As we near the end of our lives, it’s common to find ourselves thinking more about spirituality and life after death. For many, this may be the first time they’ve considered the existence of a higher power. But if you’ve never been a particularly religious or spiritual person, it can be difficult to know where to start. Fortunately, people have been writing books about life after death and powerful spirituality books since the dawn of time. 

There are many life after death books that can serve as resources to you — from spiritual self care books to thought-provoking novels. The following book suggestions are entry points to explore the best spirituality books and bring you comfort in unknown times. 

Nonfiction books on life after death

1.       Evidence of the Afterlife by Jeffrey Long with Paul Perry

If you’re someone who’s typically scientifically-minded but also curious about the afterlife, this book might be a good read for you. As scientists, the authors used their backgrounds to examine first-hand accounts of near-death experiences through the lens of evidenced-based research from people claiming to have died and come back to life to support the existence of an afterlife.

2.       The Afterlife of Billy Fingers by Annie Kagan

Based on the author’s real-life experience with death, The Afterlife of Billy Fingers tells the story of how Annie, a grieving sister, was visited by her deceased brother from the afterlife. In his after-death communication with her, he brought her hope of an afterlife. This life after death book encourages you to open your minds to the possibilities of the unknown and spirituality.

3.       Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives by Michael Newton

In this life after death book, Michael Newton uses a special hypnosis technique on 29 people to access their hidden memories of the afterlife. They share a range of stories about their individual experiences, including firsthand accounts of how death feels and what happens to the soul after death.

4.       On Life After Death by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross is a pioneer in the death and grief world. Offering insights into the grieving process, she is perhaps most famous for her work on the five stages of grief. In this book, she shares her stories and thoughts on death, based on her studies of over 20,000 people who had near-death experiences.

Fiction books on life after death and spirituality

1.       Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Although Elsewhere is a young adult novel, readers of all ages will be able to relate to the themes of love, loss, and grief in Zevin’s book. It follows the story of a teenager who dies and ends up in “Elsewhere,” a heaven-like place where you age backwards and are reborn again as a baby. It’s an interesting alternative idea to what the afterlife could look like.

2.       The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

This thought-provoking novel is about a man who dies and is sent to heaven where he meets the five people who had the biggest impact on his life. The book gets you thinking about the meaning of life, as well as contemplating those who have played an important role in your life and what experiences have been the most meaningful to you.

3.       Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M. Pirsig

If you’re looking to explore life’s big questions and are searching for life’s meaning, you might enjoy the classic book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. A fictionalized autobiography, it’s a first-person account of a father and son’s motorcycle journey from Minnesota to Northern California. Throughout their adventure, they have many philosophical discussions about the meaning of life and how to live better.

4.       Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

This interesting and insightful book is an allegory that follows the character of a seagull — Jonathan Livingston Seagull — on its quest to seek a higher purpose and self-evolution. This tale is a metaphor for life and shows the importance of following your own path even if others don’t understand or agree.

Spiritual self care books

1.       The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

Considered one of the best books for spiritual awakening, this book by German spiritualist Eckhart Tolle was a hit in the late 1990s and has sold over 3 million copies in North America since its release. Drawing on a mix of Buddhist, New Age, and Christian teachings, this guide is a great introduction to the world of spirituality. Tolle encourages readers to focus on the present rather than getting caught in thoughts about the past or the future and sees this as the key to inner peace.

2.       Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris

This powerful spiritual book argues that there is a middle ground between rationality and spirituality — that we can find the answers to life’s big questions beyond both religion and science. Taking a deep dive into the philosophy of the mind, Waking Up is a great starting point for those who are new to spirituality.

3.       The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer

This New York Times bestseller will help you transform your life from the inside out, resulting in a more peaceful relationship with yourself and the world around you. Written by spiritual teacher Michael Singer, it covers the essence of human consciousness and how we can live happier, more peaceful lives by tapping into that consciousness through practices like mindfulness and meditation.

4.       The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck

A classic and iconic self-help book, The Road Less Traveled is considered one of the best books for spiritual awakening. It combines the author’s expertise in psychiatry with various scientific and spiritual perspectives to lead us to a new fullness of life. It offers advice on the most important pieces of life, from love and parenting to overcoming life’s challenges.

5.       A Course in Miracles by Foundation for Inner Peace

If you want to get serious about spirituality, this book provides a self-study program for achieving peace and happiness. It’s based on the notes of Dr. Helen Schucman, who was a clinical and research psychologist. Her expertise is blended with wisdom she claims came from an inner voice, which she identified as being the voice of Jesus Christ.

6.       When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön

While Pema Chödrön is a Buddhist nun, her teachings bring comfort and healing to Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. Often thought to be one of the best books for a spiritual awakening, her book offers words of advice for coping with difficult times by accepting what we can’t change and meeting situations with curiosity to discover our inner strength.

7.       Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr

Father Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest and author, has a refreshing take on aging. He argues that the later years of our life have the potential to be the most spiritually rich. He suggests that the challenges of life, and what we may often view as “mistakes,” can actually serve as valuable teachings to help us find peace in our later years.

Explore books on life after death with curiosity

Spirituality is a very personal thing and everyone has their own unique journey with it. You may find that one of these books resonates with you, while another simply doesn’t hit the right note. If you approach any new idea with curiosity and an open mind, eventually you’ll find ones that resonate with you and provide the answers you’ve been searching for.

Read more: Death doulas: guiding people through life’s final transition

Note: Better Place Forests does not benefit from the sale of or own the copyrights for any of the above listed works.