I have been systematiclly reading through the prepper, survivalist, and homsteading books, fiction and non-fiction, for the past 3-4 years. I've read over 100 now. Many have similar themes, especially the fictional works. Everything goes to hell in a handbasket, the heros of the book mostly survive (and recent work sees the heros or some of their family dying early and horridly), and yet people make it to fight another day. Much of it is built on military strategy, but seemingly only the heroes know that strategy. Much of it is also built around the concept of stockpiles of preps, though certainly some deals with the more brutal fact that there will never be enough. Very few books deal with the reality that much of our world will still be standing and could be restored fairly quickly, at least to early 1900 levels -- and recall that much of America was built in that era! I'm not suggesting GOING BACK to that era would be simple -- granted, those folks were accustomed to their level of technology -- but I am suggesting that we might not be at the end of life. Further, I am of a mind that the secret to success is a return to small rural, sustainable villages where the community partners together to survive. We have what may be the BEST example of how that might work in the archives of the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock.
As for the books, some of the best are already mentioned, but to that list I'll add:
Michael Bunker -- Surviving Off-Off-Grid -- a non-fictional look at getting out of the survive mode and into the live mode.
Surviving Off Off-Grid: Decolonizing the Industrial Mind: Michael Bunker: 9780615447902: Amazon.com: Books
Mike and Nancy Bubel -- Root Cellaring -- a non-fictional look at storing food without the grid
Amazon.com: Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables (0037038007039): Mike Bubel, Nancy Bubel: Books
Susan Gregorson -- Food Self-Sufficiency: Reality Check -- a non-fictional look at just how much it takes to actually feed a family for a year.
Food Self-Sufficiency: Reality Check: Susan Gregersen: Amazon.com: Books
T. J. Reader -- The Long Lonely Road (series) -- fictional series of books tracing the activity of several, a nice read though the author definitely writes his mind with no real regard to grammar.
A Long Lonely Road: Parts One through Three (Volume 1): TJ Reeder: 9781481186469: Amazon.com: Books
Ron Foster -- The Prepper Road Saga (series) -- fictional series of books, lots of emphasis on snaring, trapping, water collection, unique ideas, etc.
Amazon.com: The Prepper Road Compendium (9781466490123): Ron Foster: Books
I've also read a good number of FREE Kindle books (on my FREE Kindle app on my Android phone) that were written in the late 1800s to early 1900s. First, the writing is amazing. We have fallen so FAR in our English skills since then! Second, these are descriptions of life pre-grid and people just take for granted having to do certain things to stay alive.