Three Inspiring Nonfiction Survivalist Books

May 12, 2021
Three Inspiring Nonfiction Survivalist Books

While tales of survival have been tossed around as legend through human history, there are some real people who have persevered through extreme conditions using only determination and tenacity. True survival stories are not only inspiring; they can teach us how to push ourselves when the time comes.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption – by Laura Hillenbrand
This astonishing book based on a true story became a hit film in 2014, produced by Angelina Jolie. Olympic runner and Army Air Force bomber Louis Zamperini survived for 47 days after his bomber plane crash-landed into the Pacific Ocean in May 1943, during World War II. Zamperini and two crewmates fought off sharks, severe starvation, sun poisoning, and more. Discovered by the Japanese, he became a Prisoner of War (POW) for the remainder of the war. Unbroken is an extraordinary story of survival, determination, and strength.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place – by Aron Ralston
This book also became a biographical survival drama that hit the big screens in 2010, named 127 Hours, starring James Franco. Aron Ralston gave up his mechanical engineer career and moved to Colorado to enjoy the outdoors. During one of his adventures in 2003, he was climbing through Blue John Canyon in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, and a boulder suddenly came loose. His right arm was crushed and trapped between the boulder and the canyon wall. Since no one knew where he was, Ralston was trapped and alone for 127 hours with limited food and water. Eventually, he had to amputate his arm to save himself. This compelling book is a personal account of his thrilling experience.

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage – by Alfred Lansing
Another Hollywood hit, the movie is a retelling of an expedition to Antarctica based on the book by Alfred Lansing. The Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic in the summer of 1914. Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew became castaways after The Endurance was crushed and trapped in ice. In five months, the men traversed more than 1,000 miles throughout one of the world’s most inhospitable regions. Through glaciers, mountains, and fighting off the harsh elements, Shackleton’s survivalist voyage was one of the most hazardous and astounding in human history.

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