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

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