100 Books to Rebuild Civilization

April 20th, 2015  / Author: G.L. Breedon

end of the world books


Okay, so my definition of soon is a little askew.

I had intended to start posting my lists of books that I would select to rebuild civilization (See previous post), but while I did start the research for the list, I got distracted with editing the new novel and never got around to posting anything. The good news is that I have managed the second draft of the first six episodes. Some 215,000 words or so. Need to finish the final episode in the next week if I can. Then on to the editors and proofer and the beta readers and then the proofer again. I’m hoping to start publishing the first three episodes for free in August or September. One each month before releasing the full novel. There’s still a decent amount of work to be done. Interstitial and end matter to write. Need to figure out the maps. Etc.

Anyway, below is the list of 100 books I’d choose to bury in my backyard to restart civilization come the nanobot apocalypse. It wasn’t as much fun as I had assumed it would be. It’s actually quite a bit of work to figure out what 100 books to include. I’d guess I’ve read or own around a quarter of these titles. The other choices are based on researching what seemed appropriate and well regarded. As you’ll see, I’m a big fan of books from DK Publishing. I have a ridiculously large stack of them on my shelves.

I’d planned on posting these as separate lists with some notes on each selection, but honestly, not only do I not have time for that if I want to finish the editing, I’ve lost interest in it. So here is the full list all at once.

100 Books to Rebuild Civilization


Science: The Definitive Visual Guide DK Publishing

Cosmos Carl Sagan

A Short History of Nearly Everything Bill Bryson

Knowledge Encyclopedia DK Publishing

Universe DK Publishing

Ocean DK Publishing

Animal DK Publishing

Human DK Publishing

The Complete Human Body DK Publishing

1001 Inventions That Changed the World Jack Challoner (Editor)



McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Science & Technology Mcgraw Hill

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Chemistry Mcgraw Hill

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Physics Mcgraw Hill

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Engineering Mcgraw Hill

American Medical Association Complete Medical Encyclopedia American Medical Association

Scientific American: Science Desk Reference Scientific American

Philosophy of Science: An Historical Anthology Timothy McGrew

Philosophy of Science: An Anthology Marc Lange

The Random House Encyclopedia Random Hosue

National Geographic Global Atlas National Geographic

The CIA World Factbook The CIA


Practical Living

The Knowledge  Lewis Dartnell

The Foxfire Book Eliot Wigginton (editor)

The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It John Seymour (editor)

Prescription for Nutritional Healing Phyllis A. Balch CNC

How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It James Wesley Rawles

Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival Dave Canterbury

Complete Illustrated Guide to Furniture & Cabinet Construction Andy Rae

A Dictionary of Construction, Surveying, and Civil Engineering Christopher Gorse (editor)

Introduction to Law Beth Walston-Dunham



A study of History (the First Abridged One-Volume edition) Illustrated Arnold Toynbee

History: The Definitive Visual Guide Adam Hart-Davis (DK Publishing)

Timelines of History DK Publishing

The History of the World J. M. Roberts

The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers Paul Kennedy

From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life 1500 to the Present Jacques Barzun

The Discoverers Daniel J. Boorstin

Africa in World History Erik T. Gilbert & Jonathan T. Reynolds

A History of Asia Rhoads Murphey

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Warfare DK Publishing



The Story of Philosophy Will Durant

Passion of the Western Mind Richard Tarnas

The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination Daniel J. Boorstin

Story of Philosophy Bryan Magee

World Philosophies Ninian Smart

Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion Ingrid Fischer-Schreiber & Franz-Karl Ehrhard

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy Ted Honderich (Editor)

Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings John Perry (Editor) & Michael Bratman (Editor)

Philosophy for the 21st Century: A Comprehensive Reader Steven M. Cahn (Editor)

Ideas That Changed the World Felipe Fernandez-Armesto


Religion & Spirituality

Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings Michael Peterson (Editor)

World Religions: The Great Faiths Explored & Explained John Bowker

The World’s Wisdom: Sacred Texts of the World’s Religions Philip Novak

The Portable World Bible Robert O. Ballou (Editor)

The Perennial Philosophy Aldous Huxley

World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts Andrew Wilson (Editor)

Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution Ken Wilber

The Soul’s Religion Thomas Moore

Gifts of the Spirit: Living the Wisdom of the Great Religious Traditions Philip Zaleski & Paul Kaufman

World Mythology the Illustrated Guide Roy Willis


Art & Architecture

Art: A World History DK Publishing

Great Architecture of the World John Julius Norwich (Editor)

Eyewitness Companions: Architecture Jonathan Glancey

A World History of Architecture Michael Fazio & Marian Moffett

Art That Changed the World DK Publishing

Art: Over 2,500 Works from Cave to Contemporary Andrew Graham-Dixon

Art Today Edward Lucie-Smith

The Lives of the Artists Giorgio Vasari

Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style DK Publishing

History of Design: Decorative Arts and Material Culture, 1400–2000 Pat Kirkham (Editor) & Susan Weber (Editor)



The Norton Anthology of World Literature vol. 1 Martin Puchner (Editor)

The Norton Anthology of World Literature vol. 2 Martin Puchner (Editor)

Masterpieces of World Literature Frank N. Magill

Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature by Merriam-Webster & Encyclopedia Britannica

An Anthology of Indian Literature John B.Alphonso- Karkala (Editor)

The Columbia Anthology of Traditional Chinese Literature Victor H. Mair (Editor)

In Search of Lost Time Marcel Proust

Ulysses James Joyce

Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes

War and Peace Leo Tolstoy



William Shakespeare: The Complete Works William Shakespeare

The Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre John Russell Brown (Editor)

The Norton Anthology of Drama J. Ellen Gainor (Editor)

World Drama: An Anthology, Vol. 1: Ancient Greece, Rome, India, China, Japan, Medieval Europe, and England Barrett H. Clark (Editor)

World Drama: An Anthology, Vol. 2: Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Denmark, Russia, and Norway Barrett H. Clark (Editor)

American Drama: Colonial to Contemporary Stephen Watt (Editor), Gary A. Richardson (Editor)

Stagecraft Fundamentals Second Edition: A Guide and Reference for Theatrical Production Rita Kogler Carver

The Reader’s Encyclopedia of World Drama John Gassner(Editor), Edward Quinn(Editor)

The Oxford Companion to Theatre and Performance Dennis Kennedy(Author)

The Longman Anthology of Drama and Theater: A Global Perspective, Compact Edition Michael L. Greenwald (Editor) and Roger Schultz (Editor)


Poetry & Music & Film

Classical Music John Burrows

Music DK Publishing

Eyewitness Companions: Opera Alan Riding

The Film Book Ronald Bergan

The Story of Film Mark Cousins

World Poetry: An Anthology of Verse from Antiquity to Our Time Clifton Fadiman (Editor)

The Norton Anthology of Poetry Margaret Ferguson(Editor), Mary Jo Salter(Editor),

The Giant Book of Poetry William Roetzheim

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics Roland Greene (Editor) and Stephen Cushman (Editor)

Love Poem Collection: The Greatest Love Poems of All Time George Chityil

100 Books to Rebuild Civilization in 10 Categories

February 5th, 2015  / Author: G.L. Breedon

end of the world books

Been too busy for blogging of late. The day job ate up too much time and I’d much prefer to spend the remaining time with my wife or editing The Pilgrim Star than writing a blog. The editing is going far slower than I’d hoped. With the holidays and the workload of the last job, I have hardly managed any editing in December and January. However, Episode 1 is done and I’m halfway through editing episode 2. I had hoped to have the novel out this summer, but I now think I’ll be lucky to get it out by September or October. But, I’m fine with that. I’d rather take my time and be completely satisfied with the result than rush to meet an arbitrary deadline.

I’m hoping the workload of the current job will allow time for blogging and writing. I have a little thought experiment I think would make a good series of blog posts.

A few months ago I came across an article about The Long Now Foundation and the Manual for Civilization library they are creating:

The Manual for Civilization is a crowd-curated collection of the 3500 books you would most want to sustain or rebuild civilization. It is also the library at The Interval, with about 1000 books on shelves floor-to-ceiling throughout the space. We are about a third of the way done with compiling the list and acquiring selected the titles.

We have a set of four categories to guide selections:
Cultural Canon: Great works of literature, nonfiction, poetry, philosophy, etc
Mechanics of Civilization: Technical knowledge, to build and understand things
Rigorous Science Fiction: Speculative stories about potential futures
Long-term Thinking, Futurism, and relevant history (Books on how to think about the future that may include surveys of the past)

There are already several lists of book from well-known writers to add to the library.

Reading the lists, I became possessed of the desire to create my own list of books to rebuild civilization after some unspecified apocalypse. I’ve decided to limit the number of books on my list to 100. 100 Actual books that you could go and buy and bury in your backyard. About what you can easily store in a well-sealed oil drum. And while I’ve reduced the number of books on my list, I’ve expanded the number of categories. They are:

100 Books to Rebuild Civilization in 10 Categories of 10 Books Each

  1. Science
  2. Reference
  3. Practical Living
  4. History
  5. Art
  6. Religion
  7. Literature
  8. Drama
  9. Poetry
  10. Philosophy

The plan is to devote one blog to each section of suggested books with explanations for why I selected each one. A list like this is inevitably a personal projection of preferences and fears. What do I value? What do I think should be the basis for rebuilding a civilization from scratch? What do I think constitutes civilization? What books do I know well enough to suggest? I noticed that some the books lists for the Manual of Civilization library read more like lists of personal favorites than serious lists of what a future people trying to rebuild a world civilization from the ashes might need to read. I’m planning on making my lists as practical as possible, but personal quirks will naturally them questionable in some sections.

It’s a fun thought experiment that I can work on as time allows between the day job and editing the novel. I’ll post the first one soon.

Writing Update

November 14th, 2014  / Author: G.L. Breedon



(Placeholder cover for the new novel until my wife and I have time to design a new one.)

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a chance to blog. While working on the new novel, I simply didn’t have the time, and then the day job resumed and ate up even more time.

The first draft of the new novel is finished and I’m working on editing. It’s called The Pilgrim Star and is the first installment of an epic sword and sorcery opera called The Realms of Shadow and Grace. The novel is written in seven episodes, each between 30-45,000 words long. The whole thing around 255,000 words just now, although I expect it to grow a bit as I add some supplementary material.

I’ve been thinking about and plotting this novel for the past three years while working on the YA books (The Wizard of Time & The Young Sorcerer’s Guild). It’s nice to finally be telling a story for adults on a large canvas.

I’d always planned on writing the story in large episode-like chapters, but wasn’t sure how to proceed. I envisioned some cross between Lost and Lord of the Rings. However, the success of the guys at Sterling and Stone in writing episode based fiction, structured like the episodes of a TV show, convinced me it was not only possible, but the best way to tell the story I had in mind. I’d describe it now more as Lost meets Game of Thrones. By which I mean it has a large cast with seven story arenas, and that while each episode features a primary and secondary storyline, every story arena gets some page time in each episode. In some ways a better comparison is Game of Thrones the Novel meets Game of Thrones the TV Show.

Reading the fourth and fifth GOT novels also provided inspiration. While I enjoyed the story, by the time I got to the end of the 800+ pages of the fourth novel only to discover that many of my favorite characters had not made an appearance, I felt cheated. I decided that there must be a way to tell a complicated story with a large cast on a vast scale, and still always find stage time for all the storylines. I think I’ve managed to do that.

Below is a brief synopsis of the story.

The Pilgrim Star (The Realms of Shadow and Grace – Book 1 – Episodes 1-7)

Tens of thousands of humans and other peoples throughout the realms are dreaming the same dream of the birth of a new star — a dream that foretells the resurrection of an ancient temple and heralds the arrival of a new god — a dream that instigates a pilgrimage to the Forbidden Realm and sparks a religious war that engulfs the lives of seven groups of unique people.

A priestess abandons her temple and faith to become a prophet and lead a pilgrimage across nations and oceans in search of the new god who speaks in her dreams and through her voice.

A prince turned monk must assume the throne of a dominion breaking under the weight of decades of sectarian religious war with its neighbors.

A seer, a woman able to perceive the true nature of reality and bend it to her will, finds herself in possession of an ancient book written in an unknown language and pursed by those who will kill to possess it.

A man with demons in his past, hiding in the woods, finds himself protecting a woman and a young girl from a band of soldiers intent on killing them both for reasons they will not divulge.

A scholar from a reptile like species called the Rakthor travels with a band of pilgrims carrying a stolen ancient mechanical artifact of the Urris, the first people of the world, the ones who enforce the ban on all who would attempt to enter the Forbidden Realm.

Three non-human scouts from three different realms hide within a carnival as it follows a band of pilgrims. The scouts try to discern the meaning of the dreams, the prophetess, the pilgrims, and what they all imply for the rulers of their respective lands.  When the group of travelers is caught between the armies of the sectarian religious war, they must abandon their mission in order to save a town and their fellow travelers.

An incredibly old man who cannot seem to die awakens each day in a different place in the world, drawn inexplicably to important people and events that he diligently records in a small, leather-bound book which always contains another empty page. The old man always awakens alone, no matter who might have been nearby the night before – until the day he wakes to find the young, mute boy he met the night before has traveled with him.

As pilgrims heading for the western coast of the Iron Realm risk murder at the hands of militias hunting heretics and bandits seeking easy prey, nations will go to war over long held personal and religious feuds and a new god will make herself felt in the world through inexplicable miracles. The high will fall, the low will rise, the sun will bleed, and the moons will weep as turmoil engulfs the whole of Onaia in The Reams of Shadow and Grace.


Obviously that’s a little wordy for the book blurb, but I figure I’m got a few months to whittle it down a bit. At this point, I’m hoping that I can manage to edit one episode a month. I’m not yet certain if I’ll release the individual episodes before I’m happy with all of them. I’m also not entirely certain what sort of release pattern I’ll eventually adopt.

Anyhoo – that’s what I’ve been up to. Writing and then working the day job and trying to edit at night. I’m also in the final proofing stages for my nonfiction book The Alchemy of World and Soul. I’m hoping to have it out at the end of the year or the beginning of 2015.

And hopefully I’ll find some time for actually blogging in the next few months.

The Wizard of Time Trilogy: Windsor Castle

September 19th, 2014  / Author: G.L. Breedon



The Wizard of Time Trilogy: Windsor Castle

With the completion of the Wizard of Time Trilogy, I thought it would be fun to create a page about Windsor Castle, the home of the Council of Magic and Gabriel’s new home as the series begins. The new pages lives here.



The Wizard of Time Trilogy on Sale for $.99 Sept. 13-14

September 12th, 2014  / Author: G.L. Breedon

WOT Trilogy_ebook_1400


The Wizard of Time Trilogy will be on sale at Amazon September 13-14 for the ridiculously low price of $.99. If you haven’t picked up the second and third books in the series, now is a chance to do so at a greatly reduced price.


The Wizard of Time Trilogy at Amazon for $.99

The Wizard of Time Trilogy in One Ebook

August 9th, 2014  / Author: G.L. Breedon

WOT Trilogy_ebook_1400

I’ve been too busy to blog of late. Working hard on the next novel — an Epic Sword and Sorcery story called The Pilgrim Star, part of a new series of adult oriented fantasy novels. However, I did want to let those who might be interested know that I have released The Wizard of Time Trilogy as a single ebook. Currently it is only on Amazon, but it will be available at other retailers in a few months. If you haven’t purchased the sequels to book one yet, now is good time to do so at a reduced price.

The Wizard of Time Trilogy at Amazon for $4.99 (A $4 savings on the entire series).

Time Travel Miscellany

July 2nd, 2014  / Author: G.L. Breedon


The Edge of Eternity (The Wizard of Time – Book 3) currently available here:

Barnes & Noble
ibooks and Google Play: Coming Soon


Time Travel Miscellany

To compliment the release third and final Wizard of Time novel (The Edge of Eternity) here is the last installment of my time travel posts. I’ve previously posted lists of famous time travel short stories, novels, films, and TV shows.

Below is a short list of some of the most interesting time travel nonfiction books, websites, and concepts.

Time Travel Books:

The Time Travelers’ Handbook: A Wild, Wacky, and Wooly Adventure Through History! by Lottie Stride

Time Travel: A Writer’s Guide to the Real Science of Plausible Time Travel by Paul Nahin

How to Build a Time Machine: The Real Science of Time Travel by Brian Clegg

So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel by Phil Hornshaw


Time Travel Ideas:

Time Travel Explained

Predestination Paradox

Ontological Paradox

Grandfather Paradox


Fascinating Time Travel Art 

Photographer Chino Otsuka has a series of wonderful photos from her childhood that she has inserted herself into in time traveler fashion.

Photographer Flora Borsi does something similar with more famous people and places.

MaryDoodles has a very interesting Dr. Who smashup time-lapse video that needs to be watched, as explaining it is far too hard.



The Edge of Eternity (The Wizard of Time – Book 3) Available Now

July 1st, 2014  / Author: G.L. Breedon


The Edge of Eternity (The Wizard of Time – Book 3) Available Now!

Good News Fellow Time Mages,

The Edge of Eternity (The Wizard of Time – Book 3) is now available as an ebook!

It will be out in print next week.

It is currently available as an ebook from the following bookstores.


Barnes & Noble


ibooks and Google Play: Coming Soon

Here’s a brief synopsis:

The Edge of Eternity – The Climactic Finale of The Wizard of Time Trilogy

As he nears his sixteenth birthday, Gabriel Salvador becomes more central than ever to the War of Time and Magic.

When the fate of the entire continuum is threatened by the plans of malignant mages, Gabriel must figure out how to protect the girl he loves while defending the timeline of history from utter destruction.

From the Great Wall of China in 1644, to the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, to the deep past of the Paleozoic Era and the palaces of a dark alternate world, Gabriel battles against impossible odds to decisively end the war in this final adventure of The Wizard of Time.


I hope you enjoy the conclusion to the trilogy. I had a great time writing it. If you like it, please consider writing a review at your place of purchase or at Goodreads.com


G.L. Breedon

Famous Time TV Shows

June 30th, 2014  / Author: G.L. Breedon

Time Travel TV

Famous Time TV Shows 

In anticipation of the impending release of the third and final Wizard of Time novel (The Edge of Eternity) I thought it would be fun and informative to post a few helpful lists of famous time travel short stories, novels, books, art, TV Shows, and films.

Below is a short list of some of the most famous time travel TV shows:

Doctor Who (1963– Present)

The Time Tunnel (1966–1967)

Voyagers! (1982–1983)

Quantum Leap (1989–1993)

Life on Mars (2006–2007)

Journeyman (2007)

Primeval (2007– 2011)

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008-2009)

Terra Nova (2011)

Continuum (2012– Present)

To read the unpublished prologue or the first two chapters of The Edge of Eternity (The Wizard of Time – Book 3) follow these links:


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Famous Time Travel Films

June 29th, 2014  / Author: G.L. Breedon

Time Travel Movies

Famous Time Travel Films 

In anticipation of the impending release of the third and final Wizard of Time novel (The Edge of Eternity), I thought it would be fun and informative to post a few helpful lists of famous time travel short stories, novels, books, art, TV Shows, and films.

Below is a short list of some of the most famous time travel films:

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, 1949

The Time Machine, 1960

Planet of the Apes, 1968

Time After Time, 1979

Somewhere in Time, 1980

Time Bandits, 1981

The Terminator, 1984

The Philadelphia Experiment, 1984

Back to the Future, 1985

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, 1986

Peggy Sue Got Married, 1986

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, 1989

Groundhog Day, 1993

Timecop, 1994

Twelve Monkeys, 1995

Donnie Darko, 2001

Primer, 2004

The Edge of Eternity (The Wizard of Time – Book 3) comes out July 1st.

To read the unpublished prologue or the first two chapters of The Edge of Eternity (The Wizard of Time – Book 3) follow these links:


Chapter One

Chapter Two