As we age, our questions about and interest in what happens after we die may intensify as we begin to face our mortality. Whether you believe we only have one life or feel that our souls live on, a variety of books about life after death explore the topic from many angles. Fiction or nonfiction, spiritual or religious, scientific vs. emotional — these 18 books run the gamut when it comes to exploring what comes next. If you are interested in learning more from life after death books, read below for our suggestions.

  1. Life After Death: the Burden of Proof by Deepak Chopra 

Dr. Deepak Chopra is a global leader and pioneer in mind-body medicine. In this book on the afterlife, he explores the theory that death is an illusion and the soul survives. The book aims to help people overcome their fears about death and consider that more awaits us in the afterlife. 

  1. Life After Life by Raymond A. Moody Jr.

Dr. Moody is a leading authority on near-death experiences. In this best-seller book about life after death, he explores the commonalities told by people after having a near-death experience. This is interesting reading if you’re trying to understand the collective unconscious. 

  1. Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo

This best-selling nonfiction book about life after death chronicles the stories 4-year-old Colton Burpo shared after waking from surgery. The boy described incredible stories to his parents, including memories of speaking with family members he’d never met and details about life in heaven. 

  1. Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing by Anita Moorjani

In this memoir, the author shares revelations she uncovered during a near-death experience. Moorjani explains what she has learned about illness and the Universe’s miracles. Whether you believe or are a skeptic, this spiritual book on death is an interesting lesson on her theory that we have the power to heal ourselves.

Read more: 15 books on life after death & spirituality 2022

  1. The Near-Death Experience by Lee W. Bailey and Jenny Yates

Psychological researchers and philosophers share a variety of analyses in this comprehensive collection of near-death experiences (NDE). Coverage of Christian, Jewish, and Mormon responses to NDEs as well as mystical and spiritual interpretations make this a must-have for anyone looking for religious and spiritual books on death.

Read more: How to talk to loved ones about end-of-life plans

  1. Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife by Dr. Eben Alexander

Former afterlife skeptic Dr. Alexander is forever changed after a brain illness and his own near-death experience. In this book about life after death, he recounts speaking with the divine source of the Universe that resulted in his new belief that death is not the end. 

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

This fictional tale about the afterlife follows Eddie, a newly deceased man who is visited by five people from his life. They recount stories explaining their connections to Eddie, which helps him see that his life was not meaningless and answers his question, “Why was I here?” 

  1. 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper

In 1989, Baptist minister Don Piper was in a terrible car crash and died. Ninety minutes later, he miraculously came back to life. In this Christian nonfiction book about life after death, he explains what he witnessed during that time and how it helped his path to recovery. 

  1. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

This popular fantasy book about the afterlife is a story about Bod, a boy who lives in a graveyard where he is raised by ghosts. This sweet young adult story shows that family is what you make of it. 

  1. Visions, Trips and Crowded Rooms: Who and What you see Before you Die by David Kessler

The author discusses three shared experiences among the dying, including visions, feeling as though one is preparing for a trip, and seeing crowded rooms. Kessler shares stories from the bedsides of the dying to demonstrate how, for some, the last hours of life may be fulfilling for them. 

  1. Ghosts of the Northeast by David J. Pitkin

Interested in nonfiction books about life after death containing riveting true ghost stories? Then this book may be for you. Pitkin uses his metaphysical background to explain why many ghosts have unresolved spiritual struggles and provides an understanding of why they are not at peace. Some of their challenges in life may resonate with you!

  1. The Laws of the Spirit World by Khorshed Bhavnagri

Bhavnagri’s sons died in a car accident. She and her husband spoke to the boys through a medium, and they requested that their parents develop a technique of concentration to help them communicate directly. This book is a translation of “the laws of the spirit world” as told to Bhavnagri by her sons from the afterlife. 

  1. On Life After Death by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross 

Dr. Kübler-Ross is a pioneer in near-death studies and a grief expert. She defined the five stages of grief as we know them today. This book presents four essays and shares her in-depth research on life after death. These essays may help you see the afterlife from a new perspective.

  1. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

In this fantasy book about the afterlife, there is a library between life and death. Each book in the library lets you try out a new life and see how things would be if you made different choices. The story follows a character named Nora as she searches for answers to the question of what makes life worth living. 

  1. Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss

This nonfiction book about life after death tells the story of a psychiatrist and the past-life therapy he performed on a patient. During treatment, she channeled messages revealing remarkable information about Dr. Weiss’ family. This book may change the way you think about what happens after death. 

  1. Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman

If you’ve ever hoped that there is an afterlife, you may enjoy these 40 possible takes on life after death. Some stories are clever, some sad, and many contain metaphors to inspire the living.

  1. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

This fantasy book about the afterlife features ghosts mingling in limbo as a struggle breaks out over the soul of President Lincoln’s son, who has recently died. This supernatural story of family love and loss is both funny and frightening. 

  1. The Amazing Afterlife of Animals: Messages and Signs from Our Pets on the Other Side by Karen A. Anderson

The loss of a pet is always heartbreaking and causes one to wonder if they’ll meet them again in the afterlife. Anderson, an animal communicator and afterlife expert, shares evidence that our pets continue to send us messages after they are gone. This book might be a good sympathy gift to provide comfort to someone grieving a lost pet

Whether these books about life after death resonate with you will depend partly on your beliefs. Read with an open mind; you never know when you’ll find a story that resonates with you and provides you with a new take on the afterlife.

Read more: How it works: return your ashes to the earth 

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