My Books

disaster-diaries

THE DISASTER DIARIES: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE APOCALYPSE

Synopsis: Some of us keep a “go bag” packed with flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, and other essentials in case of an emergency. Others have a couple cases of bottled water and a stock of nonperishable food in the kitchen. Most of us feel pretty confident that we can make it through a few days without power, or we’d have what we need in order to evacuate our homes quickly. But after all the movies where a meteor hits Earth, all the news reports on tsunamis and wildfires, not to mention the buzz about the Mayan apocalypse in 2012, do we actually know what to do if a real disaster strikes? How would we survive if a catastrophe results in TEOTWAWKI (in survivalist lingo, “The End of the World As We Know It”)?

In THE DISASTER DIARIES: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse (The Penguin Press, January 28, 2013), author and survival expert Sam Sheridan embarks on a quest to prepare himself and his family for the end of the world. He had traveled the world as an EMT, a mixed martial arts fighter, a sailor, a firefighter, and a construction worker in the South Pole. There was hardly any extreme survival situation he had not faced head-on. Yet when Sheridan became a father he was beset with nightmares about being unable to protect his son. If a rogue wave hit his beach community, would he be able to get out? If the power grid went down, did he have enough food and water for his family? Unable to set aside his fears, he decided instead to confront them by acquiring as many skills, in as many different doomsday situations, as he possibly could—including city-leveling earthquakes, being dropped into the wilderness with nothing but the clothes on his back, and even being attacked by a horde of zombies.

From training with an Olympic weightlifter to an apprenticeship in stealing cars with an ex-gang member, from an intense three week-long gun course in the hundred-degree heat of Alabama to agonizing lessons in Arctic survival and igloo-buidling, Sheridan left no stone unturned. Did he learn enough to survive if a meteor struck the earth? Sheridan can’t be one hundred percent sure, but as he points out, it would be a damn shame to live through the initial impact only to die a few days later because he didn’t know how to build a fire.
Action-packed, brave, and surprisingly moving, THE DISASTER DIARIES is irresistible armchair adventure reading for everyone curious about what it might take to survive in the post-apocalyptic world. Though deeply entertaining and often very funny, Sheridan’s book also helps expand our understanding of the world by urging us to be aware of our surroundings, to pay attention to intuition, and to take responsibility for what happens to us and our loved ones.

REVIEW

“Sheridan’s matter-of-fact tone is informational and gripping, and he never descends into a paranoid, ‘us or them’ tone. Ultimately, learning to live through an apocalypse is about learning to be a human being; it takes an appetite for knowledge, the ability to cooperate, and most of all, adaptability. Anyone who thinks humankind is getting soft should read this book—no matter what happens, it’s clear that some of us will survive.”

Daniel Wilson, New York Times, bestselling author of Amped, Robopocalypse, and How to Survive a Robot Uprising


THE FIGHTERS’S MIND: INSIDE THE MENTAL GAME

Synopsis: In his acclaimed national best seller, A Fighter’s Heart, Sam Sheridan took readers with him as he stepped through the ropes and into the dangerous world of professional fighting. From a muay Thai bout in Bangkok to Rio, where he trained with jiu-jitsu royalty, to Iowa, where he matched up against the toughest mixed martial arts stars, Sheridan threw himself into a quest to understand how and why we fight. In The Fighter’s Mind,Sheridan does for the brain what his first book did for the body. Every athlete knows that physical conditioning and skill are only part of what makes a champion. Sheridan heard time and again that “fighting is 90 percent mental.” But isn’t fighting—two guys in a ring smashing each other—the ultimate physical endeavor? Was this an empty cliché? To uncover the truth about the mental game, Sheridan interviewed dozens of the world’s most fascinating and dangerous men. He spoke at length with celebrated trainers Freddie Roach and Greg Jackson; champion fighters Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, and Marcelo Garcia; ultrarunner David Horton; chess prodigy (and the inspiration for Searching for Bobby Fischer) turned tai chi expert Josh Waitzkin; and the legendary Olympic gold medalist wrestler Dan Gable, among others. What are their secrets? How do they stay committed through years of training, craft a game plan, and adjust to the harsh realities of the ring or cage? How do they hold strong to their identity, recover from crushing defeat, and rein in their ego after victory? How do they project strength when weak, and remain mentally tough despite incredible physical pain? The Fighter’s Mindis a captivating book, bursting at the seams with memorable stories and fascinating insight for everyone. As Sheridan writes, “we’re all fighting something.”

REVIEW

“In Sam Sheridan’s The Fighter’s Mind you are taken on a journey that starts in the mind of wrestling great Dan Gable and meanders through the inner psyche of today’s fighters. Paradoxically, the knowledge illuminated from this fascinating journey remains timeless and true, reflecting the wisdom of the archetypal ancient warrior—truly a great contribution to the field of mental athletic peak performance.”

Michael Lardon, M.D., sports psychologist and author of Finding Your Zone

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Alternative Right – The Hero Engine


A FIGHTER’S HEART: ONE MAN’S JOURNEY THROUGH THE WORLD OF FIGHTING

Synopsis: In 1999, after a series of wildly adventurous jobs around the world, Sam Sheridan found himself in Australia, loaded with cash and intent on not working until he’d spent it all. It occurred to him that, without distractions, he could finally indulge a long-dormant obsession: fighting. Within a year, he was in Bangkok training with the greatest fighter in muay Thai (Thai kickboxing) history and stepping through the ropes for a professional bout. That one fight wasn’t enough. Sheridan set out to test himself on an epic journey into how and why we fight, facing Olympic boxers, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu stars, and Ultimate Fighting champions. Along the way, Sheridan delivers an insightful look at violence as a career and a spectator sport, a behind-the-pageantry glimpse of athletes at the top of their terrifying game. An extraordinary combination of gonzo journalism and participatory sports writing, A Fighter’s Heart is a dizzying first-hand account of what it’s like to reach the peak of finely disciplined personal aggression, to hit—and be hit.

REVIEW

“From childhood, we search out questions, curiously going places we’re told not to, instinctively testing ourselves-perhaps walking across a thin beam over a construction site-as our heart goes fast then quiet. There is something in a man that demands to know what he can handle, and what he can’t or won’t. Sam Sheridan goes out-and he takes everyone with him.”

Teddy Atlas, legendary boxing trainer and commentator

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Sport Illustrated
Chicago Tribune
Playboy Magazine Online
The Spearhead – Gameness On A Fighter’s Heart