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From the Library

June 3, 2019

The Great State: The Divide by Shelby Gallagher
So, I’m not much of a fan of typical “Prepper Porn” fiction these days. Too often, it’s the same old rehash of the same tired tropes. Someone mentioned this one in passing to me recently, and insisted I really needed to read it.

I’m really glad I did. The protagonist is not your typical middle-class white male (not that there’s anything wrong with being a middle class white male, but at this stage, having that as the protagonist of your prepper novel is….overworn…), but a divorced single mom. She’s not apparently independently wealthy, and has bills to pay and a kid to support, with a shit head ex-husband who makes lots of excuses for why he can’t make his child support payment, etc…

She works for the state government, and still manages to recognize what’s happening around her, and does the best she can to be prepared for it.

I was surprised that I actually really did like this story. I definitely recommend it. Especially if you, like me, are that typical middle-class white male. I would say “have your wife read it. Have your girlfriends read it. Have your daughters read it.” But honestly? Especially if you’re a dude? Read it.

I don’t know if Ms. Gallagher is a reader here, but I can hope, and if so, thank you.

Survival Poaching by Ragnar Benson

Ragnar Benson, for those late to the game, was kind of one of the granddaddies of survivalist writing back in the 80s. I read a lot of his stuff in High School, although I didn’t come across this one until I was in the Army, when I happened to find it at the Post Library one day. Since I was familiar with the author, and the title sounded interesting, I checked it out and read it. Even by then, some of the technical stuff was obsolete, but I got a lot of value out of it. In fact, I ended up ordering a copy, and while I’ve given them away since, I’ve managed to have copy ever since.

Some of the stuff in it, regarding hunting, won’t be novel or new to any country kid that grew up before the turn of the millenium, but some of it will be, and for urban dwellers, he’s got some pretty solid ideas on stocking the larder with protein, when you cannot go to the grocery store anymore, even if it’s still open, and you’re just broke as fuck.

Buckshot’s Survival Trapping Guide by Bruce Buckshot Hemming

Mr. Hemming has apparently written, or co-written a couple of post-apocalyptic prepper novels as well. I don’t remember when or where, or from whom I first heard about this book. I just heard that it was a really solid look at realistic trapping, so I grabbed a copy, some time ago (I’m pretty sure I’ve had a copy for at least the better part of a decade). The author apparently makes all or some of his wintertime income from trapping, in farm country, in the Midwest.

He’s got recommendations for lists of what traps and baits and accouterments you will need, for different levels of trapping goals. He’s got different ideas from a lot of trappers on what works and what doesn’t, based on his personal experiences ( I have a copy of the Alaska Trappers’ Association manual too, and probably a dozen other trapping books from various regions and eras…yeah, he’s a little contrarian…). It’s a good book, and has good advice, based on my relatively limited experience (I’ve trapped some, but I’ve never been a trapper, if you can discern the difference). His bucket trap set is fucking brilliant, in my opinion, and I’ve told myself for years that I was going to start using it. Unfortunately, I always end up finding a use for the buckets before I ever get to use it for trapping. This is one of those books, I recommend getting it NOW, and reading it NOW, so you can start preparing for next trapping season. If this book doesn’t make you WANT to run a trapline—at least a small one—well….thar’s somet’in’ ain’ rat wit’ chu, son…

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  1. SharpsShtr permalink

    Ms. Gallagher has seen your writeup and greatly appreciated it. The second book in the trilogy was great as well while the third and final book is to be released shortly.

  2. Bill permalink

    I think I own Ragnar Benson’s entire library. If I had been asked who my favorite author was back in high school, he would’ve been it. I made it a point to get the ones banned under the Clinton administration before copies ran out. With the modern internet that is no longer necessary but who knew at the time. . . . Print may still become superior some day.

    I’m starting to notice certain people of certain character that take this shit seriously have similar libraries. . . . A former SOF captain turned pastor is another who comes to mind.


  3. Mr. Mosby, I am most thankful for your review of my book. You have given me a boost as I hit the finish line on the third in the series and am bogged down by details and delays. Contact me personally and it would be my honor to send you an autographed copy of the second in the series.
    Much appreciation, Shelby Gallagher

  4. Ranger Rick permalink

    I met Shelby at an EXPO I was teaching at in Prosser WA last year. I bought both her books and had them read in a week. I look forward to her third book. She is a very nice lady and a good writer.
    Ranger Rick
    North Idaho

  5. Anon 42 permalink

    I have a signed copy of Buckshot’s Survival Trapping Guide. He’s been trapping before Y2K that I know of. While I’m no trapper, if I had one trapping book that would be it. His fiction, I’m not such a fan but your mileage may vary.

  6. Jim Califwin permalink

    Most rats , rabbits (small game) are diseased in California. Hunters report low deer counts or tend to travel to other states. My area needs irrigation canals for Agriculture industry. Urban areas close by will have water rationing programs soon. Not a great area for scavengers. We are a massive food production area. Also trucking, trains & transportation industry and warehousing. Prisons & probation industry is big. I do medical and stay very busy. We have homeless, illegals and areas you should leave by 5PM when darkness arrives. No time to find edible plants& trap rats. Fortunately I can barter fir food for some medical services. A lot of infections, diabetics, plus addiction and patients on meds for mental difficulties . You are privileged to vacation and not work. Put your home in your car or buy a RV . Travel is a luxury.

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