counter The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life (Audiobook) - Free Download Books
Hot Best Seller

The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life (Audiobook)

Availability: Ready to download

Publisher's Summary We are a nation battered every day by stories about horrific calamities, tragic events, frightening statistics. Inevitably, our thoughts turn personal and we wonder if we have what it takes to get through when the worst is thrown our way. While there are plenty of books about coping with adversity, it isn't until now, with The Survivors Club, that we dis Publisher's Summary We are a nation battered every day by stories about horrific calamities, tragic events, frightening statistics. Inevitably, our thoughts turn personal and we wonder if we have what it takes to get through when the worst is thrown our way. While there are plenty of books about coping with adversity, it isn't until now, with The Survivors Club, that we discover the human factors that determine survival. It's a combination instruction manual and security blanket that blends compelling true stories with cutting-edge science to deliver some of the most important lessons we'll ever need to learn. This audiobook will: # List the most important traits necessary for survival (fear is #1) # Identify the five types of survivors # Debunk myths (like only the strong survive), explore the frontiers of survival science (How much strain and punishment can a human body endure?), and introduce listeners to counterintuitive thinking (Ever heard of posttraumatic growth?). # Provide a Survivors Tool Kit, including an online test that measures one's Survivor's Quotient Each one of us eventually joins the club of millions who face life's inescapable tribulations and tragedies. The Survivors Club is the companion we need to prepare us for and guide us through the worst. ©2009 Ben Sherwood; (P)2009 Hachette Audio


Compare

Publisher's Summary We are a nation battered every day by stories about horrific calamities, tragic events, frightening statistics. Inevitably, our thoughts turn personal and we wonder if we have what it takes to get through when the worst is thrown our way. While there are plenty of books about coping with adversity, it isn't until now, with The Survivors Club, that we dis Publisher's Summary We are a nation battered every day by stories about horrific calamities, tragic events, frightening statistics. Inevitably, our thoughts turn personal and we wonder if we have what it takes to get through when the worst is thrown our way. While there are plenty of books about coping with adversity, it isn't until now, with The Survivors Club, that we discover the human factors that determine survival. It's a combination instruction manual and security blanket that blends compelling true stories with cutting-edge science to deliver some of the most important lessons we'll ever need to learn. This audiobook will: # List the most important traits necessary for survival (fear is #1) # Identify the five types of survivors # Debunk myths (like only the strong survive), explore the frontiers of survival science (How much strain and punishment can a human body endure?), and introduce listeners to counterintuitive thinking (Ever heard of posttraumatic growth?). # Provide a Survivors Tool Kit, including an online test that measures one's Survivor's Quotient Each one of us eventually joins the club of millions who face life's inescapable tribulations and tragedies. The Survivors Club is the companion we need to prepare us for and guide us through the worst. ©2009 Ben Sherwood; (P)2009 Hachette Audio

30 review for The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life (Audiobook)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melki

    Though reading this book gave me the same sort of dirty, guilty feeling that I get if caught gawking at a car accident, I have to admit, most of it was pretty fascinating. This title consists of matter-of-fact essays that tell the amazing stories of ordinary people who have defied the odds and survived unbelievable accidents. Interviews with plane crash survivors, a young man who lived after jumping off the Golden Gate bridge, a woman attacked by a mountain lion, another who punctured her heart Though reading this book gave me the same sort of dirty, guilty feeling that I get if caught gawking at a car accident, I have to admit, most of it was pretty fascinating. This title consists of matter-of-fact essays that tell the amazing stories of ordinary people who have defied the odds and survived unbelievable accidents. Interviews with plane crash survivors, a young man who lived after jumping off the Golden Gate bridge, a woman attacked by a mountain lion, another who punctured her heart with a knitting needle, and the most astonishing - a man who survived ejecting from a jet going faster than the speed of sound. The book should be viewed mainly as a series of interesting case studies, rather than a survival guide. Most of the factors that determine survival are intangibles you can do nothing about - your age, personality, and the severity of your injuries. As in all of life, it helps if you are fit and healthy. And if you are in a plane crash? It's best if you are a male. A strong family life, will to live, religious faith, and determination are all mentioned as assets shared by survivors. I made note of the Japanese saying Fall down seven times, stand up eight as a new mantra to chant in times of crisis. There's also plenty of conflicting information. During WWII, POW's were most likely to survive if they were pessimists, whereas Holocaust survivors tended to be optimists. Perhaps Elie Wiesel offered the best explanation. "Chance" he whispered. "It was chance. That is all." The book includes a link to a website where the reader can take a survivor quiz.* I was not surprised to see that I have a "well-defined survivor personality." I kind of already knew that, as I decided long ago, I am not leaving this planet BEFORE my mother-in-law does. That thought is all I need to get me through any emergency. *NOTE: The link to the quiz has expired. Buyer beware.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mauri

    When I started off, I couldn't put this book down. Then I started skimming because the relentless press of survivor stories got a little old, plus I was looking forward to taking the Survivor Profiler test at the end. Well, it's not going to happen, since the test isn't actually in the book - it's online and you access it with a code printed on the inside of the dust-jacket. Just one problem: I got my book from the library and while I'm probably only the second or third person to read this partic When I started off, I couldn't put this book down. Then I started skimming because the relentless press of survivor stories got a little old, plus I was looking forward to taking the Survivor Profiler test at the end. Well, it's not going to happen, since the test isn't actually in the book - it's online and you access it with a code printed on the inside of the dust-jacket. Just one problem: I got my book from the library and while I'm probably only the second or third person to read this particular copy, someone beat me to the code. What a rip-off. I don't see why the test couldn't have been provided in the book. I feel cheated after looking forward to it for over 300 pages.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Moni Smith

    I really liked the first few chapters. In fact, I couldn't put it down. I spent all of yesterday reading this book. I have been drawn to stories of survival and have read a few books about people who have survived harrowing experiences (One of my favorites being "Dead Lucky" by Lincoln Hall). However, I got to the chapter on faith and was completely turned off. According to the author and his research, faith in God is one of the determining factors on whether or not you survive something. His exa I really liked the first few chapters. In fact, I couldn't put it down. I spent all of yesterday reading this book. I have been drawn to stories of survival and have read a few books about people who have survived harrowing experiences (One of my favorites being "Dead Lucky" by Lincoln Hall). However, I got to the chapter on faith and was completely turned off. According to the author and his research, faith in God is one of the determining factors on whether or not you survive something. His examples were very, very Christian-centric and that really bothered me. I decided halfway through this chapter that I didn't want to finish the book. However, I did take his "survivor profile." Ironically, I have the survivor personality of "Believer." ha! And I suppose this is true. I do believe in something greater than ourselves and have drawn upon this my entire life. When I was younger I viewed this as God. Now that I'm older I have a more universal view of it. I lean more toward Zen Buddhism in my belief at this stage in my life and what I used to call "God" I now see as something bigger and more universal. Regardless if my beliefs, The question that kept running through my mind as I read this was, "who cares?" Why should I spend my life worrying about whether I will survive a horrifying experience? Is it even important? I find it much more liberating to experience life as it comes and deal with situations as they arise than to spend time worrying about whether I will get impaled by a knitting needle, or attacked by a mountain lion. Or even getting in a car wreck, for that matter. My thought is that if it is my time to die than so be it. Death is a part of life. There is no shame in dying if it is your time.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    How do you rate books like this? Seriously, do you rate it based on content alone or do you rate it based on the synopsis? It is hard to describe this book without fully knowing what the author intentions were. Regarding my last update, the author did say that this book attempted to answer the questions why others were survivors or not. Yet this book felt like the author was just going over the surface area, if that makes sense. In other words, instead of explaining why some survived tragic enco How do you rate books like this? Seriously, do you rate it based on content alone or do you rate it based on the synopsis? It is hard to describe this book without fully knowing what the author intentions were. Regarding my last update, the author did say that this book attempted to answer the questions why others were survivors or not. Yet this book felt like the author was just going over the surface area, if that makes sense. In other words, instead of explaining why some survived tragic encounters and others died, he just merely talked about the incidents. Not a solution as to why, just how their tragic story developed. My main problem with self-help books or books like this is when the author does a poor job justifying life happenings. Some things happen are not scientific or even 'faith' based, alot of it is natural causes ( a term I rarely use, cause I hate how it sounds), but to explain everything as a social phenomenon is pushing it. Did I like it? Ehh, it was underwhelming to say the least, I did not finish it when I saw the direction it was gong. Why the three stars? Mainly cause I MIGHT go back to it in the future, possibly I missed something.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Read this ages ago. If I kept it, I want to do a re-read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Book Overview The subtitle of the book, "The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life," pretty much sums up what this book is about—learning about what it takes to survive and determining what type of survivor you might be. The first part of the book is devoted to exploring different survival scenarios and examining why ordinary people ended up surviving in extraordinary circumstances. As Sherwood relays these stories—ranging from plane crash survivors to Holocaust survivors to a bicyclist wh Book Overview The subtitle of the book, "The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life," pretty much sums up what this book is about—learning about what it takes to survive and determining what type of survivor you might be. The first part of the book is devoted to exploring different survival scenarios and examining why ordinary people ended up surviving in extraordinary circumstances. As Sherwood relays these stories—ranging from plane crash survivors to Holocaust survivors to a bicyclist who lived after getting crushed by a twenty-one-ton truck—he calls in various scientists, researchers and medical experts to weigh in on what it was that allowed these people to survive and why so many others perish in similar circumstances (a hint: they freeze up). Some of the key findings that Sherwood discovered are: * Taking action quickly plays a large part in determining whether you will live or die in a survival situation. * Awareness of your surroundings affects your chances of survival. * Faith in a higher power can make a difference in whether you live or die. * Luck isn't really luck; it is a mindset. * Fear can be helpful if you use it correctly. * The will to live makes a tremendous difference in whether you will survive or not. * Sometimes circumstances make all the difference; but your mental attitude can play a factor too. * Resiliency in the face of repeated adversity is a factor in increasing your survival odds. * The ability to adapt increases your chances of survival. The second part of the book is devoted to helping readers discover their survivor personality, which can be determined via an online survey called the Survivor Profiler. The survey takes about 15 minutes and will tell you what type of survivor personality you have and your strongest and weakest traits. When I took the quiz, I ended up being a Thinker, with my strongest survival traits being adaptability, hope and flow. It was interesting to read about the different types of survivor personalities and how different character traits can make the difference in whether someone will survive or not. The book includes two appendices, an extensive list of notes about where the author obtained his information, and an index. My Thoughts This book is both terrifying and comforting at the same time. The book is terrifying because you realize just how many ways there are to die that you have probably never thought about. One such story is that of Ellin Klor, who ended up in her survival situation by walking up some stairs to go to a knitting group. That's right ... just walking up some stairs! As she was walking up the stairs, she tripped and fell in such a way that a knitting needle pierced her heart. It was, as they say, a "one in a million shot." Luckily for Ellin, trauma surgeons were able to put her back together. Yet her survival story didn't end there. As a result of the knitting needle incident, doctors detected breast cancer thanks to the CT scans that were taken during her hospital stay. Thanks to early detection (which wouldn't have happened if the knitting needle hadn't punctured her heart), the doctors were able to remove the cancer before it spread. So, in a very real way, the knitting needle ended up saving Ellin's life! The book is comforting because you read, over and over again, about ordinary people who end up surviving what experts thought was unsurvivable. And it is from their stories that Sherwood begins to draw out the personality traits and lessons we can all use to increase our own chances of survival. One of the things I learned is that awareness of your surroundings can make or break you in a time of crisis. After reading this book, I flew on a cross-country plane trip. It was like an entirely new experience for me. Instead of reading or dozing through the safety talk, I listened to it. I reviewed the safety card with my Little One, and we both practiced our crash position. We located the closest exits, checked for our flotation devices and identified the locations of the life rafts. Although we didn't need to use this information (and the chapter points out repeatedly how safe flying really is, statistically speaking), I did feel like we were more prepared in case something had happened during the flight. You cannot read this book without wondering what your own reaction would be in a survival situation. Would you be the person who freezes up and ends up dying when you didn't have to? Or would you be the person who quickly realizes what is happening and takes action to save your own life? As Sherwood discovers, so much of what makes the difference between life or death is contained in your mental attitude—your will to live, your faith in a higher power, your awareness of your surroundings. I've always thought I would end up panicking in an emergency situation, but when I think back on my life, I realize that might not be true. The only "life or death" situation I've experienced was when I went whitewater canoeing for the first time at age 12. On the last rapid of the day (which was the fastest yet), we had to navigate our canoe through a series of rapids avoiding rocks throughout. At the end, we had to shoot off a small waterfall (about 3 to 4 foot high) and end up in the river below. The guide reviewed our safety procedures with us before we went in the event that we capsized—follow the flow of the river, do not struggle, climb onto a rock, and don't panic. The guide took me and my mother down together. The whole ride down was a blur until the end when we shot off the waterfall and capsized. I remember that I didn't panic—I let myself bob to the surface and faced downstream. I saw a huge rock so I climbed on top of it. Meanwhile, my mother was floating downstream screaming for me. The guide saw me perched on the rock and told me to stay there and that he would come back down and get me. Well, the guide tried about four or five times to get to me but each time was a failure—mostly because to get to the rock I was on, you would have to bring the canoe to a dead-stop after rocketing off the waterfall. Eventually, everyone realized it couldn't be done so they told me to climb back in the river and float down to my parents. I remember when I was in the water after we capsized that I didn't panic once. I kept repeating to myself what the guide had said and did everything he had told me to do. They said that I was up and out of the water and onto that rock very quickly. It was only AFTER I was safe that I started feeling afraid. At the actual moment of crisis, I was calm and came through for myself. Thankfully, I've not been tested in quite this way again, but I hope that this calmness I experienced in the past is still a part of my survivor response! Here are some other "fun" tips to help you survive that I learned in the book. * If you are going to fall from a great height, it is best to be drunk. (You'll be more relaxed.) * If you are prone to having heart attacks, you would do well to hang out in Las Vegas casinos, where the survival rate for cardiac arrests is more than 50% (much higher than in hospitals). * If you want to get reluctant churchgoers to attend church, tell them that people who attend church regularly live longer than those who don't. * Righties live longer than lefties. (I didn't care for this stat as I am left-handed myself. However, I hope my stubbornness and will to live shall overcome this little "handicap.") * If you get lost in the woods, just stay where you are. * There is a bristlecone pine tree in California that is 4,650 years old. OK ... that won't help you survive, but that is kind of neat to know, isn't it? And, if you ever needed an excuse to NOT wear pantyhose on an airplane, Sherwood provides the data you need: in case of a fire, they will melt onto your skin! For that matter, let's just not wear pantyhose EVER! My Final Recommendation If you like reading about amazing survival stories, this book is like catnip! It contains numerous survival stories that are fascinating. The added bonus is the practical information that Sherwood provides so that we can all learn from the lessons of these survivors. When I first received the book, I was mostly interested in the survival stories. In the end, I think I ended up learning quite a bit more, and it gave me food for thought on how my mental attitude can literally affect whether I'll live or die. I think most people will find this book interesting and useful. And, who knows, what you learn might someday help save your life!

  7. 5 out of 5

    McKenzie/literarydragon

    3 for expectations unmet, 3 for mixed up stories and 4 for overall interest. So 3. If you’re like me you imagine the simplest things as death traps. “If I carry something sharp I might fall and kill myself… I should really triple check the stove to make sure I turned it off… Tiniest amount of turbulence in an airplane means we’re going down.” I’ve gotten better in recent years, but this book tried to push me back to my worrying ways. The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your 3 for expectations unmet, 3 for mixed up stories and 4 for overall interest. So 3. If you’re like me you imagine the simplest things as death traps. “If I carry something sharp I might fall and kill myself… I should really triple check the stove to make sure I turned it off… Tiniest amount of turbulence in an airplane means we’re going down.” I’ve gotten better in recent years, but this book tried to push me back to my worrying ways. The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life was charming if not particularly edifying. I learned a few things, but mostly I enjoyed the harrowing stories. The narration is a bit jumpy. A story would be right at the climax and Sherwood would suddenly switch stories. I understand he was doing that to draw out the tension but it wasn’t necessary and it tended to draw me out of the story. Overall the stories were well-chosen and had interesting twists. It’ll make you wonder what kind of person you are in an emergency, and there’s an online quiz you can take to find out. I didn’t take the quiz. Mainly because I was never near a computer and didn’t want to interrupt my reading for it. The tips included were unusual, but helpful to those specific situations. If you’re afraid of flying there are some good tips about how to do it as safely as possible. Other than that the best advice was: To live well and dodge bad luck, you need to focus on the state of mind of good possibilities. I’ll be doing just that and I hope you will, too. visit the blog :) https://www.literarydragonreviews.web...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gordon

    This is not a book I would have picked up on my own, had it not been a selection of my book club. After all, I thought, isn't it pretty intuitive what makes for a good survivor? For example, what does it take to survive when lost in the woods? Be prepared by being in decent physical shape and carrying a daypack with some basics such as water. Don't lose your head. Look for water so you don't get dehydrated. Don't give up. Try to get oriented by climbing a tree or climbing a hill. All of that is This is not a book I would have picked up on my own, had it not been a selection of my book club. After all, I thought, isn't it pretty intuitive what makes for a good survivor? For example, what does it take to survive when lost in the woods? Be prepared by being in decent physical shape and carrying a daypack with some basics such as water. Don't lose your head. Look for water so you don't get dehydrated. Don't give up. Try to get oriented by climbing a tree or climbing a hill. All of that is correct, as far as it goes. But, what about even more extreme events than being lost in the wilderness (although admittedly that can be a potentially fatal experience)? What if you come down with cancer? What if you are horribly injured in an accident? What if your wife dies? What if your city is struck by an 8.0 earthquake? What if your plane goes down? Lots of scenarios to think about. Some survival techniques are universal, some are situation-specific. Read on… Three rules of survival: 1. Stay calm and aware 2. Formulate a step-by-step action plan and mentally rehearse it 3. When the time comes, ACT decisively In most life-threatening emergencies, there is a 10-80-10 rule for how people react: 10% panic, 80% freeze, and only 10% show immediate, directed action to save themselves and others. There is a very striking story of a ferry making a winter crossing of the Baltic from one of the Baltic republics to Sweden. When the ship's cargo door breaks loose and the ship rapidly begins to list as it takes on water, one survivor noted how most of the passengers did … absolutely nothing. They stood or sat frozen, unable to believe this could be happening, and unsure of what to do. They didn't grab lifejackets and head for the lifeboats. They didn't do what was necessary to save themselves, and they went down with the ship. What can change the 10-80-10 mix? Having people in the last 10% show strong leadership, and tell what the others what to do. But if all else fails, save yourself. Surviving an Aircraft Crash The author talks a lot about air crashes, which seem like a classic case of an accident where there's really nothing that a passenger can do, short of making sure his or her seat belt is fastened. In reality, even in crashes deemed "serious" (other than those in which there are zero survivors), 75% of the passengers survive. What does it take to be one of the 75%, other than luck? See three rules above. Surviving the Emergency Room Sherwood takes a close look at factors that determine survival once someone reaches the emergency room. The most important ones are straightforward: age, severity of injury or symptom, how soon the victim reaches medical help … But then there are the intangibles: • Personality: fighter or passive victim? Fighters are more likely to survive. • Social network: how many friends and relatives are in the waiting room? The more, the better. • Outlook on life: pessimistic or optimistic? Optimists live longer. • Religious faith: those with strong faith seem to survive better, but I wonder if this is really related to the social network of a church/temple or perhaps to the optimism of those who believe in divine intervention. But maybe that's just the agnostic in me. Luck (and Happiness) Luck will always play a large role in survival. Prof. Richard Wiseman (Univ of Hertfordshire, UK) specializes in the study of luck (and magic). Essentially, he believes we can dramatically increase the "luck" in our lives. His practice of magic has taught him many things, not the least of which is that most people suffer from "inattentional blindness", like those observers in the famous Harvard "gorilla" experiment who are told to count the basketball passes among a group of players, and who fail to see the woman in the gorilla outfit who wanders through the group, beats her chest, and walks off. Half the participants in this experiment failed to even notice the gorilla, because they were too busy … paying attention! "What gorilla? There was no gorilla." The rules of luck (or my distillation of his rules) are: 1. Frame of mind: It's not about being in the right place at the right time, it's about being in the right frame of mind. You have to be aware and receptive to opportunity, otherwise you will never even see it, let alone act on it. Look for a win in the midst of failure or the simple flow of life's daily events. 2. Social network: You'll do better in life and be "luckier" if you build a network of strong friendships and strong ties with family. Joining community organizations as a volunteer is also a great path to a better network … and more good luck. 3. Persistence: Keep going in the face of failure -- it's the unlucky who always give up too soon, writing off the challenge as "impossible". 4. Gratitude: Count your blessings and, wonder of wonders, you will discover that you are already lucky! Note the Olympic medal paradox: silver medalists are unhappy because they think about how they barely missed the gold; bronze medalists tend to be much more contented, because they think about how they just barely made it into the medallists' ranks. 5. Follow your instincts: This one gave me a lot of trouble. It seems that following your instincts is more often likely to lead to unhappy results than happy ones. After all, instinct is just another word for emotion, and emotional decision-making, in most areas of life, is not good decision-making. You can't make good decisions without emotion, but if emotion dominates, you're in trouble, IMHO. The interesting thing about the list above is that it could easily be re-titled "rules for happiness". So, I wonder: is good luck a result of happiness, and is happiness a critical ingredient for survival? If so, "don't worry, be happy" may be the best prescription for surviving longer. Holocaust Survivors Despite innumerable memoirs and small-scale studies, answers regarding who lived and who died in the Holocaust are unclear. Luck was the largest single factor: how long you were in the camp, which country you came from, if you were used to a cold climate, if you were young and strong, if you looked Nordic, which camp you went to (some had virtually no survivors whatsoever) … Then there were the individual psychological factors: tenacity, adaptability, intelligence, adaptability, courage and perhaps selfishness. The issue of selfishness vs. altruism seems to divide even the most famous writers about the Holocaust. Some, like Primo Levi (The Periodic Table and If This is a Man/Survival in Auschwitz) said that only the worst survived. Others like Bruno Bettelheim and Elie Wiesel said that they survived because of their bonds to others. Elie Wiesel, for example, kept going through his ordeal because he was determined to keep his father alive. There have been so many holocausts in modern times: the Armenians of Turkey, the Tutsis in Rwanda, the Cambodian victims of the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge, the Congolese under King Leopold of Belgium, the Chinese under Mao in the 1950's famines, the Ukrainians under Stalin in the 1930's, the Bosnians under the Serbs during the Yugoslav civil war, and on and on. I think the best rule for survival for this kind of horror is to be vigilant before it happens and fight it if it does happen: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Conquering Fear Sherwood draws on Joe Ledoux's theory (from The Emotional Brain) of the amygdala as the seat of emotion in the brain. There are two pathways for the fear response: 1. The Low Road: this is the quick, automatic, unthinking pathway e.g. the way we react when we see a poisonous snake in our path. 2. The High Road: this is the slower, more rational, more evaluative neural pathway, mediated by the frontal cortex. The key to fear management, according to Ledoux and Sherwood, is how well we learn to shift from living in Low Road mode to taking the High Road. If you live in that Low Road, survival-on-the-African-savannah, fight-or-flight mode all the time, you will die young. Lessen your stress by learning the coping skills to use the High Road mode. One technique: the "Hug the Monster" approach, which is about learning to confront fear in order to turn it into something more useful, like focus or action or even anger. Fight, Deny, Surrender or Accept Stoically? One famous study of survival rates of cancer sufferers based on their "attitude" found that those who fought or denied were 2x more likely to survive than those who gave up in hopeless helplessness or those who stoically accepted their fate (study published in Lancet, 69 patients). Other studies have found much more modest effects. However, I am still claiming vindication for my theory that self-delusion is so overwhelmingly widespread in our species for the simple reason that it has survival value and thus has become encoded in our genes. In short, if you're not going to fight, at least engage in denial, and you'll still (at least modestly) improve your chances for survival. Nietzsche famously said "That which does not kill me makes me stronger". I used to think this was empty puffery of the kind used by motivational speakers. Lots of people are NOT made stronger by experiences that wound them -- they're just scarred. But, it seems that many people are indeed made stronger. Whether this is true for most people depends a lot on who you study. Of course, the stories that make their way into the survival library are mostly about those who do both survive and thrive. But what of the rest? There is some interesting data from US POWs. For example, one quarter of the US POWs from the Korean War said that they learned so much from the experience that they would be willing to go through it again! And, the incidence of PTSD among US aviators from the Vietnam War who were POWs and those who were not is pretty close to being the same: 24% for the POWs vs. 18% for the rest. Despite their much worse experiences of war, the few hundred Vietnam POWs came out pretty close to the same as their luckier brethren. More than half a dozen became admirals and other general officers. One ran for vice-president and another for president. Several became congressmen. It seems quite remarkable. In the end, it's hard to say if we are improved by extreme hardship or not. Sherwood draws on an interesting metaphor: Methuselah, a bristle cone pine tree growing high in the White Mts of eastern California near the Nevada border. The tree is still going strong at age 4,650, despite the harshness of its environment: high, cold, dry. Few other plants of any kind grow under those conditions. Yet the very harshness of its environment has eliminated its competitors, improved the genes of its species, and made possible its extraordinary longevity. A Final Word on Survival I like the words of the German expert from the Max Planck Institute in Rostock, where they have a Longevity Laboratory, who said that the best formula for living a long time is this: "Listen to what your mother told you." In other words: Eat your vegetables. Get plenty of exercise in the fresh air. Wear a hat and a warm jacket when it's cold. Put your helmet on when you go bicycling. Buckle your seatbelt. Try your best.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    I was really psyched about finally getting this book from the library, after having been on a wait list for quite some time, but found myself fairly disappointed by it in the end. The Survivors Club is pretty much what it sounds like - an in-depth look at the science of survival: why some people live through disasters while others don't. I will admit that there is some very useful information in the book, things that I had not previously known about human reactions during crises, about the workin I was really psyched about finally getting this book from the library, after having been on a wait list for quite some time, but found myself fairly disappointed by it in the end. The Survivors Club is pretty much what it sounds like - an in-depth look at the science of survival: why some people live through disasters while others don't. I will admit that there is some very useful information in the book, things that I had not previously known about human reactions during crises, about the workings of the brain, about genetics, etc. I particularly enjoyed the first three chapters of the book, but after that I thought it lost its way a bit, with a few exceptions. The chapter on fear was quite good. But other chapters really fell flat for me, especially the one about faith's role in survival, which I found quite hollow. I think that this is a topic far too big for one short chapter; it could fill its own book. While I also greatly enjoyed all the real survival stories included in the book, I wished that there had been a lot more of them. And, ultimately, I felt like the final analysis was stuff that I already knew: that survival is largely about how well you take care of yourself, how well-prepared you are, and how easily & quickly you can adapt in a crisis situation. The final section of the book entreats you to go to a website and take their online test to determine your "survival type" and top three "survival traits." However, you can only take the test by using a unique code printed on the inside of the book's jacket. Because my book was a library book, someone had already used the code, so I couldn't take the test. There is no other option to take it, not even to pay for it. Therefore, the final section of the book was completely useless to me, as it explains the "types" and "traits." I was extremely disappointed in this. It was information that I really would have liked to have known.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    The topic of this book is so similar (read: almost identical) to the one I read just previously (The Unthinkable by Amanda Ripley) that I'm afraid it suffers just because of the order I happened to pick them up. And it's impossible to write this review without comparing the two of them. Several of the same disasters were discussed, the same scientific findings analyzed, the same experts quoted. The Survivors Club adds some interesting tidbits - like the best place to have a heart attack is in a The topic of this book is so similar (read: almost identical) to the one I read just previously (The Unthinkable by Amanda Ripley) that I'm afraid it suffers just because of the order I happened to pick them up. And it's impossible to write this review without comparing the two of them. Several of the same disasters were discussed, the same scientific findings analyzed, the same experts quoted. The Survivors Club adds some interesting tidbits - like the best place to have a heart attack is in a casino because of the proximity to defibrillators and people trained to use them and statistically you're more likely to die during the week surrounding your birthday than any other time. It also delves more deeply into the role of faith and the will to live than the other book. But I liked the way that The Unthinkable was organized better - there was a methodical approach to the individual's reaction to a disaster - it was more accessible and applicable. The Survivors Club seemed a bit more scattered in its structure. Part II of The Survivors Club, which provides the reader the opportunity to complete an online test to identify his/her "Survivor Profile" and top strengths in a survival situation, was the biggest difference between the two books, but that's the part I found least interesting or helpful. For more book reviews, visit my blog, Build Enough Bookshelves.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Addison

    [library] [audiobook] There are interesting bits in this book, but most of what Sherwood ACTUALLY wants to do is to sell his audience on his self-help guru-ism (I did not listen to the last disc and a half or so, where I was being told to go take the quiz on his website to find out my "Survivor IQ.") He chooses to define "survivor" so broadly that it becomes meaningless (anyone who has gone through any kind of a crisis is a "survivor" in Sherwood's definition) and he's only interested in people wh [library] [audiobook] There are interesting bits in this book, but most of what Sherwood ACTUALLY wants to do is to sell his audience on his self-help guru-ism (I did not listen to the last disc and a half or so, where I was being told to go take the quiz on his website to find out my "Survivor IQ.") He chooses to define "survivor" so broadly that it becomes meaningless (anyone who has gone through any kind of a crisis is a "survivor" in Sherwood's definition) and he's only interested in people who (a) survive and (b) come back with a song in their heart and a skip in their step, so to speak. He never talks about the part where survival (even in his broad sense) is something difficult and painful; his section on PTSD is actually on "post-traumatic growth." Which, okay, yes, optimism is good and important, but this is like the Disneyland version of survival, and is going to leave an awful lot of people feeling like they must be doing it "wrong" because it doesn't look like that for them. Or feeling like if it doesn't look like that for them, it's because they're not trying hard enough. I yelled at this book a lot.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kimball

    This is a coolo book. The stories in it made we wince and are very graphic. However, barely 4 stars because it was a little long and the author's crappy website (www.thesurvivorsclub.org/getcode) didn't work at all so we couldn't take the survival test. (So just read the five types of survivors I wrote below to identify with what you are.) I think I got a virus on my computer while in the process of searching for it before learning that it doesn't exist. So much for being a survivor, Mr Sherwood This is a coolo book. The stories in it made we wince and are very graphic. However, barely 4 stars because it was a little long and the author's crappy website (www.thesurvivorsclub.org/getcode) didn't work at all so we couldn't take the survival test. (So just read the five types of survivors I wrote below to identify with what you are.) I think I got a virus on my computer while in the process of searching for it before learning that it doesn't exist. So much for being a survivor, Mr Sherwood. The website didn't even survive a few years. Oh, and another con is that the story of Aron Ralston (the guy who cut off his own arm from a hiking accident in Southern Utah) wasn't even in here. How do you talk about a book on survival and not include him? I did like how the author attributed God and religion to survival. Atheist haters will have a hay-day with that fact, though. Notes from the book: Sometimes the survival instinct is stored in our long-term memory and not in the short term. If that happens we forget to pull our parachute cord in time. To combat hypothermia remember the 1-10-1 rule: Calm down your breathing for one minute. Keep moving for 10 minutes. And stay conscious for 1 hour. You have 90 seconds to evacuate a crashed airplane because when it catches on fire and burns through the aluminum frame the temperatures can soar to 2000 degrees. Your chances of surviving a plane crash are diminished if you are more than 5 rows away from the safety exit. Head trauma is best when you're young but not too young. The ideal age is 16-18. Outside of that range your chances of death increase dramatically. Knife wounds are usually easy to recover from. Gunshot wounds are sometimes able to be fixed. But blunt force wounds are rare because of the expanse of damage that has been done. It's not a simple sew up and fix type treatment. Casinos are the safest place to have a heart attack because there are so many defibrillators and people trained in CPR. Religious people that attend church at least once a week live on average 7 years longer. Belief is the most powerful survival tool. Why do some people grow spiritual in a time of crisis, while others struggle and decline? The answer lies in the nature and maturity of your faith and how much you've integrated it into your life. Do you have an understanding of God that is broad enough to encompass both the good and the bad in life? Lucky people constantly happen upon chance opportunities. Lucky people listen to their hunches and make good decisions without really knowing why. Lucky people perserver in the face of failure and have an uncanny knack of making their wishes come true. Lucky people have a special ability to turn bad luck into good fortune. (This one may be the most important!) Bronze medalists are happier than silver Olympic medalists. People are largely responsible for their own misfortunes. Being accident-prone often happens when someone has other problems in their life (i.e. people with marital problems tend to get in more car wrecks). Some car crashes may qualify as an indirect form of suicide. Left-handed people die an average of nine years earlier than right-handed. I told that to my left-handed, no-nonsense sister in law and she got visibly upset. Your success as a survivor depends on how you handle the daily torent of emotions activated by your amygdala. Fear can be one of your best survival tools or your downfall, but it depends on your ability to control it. You have to be able to throw the switch from "I'm going to die" to "I'm going to survive." People are most likely to be found when they're lost in the woods if they stay put. Those that are lost in the woods from kids to adults are usually only wandering 1-2 miles. On average if you're an American your life expectancy increases by 5 hours per day. If you're outside the USA it is 6 hours. 10% of life expectancy is attributed to your mom's prenatal care and your youth choices. Only 25% is inherited through parents. The rest is up to your choices everyday. The lady who lived the longest to age 122 smoked two cigarettes each day till she was 119. She only stopped cuz she couldn't see well. There are 5 different types of Survivors: 1. The Fighter--attack adversity head-on and with determination. Great willpower in the face of formidable opposition. You push yourself to be the best. You get pumped up by a challenge. You bounce back quickly. You keep going when others have given up. 2. ‎The Believer--you put your faith in God to direct and sustain you. You have an upbeat spirit that lifts you when others are down. You draw emotional and physical power from your faith. You are full of optimism and hope--powerful weapons in the face of adversity. 3. ‎The Connector--You overcome adversity through the power of your relationships and connections with other people. You are deeply devoted to family and friends. You know they depend on you, and you go to great lengths to protect them. You often rely on social networks, and you know how to reach beyond your regular circle of friends to meet your needs. A good networker, you take care of others before yourself, and you are good at reading people. 4. ‎The Thinker--You use your brain to overcome obstacles. You have book learning, street smarts, and common sense. Good at diagnosing the underlying nature of the problem. You look at all the angles and generate unexpected solutions. High concentration, practical, able to improvise. 5. ‎The Realist--Recognize everything doesn't go as planned. You stay calm while others overreact. You go with the flow. Intuitively you know how to sit back and wait for the worst to pass. You deal with facts and what's really in your control. You ride out the storms of life. Pure knowledge only gives you the possibility of action (like potential energy, such as lectures and books). Applied knowledge is the key to survival; it turns action into reality (like kinetic energy).

  13. 5 out of 5

    Randy Ross

    I think the author lost his way a little on this topic. The subject matter holds some personal interest and I found it engaging initially, but there was too much redundancy overall to keep my attention. Not wanting to waste my money, I got through the whole thing... eventually. As I neared the end though, I had an uptick in interest - as Mr.Sherwood teased a unique Survivor Profiler online exam. It sounded great - except his website thesurvivorsclub.org no longer exists (and you need that for an I think the author lost his way a little on this topic. The subject matter holds some personal interest and I found it engaging initially, but there was too much redundancy overall to keep my attention. Not wanting to waste my money, I got through the whole thing... eventually. As I neared the end though, I had an uptick in interest - as Mr.Sherwood teased a unique Survivor Profiler online exam. It sounded great - except his website thesurvivorsclub.org no longer exists (and you need that for an access code). Neither does his exam. Huh... so in a book about surviving the odds and resiliency... his book, his website and his online exam have neither. Go figure. One star for you buddy. Fail.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ray Gorham

    Was really on the verge of 5 stars for this one, but the initial thrill at the beginning had somewhat dimmed by the end of the book. Lots of interesting anecdotes throughout, but somehow I felt a little let down by the time I made it to the end, though I learned a lot and enjoyed the information that was presented. I feel a little more world savvy having read it, but still not anywhere near being a Navy SEAL.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I loved the concept of this book but the jarring prose and layout of the book was just unbearable. Every anecdote was foreshadowed with an introduction which felt like a sales pitch after a while and meant the stories didn't deliver. The referencing of studies and interviews themselves felt mechanical. However, I did learn some concepts from this book and it referenced other books that I plan to read in the future. I loved the concept of this book but the jarring prose and layout of the book was just unbearable. Every anecdote was foreshadowed with an introduction which felt like a sales pitch after a while and meant the stories didn't deliver. The referencing of studies and interviews themselves felt mechanical. However, I did learn some concepts from this book and it referenced other books that I plan to read in the future.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Angela Risner

    Did you know that right-handers live longer than lefties? That if you are impaled by an object, you shouldn’t try to remove it? That if you’re lost without a compass or any other implements of survival that you should just stay where you are and let the searchers find you? How about that 10 percent of all parachuting deaths result from the person forgetting to pull the parachute cord (even though s/he may have jumped many times before) or pulling it too low to the ground? What happens that these Did you know that right-handers live longer than lefties? That if you are impaled by an object, you shouldn’t try to remove it? That if you’re lost without a compass or any other implements of survival that you should just stay where you are and let the searchers find you? How about that 10 percent of all parachuting deaths result from the person forgetting to pull the parachute cord (even though s/he may have jumped many times before) or pulling it too low to the ground? What happens that these folks forget something so important? This book is incredibly entertaining, informative, and well-written. I highly recommend it. At the end is a link you can hit up on the internet to take your own survivor profile. Here is what mine said: Angela, you are a BELIEVER. After analyzing all of your answers and calculating 152 billion different possible outcomes, the Survivor Profiler confidently declares: You are a Survivor. You’ve got a well-defined survivor personality and tools to help you overcome any crisis. Your Survivor IQ tells you precisely which kind you are. After analyzing your answers, it’s clear that you’re a Believer. You put your faith in God to protect and sustain you through your trials. Your beliefs and convictions are like life preservers keeping you above water in difficult times. You trust deeply that God has a plan for your life and will steer you through any adversity. You’re convinced the Lord would never give you a challenge you couldn’t handle. Your upbeat spirit lifts you when others are down. Even in the worst times, you feel blessed and are confident things always work out for the best. Even if death approaches, you find comfort knowing that God loves you and your life is in His hands. You draw remarkable emotional and physical power from your faith. Strengthened and guided by God, you feel capable of shouldering almost any burden. If you call out to Him and open yourself to His wisdom, you know He will answer. This faith also gives you optimism and hope, powerful weapons in survival. You’re able to banish negative feelings or flip them around into positive thoughts. You can find humor in the darkest times and even laugh in the face of adversity. You are strengthened and emboldened by your faith and comforted by the conviction that your fortunes will improve one way or another on this earth or in the next life. Above all, you’re a Believer. To see what it really means to be a Believer, consider the true story that appears in the Survivor Case Studies. FAITH You are a person of great faith. You trust that God has a plan and will look after you. You believe that a greater power will steer you through difficult times and guide your actions. If you listen, God will show the way. In tough times, you’re less afraid because God loves you and will always take care of you. In a crisis, faith gives you remarkable power and confidence to prevail. You don’t worship a distant, aloof God. You believe in a higher power who is loving, caring, accessible and available. “This is a God who listens to prayer, who responds, who desires good for humanity,” Dr. Harold Koenig writes in The Healing Power of Faith. You trust God to “fill the gap” between the challenges you face and what you’re capable of handling, Dr. Koenig explains. You are never alone in your struggles. You see God as your “active partner” in every challenge you encounter. Faith is your greatest comfort and mightiest weapon. To see faith in action, consider the true story that appears in the Survivor Case Studies. EMPATHY You are a person with deep empathy. In a crisis, it may seem counterintuitive but your ability to help others turns out to be a very powerful way to help yourself. Your compassion motivates you to help other people stricken by misfortune. You feel a deep connection with others and will do anything to reduce their suffering. You take care of others before you look after yourself. You’re sensitive to other people’s needs and go out of their way to help people you don’t know. You’re good at reading new situations and people and you’re always aware of your surroundings. In group situations, you work well with others. You’re a team player. In a crisis, some people resort to selfishness to survive. But you’re different. Your empathy and altruism are far more powerful. By caring for others, you take care of yourself. To see empathy in action, consider the true story that appears in the Survivor Case Studies. FLOW< /p> You’re a person who goes with the flow. The concept of flow derives from the motion characteristics of fluids. When moving water encounters a rock, it can go over or around the obstacle. Eventually, the river will smooth the stone and ultimately wear it down to nothing. The same applies to you. You move forward, steadily, relentlessly, and with apparent ease and effortlessness. Adaptable people quickly change their attitudes and actions to fit their new circumstances. Resilient people bounce back rapidly from adversity. But you’re different. You’ve got Flow. You don’t need to make adjustments: You sail along, freely and calmly without fuss or muss. You don’t need to pick yourself up when you’re knocked down: You stay down, take adversity as it comes and you’re confident that you’ll eventually get where you’re going. You stay cool when others panic. You relax when others stress out. “As history shows,” Laurence Gonzalez writes in Deep Survival, “the harder we try, the more complex our plan for reducing friction, the worse things get.” You understand the futility – and danger – of trying to control the uncontrollable. Facing a crisis, some fight and others flee, but you flow. To see flow in action, consider the true story that appears in the Survivor Case Studies. Your Bottom Tools The Survivor Profiler focuses on your top three tools because our research shows that you can increase your chances of surviving and thriving if you lead with your greatest strengths. Based upon your responses to the test, The Survivor Profiler ranks the relative frequency and intensity of the 12 different survival tools in your personality. The following tools fell at the bottom of your survivor profile. That doesn’t necessarily mean you lack these strengths or that they’re entirely missing from your Survivor Personality. It simply means that these tools ranked the lowest for you of the 12 strengths measured by the Profiler. Adaptability: The flexibility to adjust readily to different situations and to change your attitude and behavior to handle new challenges. Love: Bonds with family and friends that are unbreakable and give you the reason for living. Instinct: The power of intuition and ability to gain immediate insight into a challenge and know what to do.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    I enjoyed the many stories of survivors in this book. It was fascinating to look for similarities and differences in their survival and to wonder what I might do in similar circumstances. That being said, the second half of the book felt worthless since the website with the test is no longer available. That bumped this book from 4 stars to 3 for me. If you’re a planner or a worrier or just inspired by stories of real people who manage to live when they should have died, this is a book worth read I enjoyed the many stories of survivors in this book. It was fascinating to look for similarities and differences in their survival and to wonder what I might do in similar circumstances. That being said, the second half of the book felt worthless since the website with the test is no longer available. That bumped this book from 4 stars to 3 for me. If you’re a planner or a worrier or just inspired by stories of real people who manage to live when they should have died, this is a book worth reading. But read it for their stories, not to examine your own survival personality.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Helene Montpetit

    Half interesting Anyone still breathing is probably interested in knowing how to continue doing so in the face of the many things that can go wrong. There are worse ways to while away a few hours than reading about extreme training exercises and being learning how other people survived terrifying circumstances. Unfortunately, the book does not deliver on its promise to help readers assess their own capacity for survival because the website on which the second part's effectiveness hinges is no lon Half interesting Anyone still breathing is probably interested in knowing how to continue doing so in the face of the many things that can go wrong. There are worse ways to while away a few hours than reading about extreme training exercises and being learning how other people survived terrifying circumstances. Unfortunately, the book does not deliver on its promise to help readers assess their own capacity for survival because the website on which the second part's effectiveness hinges is no longer operational, which I found a tad disappointing.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Errin Weisman

    would have been a 5 star if online test worked

  20. 5 out of 5

    Donna Kremer

    There were interesting stories of survival and plenty of survival strategies to make this book worth reading. It may have subliminally kept me calm and focused during the “ballistic missile threat” in Kauai, enough that I thought about making sure I grabbed my shoes before heading out the door.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    This was a really fast read because I found the material so interesting. The author does a great job of dissecting how people have survived (almost miraculously) horrible things, such as getting impaled in the heart by a knitting needle… jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge… being a prisoner during the Holocaust… and much, much more. There’s also a lot of practical advice as well (from research studies and from field experts). Below are some of the survival lessons from the book: MISC. TIPS: - NEVER This was a really fast read because I found the material so interesting. The author does a great job of dissecting how people have survived (almost miraculously) horrible things, such as getting impaled in the heart by a knitting needle… jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge… being a prisoner during the Holocaust… and much, much more. There’s also a lot of practical advice as well (from research studies and from field experts). Below are some of the survival lessons from the book: MISC. TIPS: - NEVER EVER drink salt water — it increases your chance of dying. - Never drink urine. SURVIVING IN VERY COLD WATER: The first task is that you must get your breathing under control within the first minute (no gasping, hyperventilating). Then you have 10 minutes to swim before your muscles start to freeze up — if you can’t reach shore/a solid surface within 10 minutes, then try to freeze your arms onto floating blocks of ice so that when you go unconscious, you won’t sink. Then you have 1 hour before you go unconscious. SURVIVING A PLANE CRASH: - KEY: Be vigilant and alert and ready to run for your life during “Plus Three/Minus Eight" (the 1st 3 min of a flight + the last 8 min of a flight — the 11 minutes during which 80% of all plane crashes occur). During these 11 min, don’t nap, listen to music, or be intoxicated. Formulate your action plan: anticipate how you’d get to the nearest exits. - When you get on the plane, count (and remember) the # of rows to your nearest exit & also the # of rows to your 2nd nearest exit. In a plane crash, there will likely be smoke everywhere, so you may need to count the rows w/your hands in order to get to an exit. - Before the anticipated impact/crash, it’s very important to get in “brace position" & remove all slack from your seat belt - have it low and snug across your waist. - “Brace position" = lean forward & place head on or near the surface it’s most likely to hit, w/your feet flat on the floor. This position reduces velocity of your head when it slams into what’s in front of you (which is sure to happen). - Once the plane crashes, you have only 90 sec to get out of the plane. After that, if you’re still in the plane, your odds of survival are not good. - If you have kids, discuss an escape plan even before getting on the plane. In a crisis, you may not be able to search for them. - Don’t try to get your carry-ons. Many people die trying to retrieve their carry-ons. - Clothing for air travel: Wear solid shoes that won’t fall off (sandals/flip flops aren’t good). Wear long pants to protect skin from fire - ideally, not synthetic fabrics because they may melt and stick to your skin. - At the start of every flight, review the safety card! Frequent fliers are the worst - they think they don’t have to pay attention because they fly so much. Memorize the safety card & your escape plan. - Larger planes are safer because they can absorb more energy in a crash. - Safest places to sit in a plane: within 5 rows of an exit. - If you’re a larger person, sit near the main doors (usually at the front/back of plane) because harder to get out through narrow emergency exit doors. Dr. Charney’s Resilience Prescription for surviving anything (even focusing on a few of these 10 things helps): 1. Practice optimism (but do need to confront reality, too - don’t practice unguarded optimism) 2. Identify a resilient role model 3. Develop a moral compass and unbreakable beliefs 4. Practice altruism 5. Develop acceptance and cognitive flexibility (the ability to learn and adapt your knowledge & thinking to new situations) 6. Face your fears & learn to control negative emotions 7. Build active coping skills to handle your problems 8. Establish a supportive social network to help you 9. Stay physically fit 10. Laugh as much as you can

  22. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    This was a recommendation from mom and dad (i.e. not on our reading list). Not a novel, but more of an exploration of real-life traumatic scenarios and the people that survived them. It was a really cool book, though I do give fair warning to anyone easily worried. There are lots of descriptions of horrible scenarios, but luckily it usually points out why you shouldn’t worry too much about it (though it still tells you how to be better prepared). Case in point: It talks about several plane crash This was a recommendation from mom and dad (i.e. not on our reading list). Not a novel, but more of an exploration of real-life traumatic scenarios and the people that survived them. It was a really cool book, though I do give fair warning to anyone easily worried. There are lots of descriptions of horrible scenarios, but luckily it usually points out why you shouldn’t worry too much about it (though it still tells you how to be better prepared). Case in point: It talks about several plane crashes, what happened to the people who did and did not survive, and plane crash safety training describing the things that cause someone to be more or less likely to survive a plane crash. Then he goes on to tell you that, across all plan crashes, 95.7% of people survive, and overall your chance of dying in a plane crash is 1 in 60,000,000 (as opposed to the chance of dying in a car crash, 1 in 9,000,000). It is definitely not a depressing book (though there are plenty of traumatic and sad stories), but it focuses on those qualities that helped people overcome and survive scenarios that could very easily have killed them. Not only is it very interesting to read all the stories, but it is cool to have a resource for things to do to help in emergency situations (as well as avoid the emergency situations in the first place). It also lists a lot of resources that are available to learn even more about various risks and ways to prevent/prepare for them. An additional feature is the associated website, http://www.survivorprofiler.org/ Here, anyone can go and take an online quiz that then gives you your survivor profile. There is a bunch of info in the book about putting together the quiz, but I’ll leave that up to you reading . The last chapter of the book actually goes through a lot of the information you get in your survivor profile, which adds a cool component to the overall experience of the book. I would definitely recommend this as a very interesting (and potentially useful) read. And to finish, here’s my survivor profile: Your Survivor Type: THINKER Your Top 3 Survivor Tools: ADAPTABILITY, INTELLIGENCE, INGENUITY Your Survivor IQ tells you precisely which kind you are. After analyzing your answers, it’s clear that you’re a Thinker. You use your mind to overcome your obstacles. Your intelligence has many dimensions. You rely on a combination of smarts, creativity and ingenuity to solve problems. Book learning isn’t your only resource. You’ve also got street smarts and common sense. You see your challenges clearly and are good at diagnosing the underlying nature of a problem. In tough times, you look at all the angles, generate new ideas and discover unexpected solutions. You don’t get distracted easily. You’re highly focused, analytical, and rigorous and you concentrate on what needs to get done. Your mind is practical, not up in the clouds. You’re good at turning ideas into action. When others get stuck, you can improvise and find a way out. Logic and reason help you understand the real facts of your situation and the consequences of your choices. Common sense helps you apply your knowledge and experience in creative and productive ways. While some people depend on muscle and brawn to win life’s battles, you rely on your mind. Above all, you’re a Thinker. To see what it really means to be a Thinker, consider the true story that appears in the Survivor Case Studies.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joni F.

    This book talks about the how one can improve their chances at surviving potentially life threatening situations. The author interviews many survivors of various accidents. He goes through survival training with the military, tries drown proofing, etc. all to investigate how to increase one's odds at living a longer life. He investigates various themes that relate to survival, including how religion plays into survival, how your personality affects your chances, along with multiple interviews wi This book talks about the how one can improve their chances at surviving potentially life threatening situations. The author interviews many survivors of various accidents. He goes through survival training with the military, tries drown proofing, etc. all to investigate how to increase one's odds at living a longer life. He investigates various themes that relate to survival, including how religion plays into survival, how your personality affects your chances, along with multiple interviews with medical professionals. One of the chapters I found most interesting was the investigation into aviation mishaps and statistics of the amount of people that actually live through one. It was interesting how little bits of action, such as keeping your shoes on or counting how many rows in front and behind you that the exit rows are can increase your chances immensely. The themes about how religion and "miracles" occur was a little slower pace and I did not find it as interesting. Overall, the book had so many survival stories of various types and it was interesting to follow normal individuals through their ordeal and what places they went to inside themselves to find the will to keep going. The last large portion of the book is dedicated to the readers own survival profile. The author worked with psychologists and other professionals to create survivor characteristics and a survey. The last chapters help you interpret your results based off the findings from TheSurvivorsClub.org. It was disappointing when I tried to find my results........and the website was not there or is not supported anymore. The book was good, but not being able to utilize the personalized survivor profile left me a bit annoyed with the book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    What an interesting read. After completion, I immediately took the test to see if I had any of the qualities that Survivors of terrible disasters have. I did not want to be a Victim or Fatality. I was pleased to find myself in the Believer catagory. Yeah! Just right! This book has forever changed the way I look at the world, my situations and environment. As I get older, I instinctively tend to be more cautious anyway, unlike my somewhat, carefree teen and college days. But now, I know just wher What an interesting read. After completion, I immediately took the test to see if I had any of the qualities that Survivors of terrible disasters have. I did not want to be a Victim or Fatality. I was pleased to find myself in the Believer catagory. Yeah! Just right! This book has forever changed the way I look at the world, my situations and environment. As I get older, I instinctively tend to be more cautious anyway, unlike my somewhat, carefree teen and college days. But now, I know just where the best place to sit on an airplane is in order to survive the 90 seconds one has in which to escape being caught up in the total fireball that follows. I am much more aware of where I am and what is going on. I don't take "No" for an answer, or put up with what I used to. I know what kind of people to surround myself with, and which ones to discard. I know in Whom to put my trust. After I finished this book, the next day I ran into 2 people where I do volunteer work (The Family History Library in SLC, Utah) who are suffering from recent cancer diagnoses and the inevitable, equally troubling infusion and radiation treatments. I highly recommended this book to them. In order to survive disasters, it is clear from this study that we have to have certain qualities of character, physique, and faith that will see us through. Well worth the time spent. May save your life! Hope it helps prolong mine.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    A fascinating look at the qualities that help people survive in extreme situations, be it ejected out of a plane, burned by acid, or overcoming cancer. The author was very thorough in the topic and shared many survival stories. The role of faith in so many survivor's lives was explored, as was the will to live, the science of luck, and ways to increase your own chances of survival. Particularly interesting to me was the chapter on how adversity is actually good for you. Talking to those who worke A fascinating look at the qualities that help people survive in extreme situations, be it ejected out of a plane, burned by acid, or overcoming cancer. The author was very thorough in the topic and shared many survival stories. The role of faith in so many survivor's lives was explored, as was the will to live, the science of luck, and ways to increase your own chances of survival. Particularly interesting to me was the chapter on how adversity is actually good for you. Talking to those who worked with POW's, the author found that it was amazing not that so many had PTSD, but that so many did not -- that MOST came through their horrible ordeals just fine and went on to live productive, wonderful lives. The author then quoted one Dr. Moore as follows: "Over the course of our lives, he goes on, between 70 and 75 percent of us experience major traumas and crises that are sufficient to trigger stress-related disorders. And yet, mysteriously, only 8 to 12 percent of us experience symptoms of PTSD. That means that more than 60 percent of us experience trauma but don't suffer psychiatric disorders as a result. . . Impossible as it sounds, [Dr. Mitchell] believes the majority of us 'would do quite well' if we faced the same challenges as the prisoners."

  26. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    This was a solid 'survival psychology' book. I really like the facts interspersed with the 'hmmms.' For example, there is a lot of explanation of the physics and science behind what happens when we get into dangerous or scary situations. But there is also some soft explanations such as trying to quantify luck, hope, etc. The middle-end of the book which focused on the belief in God in the likelihood of survival was a bit repetitious, but the early chapters and the end chapters really grabbed me This was a solid 'survival psychology' book. I really like the facts interspersed with the 'hmmms.' For example, there is a lot of explanation of the physics and science behind what happens when we get into dangerous or scary situations. But there is also some soft explanations such as trying to quantify luck, hope, etc. The middle-end of the book which focused on the belief in God in the likelihood of survival was a bit repetitious, but the early chapters and the end chapters really grabbed me with their real-life accounts of people in desperate situations and how they pulled through. The book promises to help you up your chances of surviving major life-changing events, but it isn't super specific on how to do so. There is an opportunity to go the website and figure out what 'survivor' type you are and what your 'survivor tool kit' is. I bought this at an airport and was reading the chapters on surviving an airplane crash (an event more likely than you think!) while sitting on the runway. If nothing else, that chapter was worth the price of the book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    In some ways this book is like the proverbial train wreck; you just can't stop reading because the stories are just so compelling. Admit it, we are all fascinated by stories of survival so why NOT learn from the people who have survived horrible accidents or terrifying imprisonments. The book shows how certain people react differently in crisis situations and the author goes on to show studies of the survivors. Of why they survived. I was drawn to this book because I was faced with a life threat In some ways this book is like the proverbial train wreck; you just can't stop reading because the stories are just so compelling. Admit it, we are all fascinated by stories of survival so why NOT learn from the people who have survived horrible accidents or terrifying imprisonments. The book shows how certain people react differently in crisis situations and the author goes on to show studies of the survivors. Of why they survived. I was drawn to this book because I was faced with a life threatening medical condition. Nothing nearly as bad as the subjects in the book but any time a doctor looks you in the face and says you should be dead it rather scrambles your though processes. The book is written in a very compelling manner. It was hard to put down and I found the personal stories the most interesting. You can take a Survivor Profile to find out what type of survivor personality you have. Turns out I am a "realist" which really didn't surprise me. I enjoyed reading the book and my husband is going to read the book next.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Judith

    This was interesting: stories about people who survived plane wrecks and knitting needles stuck in the heart. I loved hearing from the military guy who ejected from a plane and floated in the sea before being rescued, as well as the ordinary guy who fell off a cruise ship and swam around for over 24 hours before flagging down a fishing boat. It is truly amazing what a human being can survive and there seems to be no common thread between these survivors, which makes it more interesting. He dispe This was interesting: stories about people who survived plane wrecks and knitting needles stuck in the heart. I loved hearing from the military guy who ejected from a plane and floated in the sea before being rescued, as well as the ordinary guy who fell off a cruise ship and swam around for over 24 hours before flagging down a fishing boat. It is truly amazing what a human being can survive and there seems to be no common thread between these survivors, which makes it more interesting. He dispels the notion that positive thinking and/or prayer are positive factors in survival. In certain instances, of course, physical fitness is a factor, but the main ingredient seems to be the ability to keep one's head and not panic. It also appears to be based on being in the right place at the right time. So it seemed a bit of a stretch when the author started a website about survival and turned pedantic, as if the book was a textbook in how to survive unusual accidents.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cody Sexton

    When it comes to survival it's not what you know that makes a difference it's how you apply what you know. Pure knowledge only gives you the possibility of action but it's incomplete until it's put to some real use. Which is something I've struggled with my whole life. Namely, how to put what I know to some use. But the first, and I would say most important, step outlined in this book illuminating the key to survival can be found in the act of simply deciding that you want to live. It's that rud When it comes to survival it's not what you know that makes a difference it's how you apply what you know. Pure knowledge only gives you the possibility of action but it's incomplete until it's put to some real use. Which is something I've struggled with my whole life. Namely, how to put what I know to some use. But the first, and I would say most important, step outlined in this book illuminating the key to survival can be found in the act of simply deciding that you want to live. It's that rudimentary. Yet so many people decide differently. How powerful it can be, to quote the words of George R.R. Martin in his book A Game of Thrones, to say "There is only one God and his name is death. And there is only one thing we say to death: Not today." Not today.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Omer

    This was a very interesting book. I have always been fascinated with the survivors in any extreme situation from accident survivors to cancer survivors. This author interviews them all and explores the reasons why some survived and why others perished. Would I be one of the survivors of an airplane crash or of the Holocaust? Probably not. I don't think I'm scared enough of dying to fight for survival like others do. My main reason for wanting to survive......my husband and kids. They need me and This was a very interesting book. I have always been fascinated with the survivors in any extreme situation from accident survivors to cancer survivors. This author interviews them all and explores the reasons why some survived and why others perished. Would I be one of the survivors of an airplane crash or of the Holocaust? Probably not. I don't think I'm scared enough of dying to fight for survival like others do. My main reason for wanting to survive......my husband and kids. They need me and I'd miss them too much to watch them from the spirit world and not be able to hug them. If we were all to die together? Sure, take us quick.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.