Have you Heard? Man vs. Nature
12 mins read

Have you Heard? Man vs. Nature

Check out these stories of survival when battling hurricanes, blight, and other natural disasters.

While not all the below recommendations are technically “Man” vs. nature (we may have snuck some rabbits and robots in), they all represent the spirit of survival and what humanity is willing to do in the face of impossible odds.

This is just a sample of the audiobooks in our collection, and you can visit a library location for assistance in finding personalized recommendations.


A Furious Sky: the Five-Hundred-Year History of America’s Hurricanes by Eric Jay Dolin, read by Bob Souer. Hurricanes menace North America from June through November every year, each as powerful as 10,000 nuclear bombs. These megastorms will likely become more intense as the planet continues to warm, yet we too often treat them as local disasters and TV spectacles, unaware of how far-ranging their impact can be. As best-selling historian Eric Jay Dolin contends, we must look to our nation’s past if we hope to comprehend the consequences of the hurricanes of the future. Print / Playaway / eAudiobook / eBook.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, read by Philip Franklin. The story of Chris McCandless, a young man who embarked on a solo journey into the wilds of Alaska and whose body was discovered four months later, explores the allure of the wilderness. Print / CD Book / eAudiobook / eBook / Spanish.

Wild: from lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed, read by Bernadette Dunne. A powerful, blazingly honest, inspiring memoir: the story of a 1,100-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe–and built her back up again. Print / CD Book / Playaway / eAudiobook / eBook.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, narrated by Julia Whelan. In 1974, a former Vietnam POW, suffering from flashbacks and nightmares, moves his family to Alaska to live off the grid to find peace, restoration, and freedom. They will also face dangers, both internally and externally, as they face the ultimate test of the human spirit. Print / CD Book / Playaway / eAudiobook / eBook / Large print.

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing, read by Simon Prebble. Bound for Antarctica, where polar explorer Ernest Shackleton planned to cross on foot the last uncharted continent, the Endurance set sail from England in August 1914. In January 1915, after battling its way for six weeks through a thousand miles of pack ice and now only a day’s sail short of its destination, the Endurance became locked in an island of ice. This astonishing tale of survival by Shackleton and all twenty-seven of his men for over a year on the ice-bound Antarctic seas, as Time magazine put it, “defined heroism. Print / eAudiobook / eBook.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel, narrated by Jeff Woodman and Alexander Marshall. Pi Patel, having spent an idyllic childhood in Pondicherry, India, as the son of a zookeeper, sets off with his family at the age of sixteen to start anew in Canada, but his life takes a marvelous turn when their ship sinks in the Pacific, leaving him adrift on a raft with a 450-pound Bengal tiger for company. Print / CD Book / Playaway / eAudiobook / eBook / Chinese.

The Martian by Andy Weir, narrated by R.C. Bray. Mark Watney was nearly killed by a dust storm on Mars and was abandoned by his crew who thought him dead.  Now he’s all alone with no way of letting Earth know he’s alive. Not giving in, Mark works to survive, battling obstacle after obstacle, but will it be enough? Print / CD Book / eBook / Spanish / Large print / DVD / Blu-ray.

In the Heart of the Sea: the Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick, read by Scott Brick. brings to new life the incredible story of the wreck of the whaleship Essex–an event as mythic in its own century as the Titanic disaster in ours, and the inspiration for the climax of Moby-Dick. Print / eAudiobook / eBook.

The lost city of Z: a tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann, read by Mark Deakins. Unravels the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century–the story of the legendary British explorer who ventured into the Amazon jungle in search of a fabled civilization and never returned. Print / CD Book / eAudiobook / eBook / Large print / DVD.

Labyrinth of ice: the Triumphant and Tragic Greely Polar Expedition by Buddy Levy, read by Will Damron. Based on the author’s exhaustive research, the incredible true story of the Greely Expedition, one of the most harrowing adventures in the annals of polar exploration. Print / Playaway / eBook.


Wilder Girls by Rory Power, narrated by Eileen Stevens and Jesse Vilinsky. A feminist Lord of the Flies about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school, and the lengths they go to uncover the truth of their confinement when one disappears. Print / eAudiobook / eBook.

A Door in the Dark by Scott Reintgen, narrated by Jesse Vilinsky. Six teenage wizards fight to make it home alive after a malfunctioning spell leaves them stranded in the wilderness. Print / Playaway / eBook.

Brian’s Hunt by Gary Paulsen, narrated by Ron McLarty. Two years after having survived a plane crash into the Canadian wilderness, a sixteen-year-old returns to the wild to befriend a wounded dog and hunt a rogue bear. Print / CD Book / Playaway / eAudiobook / eBook.

Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, narrated by Emily Bauer. When a meteor knocks the moon closer to earth, Miranda, a high school sophomore, takes shelter with her family. Print / eAudiobook / eBook.

Nation by Terry Pratchett, narrated by Stephen Briggs. When a giant wave destroys his village, Mau is the only one left. Daphne–a traveler from the other side of the globe–is the sole survivor of a shipwreck. Separated by language and customs, the two are united by catastrophe. Slowly, they are joined by other refugees. And as they struggle to protect the small band, Mau and Daphne defy ancestral spirits, challenge death himself, and uncover a long-hidden secret that literally turns the world upside down. Print / CD Book / Playaway / eBook.

Watership Down by Richard Adams, narrated by Ralph Cosham. Set in England’s Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale follows a band of very special creatures on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home. Led by a stouthearted pair of brothers, they journey from their native Sandleford Warren, through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, and toward the dream of a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society. Print / CD Book / Playaway / eAudiobook / eBook / DVD.

Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee, narrated by Emily Woo Zeller. Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Print / CD Book / eBook.

Chomp by Carl Hiassen, narrated by James Van Der Beek. When the difficult star of the reality television show “Expedition Survival” disappears while filming an episode in the Florida Everglades using animals from the wildlife refuge run by Wahoo Crane’s family, Wahoo and classmate Tuna Gordon set out to find him while avoiding Tuna’s gun-happy father. Print / Playaway / eAudiobook / eBook.

The Outcasts by John Flanagan, narrated by John Keating. Skandian outcasts Hal, Stig, and others do battle at sea against the Wolves and the Sharks, in the ultimate race across icy waters where not everyone thinks of the competition as play. Print / Playaway / eAudiobook / eBook.

Under this Forgetful Sky by Lauren Yero, narrated by Ali Andre Ali, Victoria Villarreal and Adriana Sananes. When rebels infect his father with a fatal virus, sixteen-year-old Rumi ventures beyond his city’s protected walls and meets Paz, who offers to guide him on his search for a cure but may have an agenda of her own. Print / eAudiobook.


Two Degrees by Alan Gratz, narrated by Sophie Oda, Adam Sanders and Almarie Guerra. When three children endure separate climate change disasters–a wildfire in the California woods, a close encounter with a hungry polar bear in Canada, and a massive hurricane in Florida–they emerge from their experiences committed to changing the world. Print / Large print / Playaway / eAudiobook / eBook.

I Survived the Wellington Avalanche, 1910 by Lauren Tarshis. The Wellington snow slide of 1910 was–and still is–the deadliest avalanche in America’s history. Print / Playaway / eAudiobook / eBook.

Across the Desert by Dusti Bowling, narrated by Stacy Gonzalez. While using a public library computer to find help for her mother who is addicted to pain medicine, twelve-year-old Jolene witnesses a friend’s livestreamed crash-landing in the Arizona desert and embarks on a journey to rescue her. Print / Large print / Playaway / eAudiobook / eBook.

Paradise on Fire by Jewell Parker Rhodes, narrated by Tyla Collier. Addy is haunted by the tragic fire that killed her parents, leaving her to be raised by her grandmother. Years later, Addy’s grandmother has enrolled her in a summer wilderness program. There, Addy joins five other Black city kids–each with their own troubles–to spend a summer out west. But then comes a devastating forest fire. Print / Playaway / eAudiobook.

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, narrated by Jeff Woodman. A young boy relates his adventures during the year he spends living alone in the Catskill Mountains including his struggle for survival, his dependence on nature, his animal friends, and his ultimate realization that he needs human companionship. Print / Chinese / eAudiobook / eBook.

Connect the Stars by Marisa De los Santos, narrated by Cassandra Morris and Jesse Bernstein. When thirteen-year-olds T.E. and Audrey meet at a wilderness camp in the desert, they think their quirks are enough to prevent them from ever having friends. But as they trek through the challenging and unforgiving landscape, they learn that they each have what it takes to make the other whole. Print / Playaway.

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden, narrated by Renee Dorian. New York Times bestselling adult author of The Bear and the Nightingale makes her middle-grade debut with a creepy, spellbinding ghost story destined to become a classic. Print / CD Book / eAudiobook / eBook.

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johanna David Wyss, narrated by Norman Dietz. Relates the fortunes of a shipwrecked family as they imaginatively adapt to life on an island with abundant animal and plant life. Print / Large print / eAudiobook / eBook.

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown, narrated by Kate Atwater. Roz the robot discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island with no memory of where she is from or why she is there, and her only hope of survival is to try to learn about her new environment from the island’s hostile inhabitants. Print / CD Book / Playaway / eAudiobook / eBook / Large print.

Zane and the Hurricane: a Story of Katrina by W.R. Philbrick, narrated by Jerry Dixon. A twelve-year-old boy and his dog become trapped in New Orleans during the horrors of Hurricane Katrina. Print / CD Book / eAudiobook.

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