Top 5 Sat: Survival Themed Books

Hi all!

Welcome to another Top 5 Saturday Reads meme. It was created by the lovely Mandy over at Devouring Books as a way to share books that we would love to read. This week’s topic isBooks with a Survival Theme.

When Nen and I read the topic for this week we had a complete mental blank! When you think survival the first thing that came to our minds was The Hunger Games but Nen had already read them. Finding books we wanted to read was a nice challenge. Once we realised it could be about any form of survival things became easier. Here are five that are near the top of our TBR lists!

Here they are:

When Breath Becomes Air – At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. A profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living? Need we say more?? As a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize it’s a guaranteed good read and ultimate sob fest.

Educated – Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag”. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home. This book comes highly recommended to us and is one we’re really keen to try. Education is dear to our hearts and puts this book near the top of our TBR lists!

The Martian – Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Jen’s obsession with this movie (and Matt Damon) has put this book on our radar for a LONG while now. Who can resist Matt Damon though?!

Vox – Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter. On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed to speak more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial—this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her. This is just the beginning. We can’t imagine ever living in a scenario such as this and surviving with so little freedom of expression. The deeper themes in this book have us highly anticipating it!

Children of Blood and Bone – They killed my mother. They took our magic. They tried to bury us. Now we rise. Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. We’ve read so many good reviews about this book and it’s been on our TBR lists for months. Not only is the cover stunning but Nen’s love of magic in books has this one high up on our lists!

// have you read any of these books? what were your thoughts on them? //

Nen & Jen

24 thoughts on “Top 5 Sat: Survival Themed Books

  1. Ahhh I love your choices and how you got creative with the topic. There’s always freedom for interpretation!!! Vox was SOOO good and definitely a great feminist novel. I have my eyes on her upcoming book for my TBR I think it’s called Master Class.

    I have also seen Educated on the best seller table at work for weeks now and I haven’t even really looked at it but I am curious as to why its generating so much attention!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love having fun with the topics 😀 I’m not really one to read memoirs but Educated has come so highly recommended by multiple people whose opinions on books are usually very similar to my own so I’m keen to give it a try!! Vox has been on my list since its release last year and it looks so good. I haven’t read a strong feminist view point in a while 🙂 Jen


      • I didnt even realize that Educated was a memoir!! Vox is one of my all time favorite feminist novels. It was sooo good. I’m excited to read her latest book if I can get my hands on a copy. Glad you keep joining it’s been a lot of fun seeing everyone’s choices and getting to know everyone a bit better

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve had so many people recommend Tara Westover’s book to me lately. I HAVE to give it a try to see what all of the hype is about 😛 I’m keen to try Children of God and Bone! Jen

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have read both Educated and The Martian.
    Educated is an incredibly fascinating read but my overriding memory of the book is that Westover needed to let a few more years pass behind writing it. It was as if she was too close to the trauma to fully understand it, to take in the impact it had on her life and to be able to properly apportion blame for her traumas…. still an interesting read though.
    As for The Martian this is one of the very few times that I say the film is better. Matt Damon imbues the lead character with a lot more emotion and heart than the writing portrays in the book. I would also suggest giving consideration to listening to the audiobook as the narrator, much like Damon in the film, gives this book the necessary character it’s missing. The science in the book properly irked me. It was too flippant, incomplete… If you’re going to write *science* make it so the physics doesn’t utterly scream laughably unrealistic.


  3. I also thought about this one as more than just Bear Grylls style survival although I had a few of those on my list too 😂 I’ve read two of these books and I was a little ‘meh’ with both of them but I’m hoping to read Educated this month for #nonfictionnovember! Great picks you two! 💜


  4. omg when breath becomes air sounds so so good but heavy as hellll. i would love to read it but i’m sure i’ll be reduced to a sobbing mess lmao.
    i loved your take on this so much.


  5. Children of Blood and Bone is on my tbr, I would like to read it because I’ve heard it’s really good.
    When Breath Becomes Air is also on my tbr, but I’ve heard it’s so sad that it’s still not my priority, until I’m ready!


    • I haven’t read them either 😛 I can’t wait to give them a try though! My poor TBR is ridiculously long. I’m considering making a short month to month one to catch up better 😀 Jen

      Liked by 1 person

    • I love the movie (Matt Damon ❤ ) but I haven't read the book yet. I'm thinking of treating myself to a whole bunch of books during Christmas…it's the perfect incentive to catch up on my TBR 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m really looking forward to reading The Martian as it’s had a lot of acclaim and positive reviews. I loved the film with Matt Damon but haven’t had a chance to read the book yet (my TBR is insane 😛 ). Here’s to hoping I get a chance to read it before 2020!


    • It wasn’t exactly intentional but they’re definitely some hyped books! We’re super keen to give them a try and see if they meet our expectations 😀 It probably won’t happen before 2020 though haha


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