***** Not Without My Daughter, she was an American trapped in Tehran, imprisoned by her husband, The underground said they could get her out, but she would have to leave her little girl behindÉ which she refused to do. An absolutely fascinating read, describing the incredible courage of one woman, to do what she needed to do for her daughter. She is still in hiding todayÉ this book will keep you spellbound.

Betty Mahmoody, with William Hoffer

**** The Last Run, a true story of Rescue and Redemption on the Alaskan seas. A great read.

Todd Lewan

***** And I Alone Survived, A breathtaking story of a woman's extraordinary courage and resourcefulness after being involved in a small plane crash at the top of the Sierra Nevada mountain Range. Once started, it is a very difficult book to put down.

Lauren Elder, with Shirley Streshinsky

*** Hey, I'm Alive!, When college girl Helen Klaben and her badly injured pilot were rescued after 49 days in the frozen wilderness, the story made headlines around the world. How they survived in the most dire of conditions.

Helen Klaben, with Beth Day



*** Alive!, the story of the Uruguayan rugby team, on a chartered Fairchild F-227 crashes in the Andes and eventually were given up for lost. Rescue comes after two of the passengers, realizing that they were going to have to rescue themselves, hiked up and over the Andes, and down to where they could report the fact that they and others were still alive. A story of death, cannibalism, courage and great deprivation

Piers Paul Read

*** The Deep Dark, disaster and redemption in America's richest silver mine, the Sunshine mine in Kellogg, Idaho.

Gregg Olsen

**** Fire on the Mountain, the true story of Colorado's South Canyon fire, the lessons learned, and the obstructions that politics put in the way of the firefighters.

John Maclean


*** Nights of Ice, true stories of disaster and survival on Alaska's high seas. Gripping.

Spike Walker

*** Hearts of Courage, a treatise on the Gillam plane crash and the amazing true story of survival in the frozen wilderness of Alaska! Another accounting of an endurance of incredibly trying circumstances in the worst of all possible conditions.

John Tippets

**** Fishing Up North, stories of luck and loss in Alaskan waters. A good read of a dangerous avocation.

Brad Matsen

*** When Broken Glass Floats: Growing up, and suffering, losing your parents, and your innocence, to the Khmer Rouge's depravity.
Chanrithy Him

*** Endurance:, Ernest Shackleton's survival for over a year on the ice-bound Antarctic seas.
Alfred Lansing

*** Where Hell Freezes Over, a tale of survival in Antarctica. After the end of WWII, the Navy sent a war-weary crew of aviators to Antarctica to photograph the at-that-time basically unknown terrain from the air. A whiteout, and upsloping terrain conspired to cause the plane to crash into the interior. How the survivors got to a place where they could be rescued makes for a wonderful tale.
David Kearns.

**** Deep Survival, who lives, who dies, and why. A scientific look at survival situations, and why we make (frequently) the bad decisions we do in extreme and survival situations.
Lawrence Gonzales

***** Touching the Void, survival in the Andes. Two men take on an unclimbed peak in the Andes. An area where if you become incapacitated on the mountain, its over. Because there are no recources for rescue in this area. Joe Simpson the writer, breaks his leg high on the mountain, and somehow makes it back to the base camp. The story of how he does it, with a broken/shattered knee, and completely on his own, is one of the most incredible tales of survival you'll ever read. Joe Simpson.

*** All the Men in the Sea. One of the greatest rescues in history. In 1995 a group of men are trying to finish an undersea pipeline and facing hurricane Roxanne. Roxanne wins, and takes out the working barge/station. What pursues then is the rescue. Gripping.
Michael Krieger

**** The Cruelest Miles. A breathtaking story of the men who trasported the serum across the Alaskan wilderness by dog sled in 1925 in order to stop the deadly diptheria epidemic. Man against the elements in the truest sense. What eventually inspired the Iditarod dog race.
Gay Salisbury & Laney Salisbury

**** From the Jaws of Death. Many different stories of man against nature, placed in trying situations and the varioius privations of those situations. Covers Snow & Ice, the Oceans and the Wild Country.
Edited by: Brogan Steele

*** Panic Rising. Tales of courage & survival in the great outdoors.
Brett Nunn

***** The Sacrament. A tale of survival in the truest sense. A light aircraft, with 4 aboard, crashes into the White Cloud mountains in Idaho during a snow squall. 1 perishes immediately, the pilot wanders off and dies, and leaves teen-age Donna Johnson & Brett Dyer to face the elements. After 3 weeks or so of waiting for the inevitable rescue, it dawns on them that the waited-for rescue is not going to come, that they are presumed dead. They eventually resign themselves to the fact that they are going to have to walk out if they are to survive. Which they do under the most abominable conditions. They emerge from the mountains at Livingston Mill on the east fork of the Salmon river. That they do survive is a miracle of miracles. Wonderful, wonderful read!
Peter Gzowski

***** A Stolen Life. The mind rebels at a tale like this, and the 'whys' cry out. How can any slime do what he did to Jaycee. 20 years of lost innocence and sexual violation. Her rescue? A miracle. Pls Read!
Jaycee Dugard

**** Angels in the Wilderness. Hiking alone, never a great idea, especially for a female, Amy Racina falls 60 feet in California's Sierra Nevada, shatters her legs, and keeps herself alive by sheer grit, determination & willpower. She spends four complete days crawling and pulling herself along this drainage, in spite of excruciating pain, and manages to get herself to where someone on a trail above can hear her cries for help. She is rescued, but has to endure a very long and frightening helicopter hoist out of this inaccessible canyon. A gripping read. Amy Racina.

***** The Road of Lost Innocence. I doubt that any book I have ever read has affected me in the way that this one did. The front cover reads, "As a girl, she was sold into sexual slavery, but as an adult, she rescues others like herself." That only puts a very slight scratch of the truth revealed in this book. 'Modern' Cambodia has to be just about one of the most corrupt and evil countries on this earth. An economy based on the prostitution of children down to the ages of 5 & 6, it details some of the most horrific sexual abuse of children I have ever read.
Somaly Mam

***** Ghost Soldiers. A survival story of sorts. The most dramatic mission of WWII, a team of soldiers is sent to rescue a prison camp of individuals that would certainly have been put to death by the retreating Japanese. A great raid, and a great read!
Hampton Sides

**** Breaking Night. A memoir of forgiveness, survival, and a journey from homeless to Harvard. Born into a family of drug-addicted parents, Liz Murray at age 15 finds herself on the streets. What kept her from becoming part of the drug culture herself is anybody's guess, but she finally decides to take control of her destiny, and the story of how she ended up with a degree from Harvard is this book. A great read.
Liz Murray

**** The Scorned Wife. A fun read by a lady with an obviously great sense of humor. When her husband left her for a yoga-loving 22yo, the for sale sign on her house read, "Husband left us for a 22yo... House for sale by a scorned, slightly bitter and newly single owner." Due to that sign, and her pragmatic maturity, she and her story became an Internet sensation. A fun read!
Elle Zober

**** Night. Another of the many books describing a survival of the holocaust. As it is/was with all of the books relating this time, it is filled with the most gruesome inhumanity and killing. How quickly we return to simple animal killing-machines.
Elie Wiesel

*** If I Live to Tell. A very young child is lied to by her father, sent to Iran purportedly for a vacation, but in reality has been 'sold' to an individual as his 'wife'. Never mind that she is barely a teen, not 'wife age'. Although her sufferings were not anywhere near as bad as some I have read about, it took her quite a while to extricate herself from this situation and to return to England where she was brought up.
Akeela Hayder Green

**** A Child Called 'It'. Called one of California's worst-ever cases of child abuse, Dave Pelton, one of three children in his family, was singled out by his mother for some of the worst physical abuse you have ever read about. Not only did he survive a dictatorial and abusive mother, and a complete WIMP father, but he now works with children like himself and does motivational speaking. A wonderful story.
Dave Pelton.

**** Dry Tears. The story of a family attempting to survive the period of the holocaust by living with polish families. The 'protectors' were only doing so for a price, and it was like being in prison as they couldn't show their face during the day. A wonderful story of survival.
Nechama Tec

*** Four Against the Arctic. In 1743 a Russian ship bound for Arctic walrus hunting grounds was blown off course and trapped in the ice off the coast of Svalbard. Four of its sailors went ashore with only two day's supplies to look for an abandoned hut. They returned to the ship to find it gone, apparently crushed and sunk by the ice. Thus began an odessy of 6 years of survival with no tools except homemade, and no food other than what they could kill. Eventually they killed and ate approximately 250 reindeer for food. An incredible tale and an incredible tale of survival. David Roberts.

**** Lost in Shangri-La. A group of non-combatants board a DC-3 for a sight-seeing flight around thier island paradise in Dutch New Guinea. Sadly, they don't make it over one of the ridges on the island, and only three of the original 24 passengers survive the crash. All but one of the three is badly injured and what follows is am amazing tale of their final rescue. By glider if you can visualize that one. Great read. Mitchell Zuckoff

*** Doom in the Deep. A number of fishing trawlers, fishing as they are accustomed, right outside Iceland's 12-mile limit, are attacked by what could be described as the 'perfect storm'. Even after retreating into their normal refuge inlets, not much changes. As the ice builds up on the superstructure of these boats, they begin to lose their grip, tip over and sink due to the incredible weight of the ice on the boats center-of-gravity. 59 men would lose their lives, but there were some incredible saves. Who lives and who dies. A riveting read. Ottar Sveinsson

**** Almost Too Late! A father and his children, shipwrecked off the coast of Alaska during the winter, struggle to survive in the most incredible conditions. This book will keep you on the edge of your reading area throughout its length.
Elmo Wortman

***** Out of Captivity! One of the most incredible books I have read. Americans, working for the US government, flying over Columbia and searching for illegal drug growing sites, experience an engine failure, and crash into the jungle. They are immediately captured by the FARC, the Columbian rebels, and held in captivity, in the most incredibly primitive conditions for over 5 years. Its a survival experience to equal any other. You are held captive until they are spirited out of the jungle, and beyond. Read it!!
Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell & Tom Howes.

**** Escape from Camp 14. An intriguing book, especially as it is singularly unique. This individual is the only person known to have escaped from N. Korea's infamous prison camps... and survived. A wonderful read and treatise of survival.
Blaine Harden

**** Return with Honor. This is an incredible true-life thriller of one man's struggle to evade & survive in the hostile territory of war-torn Bosnia. A can't-put-it-down read.
Captain Scott O'Grady, with Jeff Coplon.

*** Krakatoa, the explosion of the island of Krakatoa in 1883. However, this book went back seemingly to the beginning of time in its history. An awful lot of stuff here of limited interest, at least to me. But the volcanic stuff was interesting.
Simon Winchester

**** Surviving Hell. Another of the many books that describe the hell that the 'Hanoi Hilton' was, and the incredible cruelty of the North Vietnamese captors.
Leo Thorsness.

**** Crazy for the Storm. An incredibly good read about a youngster that survives a light airplane crash on the side of Ontario Peak on the northeast side of the LA basin, and has to then descend thousands of feet on ice to save himself. It is gripping in the extreme.
Norman Ollestad.

**** Unbroken. A sorry WWII tale of a couple of airmen whose bomber crashed, then they were forced to spend an unconscionable amount of time at sea in a raft, then captured by the Japanese and subjected to the most unspeakable cruelty. That they survived at all is an incredible miracle.
Laura Hillenbrand.

**** My Lobotomy. In the same vein as 'A Child Called It', when Howard Dully was 5, his mother died, and when his father remarried, the step-mother decided, at least for no clearly defined reason as far as anyone can tell, that she hated little Howard. She eventually forced him to submit to a through-the-eyesocket lobotomy that was being performed at the time by a charlatan named Walter Freeman. Because of his young age at the time, it didn't make him a 'zombie' and the brain was actually able to recover from many of the effects of this gruesome medical(?) procedure. But the life that he led up to and past the age of majority was incomprehensible. It should not happen to an animal, let alone a human being. A gripping read.
Howard Dully with Charles Fleming.

**** Under Fire, an American Story. The sad accounting of the attempted crucifixion of Oliver North, by the government that put him in harm's way. Simply put, a wakeup call to the corruption of our government, and the lengths they will go to cover their ass when their misdeeds become visible.
Oliver North, William Novak

*** In the Land of the White Death. An account of another explorer, looking for way to the 'other sea' by going around the top, i.e., the arctic, coming to essentially the same end as Shackleton and many of the others that have tried penetrating these frigid regions. A bit of a hard read due to the incredible suffering and death that ensued as these individuals attempted to make it back to civilization.
Valerian Albanov

**** Ordeal by Hunger. The story of the Donner Party. A tale of poor decisions, deception, and incredible suffering and death. An interesting read, due to the lengths that some went to in order to attempt to save these folks, and the lengths that those in this situation went in order to survive. Gruesome.
George Stewart

*** Starvation Heights. In 1911 two wealthy British heiresses, Claire and Dora Williamson, arrived at a sanitorium in the forests of the Pacific Northwest to undergo the revolutionary “fasting treatment” of Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard. It was supposed to be a holiday for the two sisters, but within a month of arriving at what the locals called Starvation Heights, the women underwent brutal treatments and were emaciated shadows of their former selves. Claire died and Dora escaped with help of a friend from Austrailia. The 2nd half of the book chronicles how Dora persecuted 'Dr.' Hazzard into professional oblivion, using the US legal system.
Gregg Olsen

**** Cheating Death. A collection of vignettes covering a number of aircraft and other survival stories. Written in a very light-hearter vein, and featuring stories from the lift of the Alaska pilot's pilot, Don Sheldon. A fun and easy read.
Larry Kaniut.

**** Highest Duty. An interesting look at the life of Sully Sullenberger, and the career-changing event of having to place an airplane in the Hudson River after complete engine failure due to a bird strike. More than just aviation, the life and events that formed this ultra competent pilot.
Chesley Sullenberger

*** Holocaust Diaries. The writings of a Russian child caught up in the events of WWII, and as a result had to suffer many horrible events, losing her entire family, and spending time in a German prison camp. The war and suffering through the eyes of a young girl that had to grow up way too fast.
Nonna Bannister

**** Cat Attacks. A primer on both cougar attacks and what you need to do to put them off (It isn't hte same as bears or wolves). This book illuminates a number of areas where we have been intentionally kept in the dark, and leaves you much wiser if you enter the woods for recreation, especially if you go alone. Jo Deurbrouck & Dean Miller

**** Left for Dead. The story of Beck Weathers who during an Everest climb, collapsed, and was ignored by his climb-mates, presumably because he was beyond help, which was far from the truth. An examination of the climbing mentality, the power of macho potential over the concern for life, and the power of the human spirit. The man is alive because he took the matters of his rescue into his own hands and survived as a result. Beck Weathers

**** Into Thin Air. A documenting of the 1996 Everest disaster by a first class writer who actually made the climb that year. An intense and worthwhile read.
Jon Krakauer

**** The Earth is Enough. A tale of a young person's rites of passage in the outdoors.
Harry Middleton

**** Magnetic North. A tale of a trek across Canada from the Pacific to the Atlantic by foot, dogsled & canoe. Why? Only God knows. It is an endurance test beginning to end. Without the help of many along the way, it would never have been completed. David Halsey with Diana Landau

**** Fighting for Dear Life. The story of Terri Schiavo, who we condemned to death by starvation. Her crime? She was not like is. She was NOT comotose, she was NOT in a persistent vegatative state, she was simply damaged. A result of a seizure that left her brain without oxygen for several minutes. She was damaged, to be sure, but was cruelly sentenced to death by a murderous court system, and uncaring husband. This entire thing makes me beyond angry. David Gibbs

**** 127 Hours Between a Rock and a Hard Place. The incredible story of Aron Ralston, the hiker/climber who became trapped by a rock that rolled onto his arm in a slot canyon, and after several days realized that if he was going to be rescued, he would have to do it. As a result he cut his arm off to free himself. It isn't exactly as it seems, as much of the arm was dead due to a lack of circulation, and he was so dehydrated and shut down biologically, that it was less of an issue that it seems. He also, after cutting off his arm, had to hike five miles to get rescued. It is a story well beyond 'gripping'. Don't pick it up unless you plan on reading it through. Aron Ralston

Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero by [Michael Hingson, Susy Flory, Larry King]
***** Thunder Dog.

Every moment in Michael Hingson’s and Roselle’s lives seemed to lead up to this day. When one of four hijacked planes flew into the World Trade Center’s north tower on September 11, 2001, Michael Hingson, a district sales manager for a data protection and network security systems company, was sitting down for a meeting. His guide dog, Roselle, was at his feet. Paired for twenty-one months, man and dog spent that time forging a bond of trust, much like police partners who trust their lives to each other. 

Michael couldn’t see a thing, but he could hear the sounds of shattering glass, falling debris, and terrified people flooding around him and Roselle. However, Roselle sat calmly beside him. In that moment, Michael chose to trust Roselle’s judgment and not to panic. They were a team.

Thunder Dog is a story that will forever change your spirit and your perspective. It illuminates Hingson’s lifelong determination to achieve parity in a sighted world and how the rare trust between a man and his guide dog can inspire an unshakable faith in each one of us.