources and have to use and adapt what they have.
-books set in the (or a) depression
-post apocalyptic books
-books where people live in poverty
-science fiction where people have limited access to new resources

Things like:

Pod by Stephen Wallenfels Pod (Alien pods vaporize anyone that goes outside)
The Long Winter (Little House, #6) by Laura Ingalls Wilder The Long Winter (they are trapped by a lot of snow and can't get new resources in)
The Martian by Andy Weir The Martian(trapped on Mars with not much)

Stargate Universe tv show (They teleport in to a space ship with resources but cannot easily get more)
The spanish movie The Last Days (People have contagious lethal agoraphobia and can't go outside buildings)

My examples seem to be all people who are trapped, but they don't have to be physically trapped, just have to or choose to make do with what they have

message 2: by Laura (new)

Laura | 120 comments My favourite 'making do' type story would be The Railway Children. Might not be your thing if you don't like Victorian children's literature, but the time when Mother tells them they can have either jam or butter, but not both, has stuck with me since I was a child. My niece read it for school recently and was completely mystified when I told her the book - not the jam incident - always makes me cry. Heartless child!

message 3: by Shanna_redwind (new)

Shanna_redwind | 858 comments Thanks Laura. I enjoyed reading What Katy Did (Carr Family, #1) by Susan Coolidge What Katy Did, which was written a bit earlier than the Railway Children, so I'll definitely give that one a try.

message 4: by Laura (new)

Laura | 120 comments Another one of my favourites! Hope you do enjoy The Railway Children.

message 5: by Peter (new)

Peter Meilinger | 474 comments It feels like I recommend Hatchet by Gary Paulsen every day, but it's such a great book. A teenager is stranded deep in the Canadian woods with virtually no resources except for a hatchet his mother gave him. He has to learn to survive and create everything he needs to do so. There are several sequels, but my favorite is Brian's Winter, which is about, you guessed it, the same kid surviving the winter.

Another good teenager surviving in the woods story is My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. This kid chooses to run away and live in the woods, but he also doesn't have much to work with. The story goes into lots of details about how he makes a home and all of the tools he needs.

On the grimmer end of things, Wolf and Iron is about a scientist traveling across the country after society collapses for unrevealed reasons. He's trying to make it to his brother's ranch, but it's a very long trip. There's a lot of scavenging and making do in the book, and it's a great story in its own right.

message 6: by ``Laurie (new)

``Laurie (laurielynette) | 1039 comments Into the Forest was an great book about 2 sisters surviving after the collapse of the infrastructure.

A non fiction book you might enjoy reading The Complete Tightwad Gazette was absolutely fascinating.
The author of this book could pinch a penny in unbelievable ways.

message 7: by John (new)

John | 17 comments If you haven't read it yet, this is a pretty good one. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

message 8: by Tytti (last edited Oct 04, 2016 04:52PM) (new)

Tytti | 190 comments The Winter War or any nonfiction related to that war. Probably the most famous weapon of the war was the Molotov Cocktail that was used as an improvised anti-tank weapon but Finland lacked pretty much everything. (They had been used before but it was named that in this war. Molotov was the foreign minister of the USSR.)

In the Winter War Finns were mainly short of military materiel, in the Continuation War it was mainly everything else, food, clothes, gasoline... and people adapted to it in different ways. But unfortunately I don't recall any fiction specifically about that subject, it's always more on the background. Of course in Unknown Soldiers they spend a lot of time in the wilderness fighting in all temperatures but I'm not sure if that's what you meant, though obviously they had to adapt, too.

White Hunger is about the last major naturally caused famine in Europe (though bark was eaten again in 1918). But I'm not sure if they had any resources to adapt, really...

message 9: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) World Made by Hand, One Second After, Alas, Babylon, & Earth Abides are all post apocalyptic novels. The last 2 are classics. The other 2 are good, but I think One Second After is the current best of the bunch. So possible.

Diary of an Early American Boy is a good look at Colonial life in the US. Sloane was an artist & his pen sketches are fantastic. This is one of 3 books in Eric Sloane's Sketches of America Past, a fantastic deal used. I gave it a 5 star review here:

A Land Remembered is a fictionalized historical account of a family settling Florida. Very good.

message 10: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39287 comments Mod
John wrote: "If you haven't read it yet, this is a pretty good one. The Road by Cormac McCarthy"

I was going to suggest The Road too.

message 11: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39287 comments Mod
This is nonfiction but it's a really well told story, extremely fascinating, and of course very sad.

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

Fiction: Tobacco Road is hardcore poverty.

I also remember a memoir by possibly Shirley Jackson (Life Among the Savages? just a guess though) where she was a young wife or mother and they were so poor that when the groceries ran out, sometimes in order to make biscuits or whatever it was she would get an index card and scrape up the flour that had spilled inside the cupboard so she could make a small batch and they would have something to eat. Although this could have been Erma Bombeck, I don't remember.

message 12: by Shanna_redwind (new)

Shanna_redwind | 858 comments Thanks for the suggestions. I've read a few of them and all of them look interesting. I've added everything that wasn't already on my to read list.

I enjoy reading non-fiction as well. I've read A Gentlewoman in Upper Canada: The Journals, Letters, and Art of Anne Langton, Pioneer Women: Voices from the Kansas Frontier and Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm that would fit in with this category to a greater or lesser extent.

message 13: by John (new)

John | 17 comments Lobstergirl wrote: "John wrote: "If you haven't read it yet, this is a pretty good one. The Road by Cormac McCarthy"

I was going to suggest The Road too."

Definitely one of my favorites.

message 15: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments If you don't mind YA fiction, there's the Tomorrow series by John Marsden. The first book is Tomorrow, When the War Began

It's about a group of Australian teens who are camping in the Outback when their country is invaded. They end up having to hide out permanently in the bush and carry out some improvised guerilla attacks. It's been a while since I read them, but I enjoyed them as a teenager.

message 16: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39287 comments Mod
These are nonfiction -

The Children of Sánchez haven't read it but it is a classic on poverty in Mexico.

Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx - one of the best books I've ever read. It's not only about poverty but bad choices - lives of crime, the destruction of families, pathologies.

American Dream. Single mothers struggling to get by in the ghetto after the Clinton administration changes welfare policies.

message 17: by Tytti (new)

Tytti | 190 comments As it happens, I just added a book about surviving but, alas, as usual it will never be translated... True story, too. Four soldiers, 56 days behind enemy lines, more than 500 km of walking, and when something goes wrong, they have to get by over 20 days and walk almost 250 km without food rations. Methamphetamine and good luck saved them. Afterwards they spent two weeks in a hospital.

But I would add that any Gulag memoir would probably be like that, too. In the Clutches of the Tcheka is one from 1929, the author was illegally detained from 1924 to 1926, though most of it was spent in prisons in Leningrad. You can find it here: https://archive.org/details/1929InThe...

message 18: by ``Laurie (new)

``Laurie (laurielynette) | 1039 comments Wool Omnibus is one of the best books of this nature that I've read.

message 19: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Love | 1136 comments These are all children's books:
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney. Serious poverty until halfway through the book. Five Little Peppers and How They Grew

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder The Long Winter and The Children Who Stayed Alone by Bonnie Bess Worline The Children Who Stayed Alone are about pioneer families trapped by blizzards.

message 20: by Empress (new)

Empress (the_empress) | 228 comments The Death of Grass - "At first the virus wiping out grass and crops is of little concern to John Custance. It has decimated Asia, causing mass starvation and riots, but Europe is safe and a counter-virus is expected any day. Except, it turns out, the governments have been lying to their people. When the deadly disease hits Britain, society starts to descend into barbarism. As John and his family try to make it across country to the safety of his brother's farm in a hidden valley, their humanity is tested to its very limits."

message 21: by Shanna_redwind (new)

Shanna_redwind | 858 comments Thanks for all the suggestions. They all look good.

Cara's Craftsations | 1859 comments Room Ma has to make do with what they have in room

message 23: by Shanna_redwind (new)

Shanna_redwind | 858 comments Thanks, C. I had the movie out of the library, but didn't end up watching it. Didn't know it was a book.

message 24: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

message 25: by Hillary (new)

Hillary | 274 comments Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression. My favorite was what they did with socks, even after they could no longer be socks.

message 26: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39287 comments Mod
The Terranauts. This is realistic fiction about 8 people living in a sealed biosphere. They have to grow their own food (including animals), recycle their wastewater, nothing goes in or out except in case of emergency, and if the seal is broken the experiment fails. They are allowed to have electricity, otherwise the sphere would overheat and they would die. Plus the women are given the pill just in case anyone is having sex (they are).

message 27: by Shanna_redwind (new)

Shanna_redwind | 858 comments Thanks for the suggestions. They look good.

message 28: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

message 29: by Rosa (new)

Rosa (rosaiglarsh) | 5204 comments Kit: An American Girl
Especially Happy Birthday, Kit!

message 31: by Shanna_redwind (new)

Shanna_redwind | 858 comments I appreciate the suggestions. Thanks Lobstergirl, Rosa and Bubbletae

message 32: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn (sscarllet) | 256 comments I second Wool Omnibus, and the other two books in the trilogy as well as The Good Earth.

How about:
Stones from the River -This is about a dwarf growing up in Germany right before WWII and the years after. They don't have much.

The City of Ember - Young adult book - People are living in an underground bunker (but they don't know that) and are running out of resources.

Among the Hidden - Young adult - This is a universe where food is so scarce that people are only allowed two children each. This series is about how the 3rd children fight back.

In the Country of Last Things - This is a post a post apocalyptic book where everyone is running out of everything.

message 33: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Bennett | 92 comments The Children Who Lived in a Barn - Parents disappear and children have to live on the limited resources that social services will give them.

message 34: by Shanna_redwind (new)

Shanna_redwind | 858 comments Thanks for the suggestions. I'm looking forward to reading them

message 35: by Hillary (new)

Hillary | 274 comments The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society has many details through the story of what people did when the island of Guernsey was occupied - creative food options primarily, including the Potato Peel Pie of the title.

message 36: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39287 comments Mod
The Wall. Woman alone in postapocalyptic world has to figure out how get food, plant food, keep warm, birth a calf, etc.

message 37: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39287 comments Mod
A Son of the Middle Border is a memoir covering about 1865-1895 in the life of a boy who grows up in Wisconsin, Iowa, and South Dakota. Very hardscrabble. His father is restless and always in search of a new frontier and keeps moving the family west, selling the current farm and buying a new one. They are pretty poor, don't have many clothes or furniture, are always cold in the winter. When he graduates from high school he tries to find a schoolteacher job and can't. He travels east with almost no money, whenever his money runs out he tries to find a job threshing wheat or shingling roofs or any other manual job he knows how to do. His brother joins him and they tramp around riding trains, living and eating as cheaply as possible. Meantime his parents' farms keep failing because of droughts and insects. Finally in his late 20s he starts to make enough money to live on by writing, but at that point his mother is so beaten down from pioneer homesteading, being on her feet 18 hours a day, she is old and frail (and probably only in her early 50s). His father wants to move west yet again but the son puts his foot down and says he can't take the mother with him, she has to move somewhere where she can be comfortable. Basically it's a memoir about how hard pioneer life is, particularly for the women.

message 38: by Shanna_redwind (new)

Shanna_redwind | 858 comments Thanks Lobstergirl. The Wall is exactly what I like. A Son of a Middle Border looks good as well.

message 39: by Penny (new)

Penny (syfygirl21) | 33 comments Hi I love these kind of books too. I've had a quick look through my reading history and found these.

Invitation to the Game by Monica Hughes (about teenagers to have to do survival skills on each level of a virtual reality game)

The rain by Virginia Bergen (and it's sequel) (virus wipes out lots of people and a teenage girl has to go it alone)

Enclave by Ann Aguirre (and it's sequels) (set in the future where plagues etc. have wiped everything out and people live underground scavenging for things to survive)

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis (about a teenage girl living on her after after somekind of natural disaster and water is in really short supply)

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne (teenagers survive a series of disasters by living in a mall)

Empty by Suzanne Weyn (what happens when fossil fuel begins to run out)

Ashfall by Mike Mullin (surviving after a massive volcanic erupts - how do you get drinking water, food, crops etc.)

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (surviving after a series of disasters)


Outpost by Adam Baker (virus - people on a oil rig trying to survive)

The Pulse by Scott Williams (EM pulse takes out everything electric)

Slow Apocalypse by John Varley (oil turns bad and unusable)

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (and its sequels) (virus wipes out most of the population)

Non fiction

No Impact Man by Colin Beavan

The Wild : A Year of Living on Wild Food by John Lewis-Stempel

Plenty; One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally by Alisa Smith, J.B. MacKinnon

message 40: by Rosa (last edited Sep 18, 2017 04:22PM) (new)

Rosa (rosaiglarsh) | 5204 comments Making the best of your situation when you're a 13th-century English girl and you don't have a lot of options:
Catherine, Called Birdy
The Midwife's Apprentice

message 41: by Shanna_redwind (new)

Shanna_redwind | 858 comments Thank you Fred21, that's a great list and I've added a lot of them.

Thanks Rosa, those books look good.

message 42: by Rosa (new)

Rosa (rosaiglarsh) | 5204 comments You're welcome. I hope you enjoy them. Catherine, Called Birdy, is one of my very favorites. Midwife is for younger people. What age range were you looking for?

message 43: by Shanna_redwind (new)

Shanna_redwind | 858 comments Any, really. I prefer YA and Adult, but I read MG as well.

message 44: by Shanna_redwind (new)

Shanna_redwind | 858 comments I'm ramping up my summer reading so if anyone has more suggestions, I'd be grateful.

message 45: by Keith (new)

Keith | 223 comments Island in the Sea of Time is about an island in the modern US which is sent back in time to the Bronze Age, and the early parts of the book focus heavily on the inhabitants trying to use what resources they have available to keep everyone fed etc.

message 46: by Shanna_redwind (new)

Shanna_redwind | 858 comments Thanks for the suggestion, Keith, that looks interesting.

message 47: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39287 comments Mod

message 50: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

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