Reading is a vital part of spiritual and afterlife research. There are books that detail compelling personal experiences such as near-death experiences, books claiming authorship directly from the world of spirit through automatic writing or the recorded words of trance channels, books about out-of body experiences, past-life research, consciousness studies, mediumship experiences and beautiful after-death communications as well as academic papers and scientific studies.
The following is a list with a short review of only the very best books in my spiritualism library. Each book listed here has something interesting, unusual or amazing to contribute to our understanding of afterlife research and I hope you find them as illuminating as I have.
If you have a favorite afterlife or spiritualism book that you think should be on this list, please let me know in the comments!
Books you will NOT find on this list:
Unsubstantial new-age drivel, corruptions of other teachings, advertisements for the author’s own psychic or mediumship services, or outright deception or suspected deception. You will also not find books here with a religious perspective (aside from historical purposes or NDE reports) because I am committed to a strictly secular understanding of the afterlife.
I am not a part of an affiliate program, nor am I paid or promoted for recommendations.
Books Are Listed Alphabetically by Author’s Name
The New Children and Near-Death Experiences
By P.M.H. Atwater L.H.D
Atwater is one of the leading researchers of near-death experiences, particularly in children. This book uses a study of 277 adults and children who had a near-death experience as young as in the womb through their pre-teen years. Atwater discusses not only the radical intellectual, social and cognitive changes in these children after their experience, but also the devastating impact NDEs can have, when not properly understood by themselves and by parents. This book is important for any parent who suspects that their child might have had a near-death experience, even if the child doesn’t consciously remember it or for anyone interested in the after-effects of near-death experiences. What you will read in this book is truly groundbreaking science, research and study in a field that is rarely illuminated, even by the pioneers of such research in adults.
Near-Death in the ICU: Stories from Patients Near Death and Why We Should Listen to Them
By Laurin Bellg, MD
Laurin writes this book from a perspective we don’t ordinarily enjoy: that of a medical doctor with extensive experience in the emergency room, where patients are frequently resuscitated. She shares her own touching NDE story, then regales her experiences with patients and the amazing spirituality that she has encountered through their brushes with death. It is refreshing to hear from a member of the medical establishment. Too frequently it seems doctors are portrayed as resistant to miracles, near-death experiences, and death bed visions. Through Bellg, we are shown that there are doctors out there who have a fresh, open-minded perspective about spiritual phenomena and are willing to listen to their patients instead of dismiss their experiences out of hand.
The Afterlife Unveiled: What the Dead are Telling Us About Their World
By Stafford Betty, Ph.D.
Dr. Betty, Professor of Religious Studies at CSU Bakersfield, fills these pages with fascinating and evidential communications spanning two centuries to show us that the afterlife is not some dream-like hazy world of harps and clouds, but an ultra-real place that responds to our inner state of being. Through these carefully selected communications, Dr. Betty deftly guides us through the rational structure of the multidimensional afterlife and the stark responsibility we have for the state of our own consciousness. “The Afterlife Unveiled” expanded my understanding of the structure and purpose of the afterlife in a way other books have not achieved; it is a cornerstone of my library. Any serious afterlife researcher should have this book in his or her collection.
Heaven and Hell Unveiled: Updates from the World of Spirit
By Stafford Betty, Ph.D.
Dr. Stafford Betty returns to examine the afterlife through selected spirit communications in Heaven and Hell Revealed. Although this book can certainly stand on its own, I would recommend reading it after you’ve read this first book, The Afterlife Unveiled (above). Using a spirit communications from channeled material and automatic writing, Betty navigates what is in store for us in the afterlife based on the experiences of spirits who actually live there. This book is not only fascinating because of the many interesting stories and examples he chooses from the wealth of spiritual literature available, but for Dr. Betty’s own analysis which deftly encapsulates his analysis and interpretation succinctly. One of the most memorable parts of this book? His story about Marie, a selfish young and spoiled Victorian girl who obsesses over a stolen lover and ends up in The Void. This story will haunt you. Read a synopsis here: Sometimes You Don’t See The Light – The Void: A Place of Nothingness in the Afterlife
When Did You Ever Become Less By Dying? Afterlife: The Evidence
By Stafford Betty, Ph.D.
Dr. Betty has written some of my favorite books on the afterlife. As an academic professor who teaches on the subject, he uses his great knowledge of the history of spiritual literature and scientific study to introduce the reader to less well-known evidence as well as historical mediumship transcripts and messages directly from spirits. Instead of the same famous cases that are used as evidence in nearly every book, Dr. Betty has uncovered different cases, old and new, to make his point. In this book, Dr. Betty covers deathbed visions, NDEs, apparitions, poltergeist phenomena, spirit communication, spirit attachment and possession, reincarnation, instrumental transcommunication, terminal lucidity, and more. Throughout the book, he adds his own academic and philosophical understanding to each subject to assist the reader in making sense of the evidence.
Adventures in the Afterlife
By William Buhlman
William Bulman is an out-of-body expert. His first book, Adventures Beyond the Body, describes in fascinating detail his own experiences as he learned how to travel outside of his body in the astral and spiritual realms. This book is a fictional account of the experiences of a person who is recently deceased and their entry into the afterlife. The protagonist dies and finds himself in the traditional Christian heaven. Everything seems wonderful at first – There are parties and church and social gatherings, his mother is there and makes all of the food he remembers and even lives in a replica of their old home. But something is wrong. Everyone’s still waiting for Jesus and he never seems to appear. This is heaven, right? Or might there be something more to this afterlife?
21 Days into the Afterlife: A Scientific and Literary Journey that may Change your Life
By Piero Calvi-Parisetti, MD
Dr. Calvi-Parisetti is a Scottish medical doctor, afterlife researcher, professor and musician who has spent many years studying (and teaching) about the scientific and anecdotal evidence of the afterlife. In order to help the uninitiated learn more about the evidence that exists for the afterlife, he compiled this book which is formatted in an unusual way. He takes the position of an afterlife expert who will be presenting the evidence to a skeptic over 21 days – one subject per day. Throughout the book, he creates the dialog between himself and the skeptic as the evidence is slowly presented, citing the studies and many, many examples to back-up his claims. Over the course of the 21 days, the skeptic slowly concedes that the evidence for the afterlife is overwhelming and becomes a believer. What I really liked about this book is that it is completely evidence-based. Dr. Parisetti doesn’t appeal to your emotional side, but rather uses real evidence that appeals to your sense of logic and common sense. Many of the lines of evidence in this book proved to be a springboard for further research. Through this book, I learned where to find more obscure evidence, and what type of scientific research has been done in each area of afterlife research. This is also a great book to give to an open-minded skeptic who knows little of the field.
Rita’s World: A View From The Non-Physical
By Frank DeMarco
This book by Frank DeMarco is a treasure. DeMarco records an on-going dialog through the veil with his friend and former colleague Rita Warren who lives now in the spirit world. While Rita was earth-side, they worked together to contact high-level spirits called ‘The Guys Upstairs’ which was published into a book in 2008 called The Sphere and the Hologram. Continuing their work, DeMarco records his sessions with Rita herself, discussing profound topics such as the nature of reality, death and the afterlife and her experience now in the realm of spirit. This book is esoteric and sophisticated, and yet Rita has a way of explaining difficult topics with metaphors that even we here on earth can understand. If you like Jane Robert’s Seth channelings, you will love Rita’s World.
Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife
By Eben Alexander, M.D.
There are hundreds of books about near-death experiences available, but none written by a neurosurgeon. Dr. Alexander is stricken with a particularly dangerous form of bacterial meningitis. His full recovery is a miracle in itself, but most amazing is his description of visiting the afterlife, and the complete reversal of his scientific opinion about the survival of consciousness after death. Dr. Alexander reviews both the medical and spiritual aspects through his unique perspective as a neurosurgeon, giving the reader rare insight into why his illness was a perfect study for NDE researchers, how his recovery was truly miraculous and how it changed him as a person. Dr. Alexander is now a huge proponent and outspoken supporter of NDE research world-wide.
Hello From Heaven! A New Field of Research – After-Death Communication – Confirms that Life and Love are Eternal
By Bill and Judy Guggenheim
Bill and Judy Guggenheim coined the phrase “After-Death Communication” and this work is now considered one of the classics in afterlife literature. Publishing only first-hand accounts, the book details over 300 personal stories of communication from loved ones after they pass. Not only have the Guggenheims “written the book’ on ADCs, they pioneered the study of it. The created the survey, research methods and even the categories that ADCs are now traditionally categorized into. It is a must read for any researcher looking for information about after-death communication. Related: After-Death Communications: Why it Happens, Why it Doesn’t, and How to Encourage Signs From Loved Ones In Spirit
Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul
By Jane Roberts
Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul was written by a high-level discarnate entity named Seth who spoke through writer Jane Roberts in the 1970’s. Jane never became famous or rich during her lifetime channeling for Seth twice a week and yet for 20 years, she and her husband dutifully recorded the most amazing, original and sophisticated spiritual literature in the 20th century. This is the first book in a series produced by Jane/Seth, and they get progressively harder and more technical. This book had a profound personal impact on me, and undoubtedly the larger spiritual movement. This is not a book of platitudes, but rather an introduction to the very nature of multidimensional reality. Combining science, philosophy, health and practical advice for living an unapologetic life, Seth Speaks is required reading for any afterlife researcher or spiritualist. Even if you doubt the “supernatural” origin of the words, the message is so profound and so elegantly inspirational that it matters little; the work stands on its own regardless of any question of authorship.
The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: How My Bad-Boy Brother Proved to Me There’s Life After Death
By Annie Kagan
By all accounts, Annie Kagan was a normal, ambitious and successful woman working as a Chiropractor and writing music on the side. After her brother Billy passed away after a decidedly very troubled life, Annie was lost. She had quit her practice and moved into a rural home away from the noise of the city to pursue writing music. Alone and grieving, Annie shuffled through each day wondering where her brother was – that is, until she heard his voice speaking to her out loud. This book records not only the amazing afterlife experience that Billy recounts (one of the most unusual and interesting that I have read), but also the many coincidences and blessings that help bring Annie back into focus in her own life. Billy is a rare spirit who has not decided to return to earth for any further incarnations, so his afterlife experience is unique and even somewhat sad, as his consciousness deepens and expands through the book and his spirit becomes less Billy, and more… something else.
Understanding Life After Death: An Exploration of What Awaits You, Me and Everyone We’ve Ever Known
By Cyrus Kirkpatrick
Written by an ordinary guy looking for answers, this book is surprisingly full of research and evidence. Presented in a casual style, Cyrus mixes the findings of his own research with personal stories that led him to question the reality of life after death. Cyrus uses a lot of evidence in his book, putting forward a convincing argument for life after death. He especially devotes a lot of time and research into physical mediumship, a topic most books tend to ignore or gloss over. This is a great book for people new to the genre and the field of research because of the casual and honest style of presenting the evidence. Cyrus doesn’t try to sell you, he’s searching too.
Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe
By Robert Lanza, MD with Bob Berman
Biocentrism is an extraordinary book because the author, Dr. Robert Lanza, is considered one of the top three living scientists in the world today due to his ground-breaking contributions to stem-cell research. He shocked (and dismayed) the medical and academic communities when he published this book that turns materialism, the bedrock of science, on its head to suggest that consciousness creates matter, not the other way around. Dr. Lanza believes in life after death, and explains his theory of both consciousness and the real nuts and bolts of the universe using philosophy, quantum physics and biology to support his argument. The book is not a light read, and for non-science nerds the chapter on quantum mechanics might be a little difficult. If you can keep an open mind, though, this book will broaden your horizons and encourage you to consider your reality in a completely different way.
Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences
By Jeffrey Long M.D. with Paul Perry
Dr. Jeffrey Long is one of the giants of NDE research, and of you want a book that lays out the scientific evidence for life after death based on near-death experiences, this book doesn’t disappoint. Dr. Jeffrey Long is a medical doctor who has expended a considerable amount of research time studying patients who have had these experiences. This book is filled with stories and personal experiences that carefully build evidence for the reader, as well as medical and scientific perspectives that have resulted from Dr. Long’s extensive research and medical knowledge. This is definitely one of the seminal works in NDE literature.
God and the Afterlife: the Groundbreaking New Evidence of Near-Death Experience
By Jeffrey Long, M.D. with Paul Perry
Jeffery Long is known for his research into near-death experiences and his previous bestseller, ‘Evidence of the Afterlife’. As founder of NDE research site nderf.org, he has pioneered survey techniques for near-death experiencers and uses this information in his latest book about what NDErs say about God. Singling out this particular aspect of near-death experience, Dr. Long presents statistics as well as narrative from his vast library of public NDE contributions. Additionally, he interprets these results in order to present the reader with an analysis about what God is or isn’t, based on the experiences of those who have come in contact with this higher power. If you are interested in God, NDEs or the afterlife in general, this is both a scholarly and an interesting read from one of the best in the field. Related: Read my post on Dr. Long’s results from this book: New Study Reveals the Nature of God in Near-Death Experiences
Dying to be Me; My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing
By Anita Moorjani
Anita really draws you into her whole life story, not just the miraculous part where she has a near-death experience and heals from stage 4b cancer in a matter of days upon her return. Anita’s experience also leaves the reader with lessons they can apply to their own life, without ever feeling preachy. The medical evidence was provided to oncology doctor Dr. Jeffery Long who independently verified her claims of this medical miracle. Highly recommended for anyone struggling with fear, illness or challenge in their life.
Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives
By Michael Newton, Ph.D.
Dr. Michael Newton started out as an atheistic psychotherapist attempting to use standard hypnosis to help patients get to the root of their phobias, fears, recurring nightmares and untreatable illnesses. During one frustrating session early in his career, he asked his client to go to the source of his issues. His client spontaneously started describing a past life. Over the years, Dr. Newton then began regressing his clients to the time they spent between lives, eventually pioneering his Life Between Life Hypnotherapy technique. He started the Newton institute to teach other qualified therapists to do the same and the technique has spread around the country. Dr. Newton realized over 30 years of work that his patients were describing the same aspects of the afterlife. They described the council of elders, the life review, a library where we can access past lives, soul groups, specializations for advanced souls (see my post on Dr. Newton’s Afterlife Careers) and much more. This is a book packed with detail about the afterlife through selected case studies and if you trust that Dr. Newton’s work is genuine, I promise you won’t think about spirituality or the afterlife the same way after reading this book.
Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives
By Michael Newton, Ph.D.
Expanding on his previous groundbreaking work, Destiny of Souls continues with more in-depth case studies and more insights into the afterlife. I would encourage you to begin with Journey of Souls before moving on to this book which builds on the information previously provided about the afterlife. Dr. Newton examines new and different aspects of the afterlife, spirituality, the meaning of life and reincarnation in this book and it is so fascinating that it deserves multiple read-throughs. If Dr. Newton’s work is genuine, then these two books might represent the biggest breakthrough in afterlife research ever. When 30+ years of clients are said to have a similar afterlife experience, one must sit up and take notice. Even if you are skeptical about the LBL regression therapy, its worth it to read these books. They will certainly challenge any preconceived beliefs you may have had about the afterlife.
Memories of the Afterlife: Life Between Lives – Stories of Personal Transformation
Edited by Michael Newton, Ph.D. with Case Studies by the members of the Newton Institute
Reading in progress! Check back soon for a review!
Answers About the Afterlife: A Private Investigator’s 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life After Death
By Bob Olsen
If I had to choose one book to give a person who knew absolutely nothing about the current research in life after death, I’d give them this book. Bob Olsen’s style is approachable without being patronizing, and his spiritual know-how is solid. He speaks about his own 15 year search for life after death after the death of his father and gives excellent advice for others who want to start their own research. Finally, he devotes a large portion of the book to question and answer which covers basic questions about the afterlife to anyone starting out might have. The spiritual information is well-researched, as one would expect from a PI. It’s a great all-around introduction to spiritual topics.
Peter Panagore is a twenty-one year old college student who opts to accompany an acquaintance on a dangerous winter backcountry ice-climbing trip at the Lower Weeping Wall in the Canadian Rockies in order to avoid returning home to his troubled family during a school break. Although Peter is an experienced backcountry camper, he is a novice ice climber. When he and his climbing partner become stranded on the ice ledge after nightfall, Peter succumbs to hypothermia and dies. His powerful and challenging near-death experience changes his life forever, although he struggles to adjust to life after meeting the face of God. This book combines the thrilling and terrifying aspects of Peter’s ice climb with the impactful experience of his NDE to create a unique book that not only conveys the transformative beauty of a near-death experience, but all of the difficulty that experiencers have when they return to ordinary life.
Dying to Wake Up: A Doctor’s Voyage into the Afterlife and Wisdom He Brought Back
By Rajiv Parti, M.D. with Paul Perry
Dr. Parti had it all: fancy cars, a huge mansion in Cali, a beautiful wife, three kids and the job of a lifetime: anesthesiologist at one of the best heart surgery hospitals in California. All this was about to change with a series of health-related misfortunes and a surgery to save his life. In a heartbeat, Dr. Parti was shown how shallow and meaningless his materialistic lifestyle was during his extensive near-death experience. After meeting with his deceased father, ancestors and two angels, he was told that when we returned to life, he would have to give it all up, start over and begin healing in a completely new way. Dr. Parti doesn’t sugar coat his own short-comings and challenges along the way, and his experience can serve as both lesson and inspiration to the challenges that we all face on this journey through life.
Science Set Free: 10 Paths to New Discovery
By Dr. Rupert Sheldrake
What? A science book in the midst of spirituality literature? Yes! Part of life after death research involves exploring new frontiers of science and reevaluating what we think we already know. This book questions the assumption of materialism and urges us toward a more nuanced understanding of the importance of consciousness in the universe. While this book doesn’t explicitly talk about life after death, Sheldrake navigates many of the pillars of science that most of us take for granted, turning theories on their head by presenting evidence that conflicts with even our most grounded scientific certainties. Exploring topics such as the fundamental constants of the universe, consciousness and the brain, and how biological systems are formed, Dr. Sheldrake uses his extensive background as a research biologist to guide us through the history of scientism, the current intellectual stranglehold in academia and many new theories, such as his own Morphic Resonance. Related: Telepathy is Scientifically Proven by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (And Ignored By Science)
My Life After Life: A Posthumous Memoir
By Galen Soller/Kenneth Stoller, M.D.
Galen Stoller was 16 years old and preparing for a hopeful future as an actor on Broadway. But in 2007, Galen’s life would be cut short when a train hit is car killing him instantly. Galen’s father is both a physician and a spiritualist, and unusual combination that would later facilitate communication between father and son. The result of those conversations is recorded in this book. Galen’s afterlife is fascinating. We see him struggle to deal with his initial loneliness, then begin to learn about his new environment. He meets beings from other dimensions, saves his father’s life, becomes friends with his brother from a past life, and more. Each person will have to decide for themselves if they believe Ken Stoller was really in contact with his son and I feel the book is worth a read to find out. Related: Find out more about Galen’s story in my post: The Afterlife of an American Teenager: Galen Stoller’s Story
Life Chapters: Extraordinary Afterlife of People You Never Heard Of
By Galen Stoller/Kenneth Stoller, M.D.
Life Chapters can be properly considered a sequel to the first book in Galen’s Deathwalker series called My Life After Life: A Posthumous Memoir. In the first book, we learn about Galen and is experiences as a new spirit in the afterlife after a train accident took his life in 2007. In Life Chapters, Galen introduces us to other spirits he had met and tells us their own life stories, experiences in the afterlife and plans for the future. The book is an interesting read for anyone who is interested in learning about the types of spiritual growth that happen after death, and what kinds of things in life affect our future decisions in spirit. The spirits that Galen introduces us to are interesting and varied, though its sometimes hard to keep reminded myself that these are not fictional characters in a story, but real spirits who have lived and still do.
Application of Impossible Things: My Near Death Experience in Iraq
By Natalie Sudman
Stop Worrying! There Probably Is An Afterlife
By Greg Taylor
This book is a great introduction to the evidence of life after death. Taylor introduces some of the most well-known cases in several areas of life after death evidence, such as death-bed visions, near-death experiences and mediumship. Also provided is the history of spiritual development in the 1800’s and the interesting cases that provided a foundation for modern belief.
Why Science Is Wrong..About Almost Everything
By Alex Tsakiris
Alex Tsakiris runs the popular podcast Skeptiko, where he interviews authors, researchers and experiencers typically relating to consciousness studies and psi phenomenon. If there has been a great new case, book or breakthrough in research, you can bet that Alex will interview them on his show. The book he presents is a distillation of what he’s learned about the frailty of the scientific establishment of materialism, and why the looming edifice of current scientific belief is not as solid as it appear to be. He uses examples from his own interviews and pairs them with alternative evidence to illustrate his point. Alex is strong-willed in his opinions, but open-minded. There is no glad-handing here: Alex seeks out experts in every field to blow the field of alternative science wide open. Dr. Dean Radin, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, Dr. Jan Holden, and Dr. Jeffrey Long, among others, all make their appearance here.
Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children’s Memories of Previous Lives
By Jim B. Tucker, M.D.
Dr. Tucker is a psychiatrist and research scientist who has collaborated with the pre-eminent scientist, Dr. Ian Stevenson who was famed for his rigorous study of memories of past lives in children. Arguably THE best scientific evidence for life after death today, Dr. Ian Stevenson’s methodology was considered so bulletproof, that few skeptics even dare bring up his work, preferring instead to pretend that his conclusions simply don’t exist rather than attempt to refute them. Dr. Tucker takes up Dr. Stevenson’s work where he left off after his death, continuing with Dr. Stevenson’s excellent methodology to bring us some of the most fascinating cases of past-life recall in children. Like Stevenson, Tucker follows up with all cases to ensure that there is no way the children or the families could have come up with the information in a fraudulent way. If you are looking for a fast, exciting read, however, this may not be the book for you. The scientific thoroughness that Dr. Tucker insists upon unfortunately translates to extremely detailed, technical and sometimes dry reporting. However, if you are serious about finding scientific evidence that is hard to refute, this book will not disappoint.
Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives
By Brian L. Weiss, M.D.
This is a classic in spiritual literature. Dr. Brian Weiss, a traditional psychiatrist, tells of his first experience with past-life regression which happened quite accidentally while he struggled to help a young woman with several phobias and deep, unexplained trauma. While the story of her past lives are quite compelling, I was disappointed that the book only revolves around one patient. From an evidential standpoint, one patient’s hypnosis can hardly be considered proof of the afterlife or reincarnation. Which of her so-called past-lives were real and which may have been created to please the obviously enthusiastic doctor is impossible to tell. However, I think this book does have merit which is why it is included in my recommended reading list: the ‘messages from the masters’ are interesting and inspiring, and its written well enough to be entertaining. This book also provides some insight as to the process of healing trauma through past-life recall, which does seem to have therapeutic value regardless of the source of the ‘memories’. If you are looking for more information about past-life hypnosis, I would also recommend Dr. Newton’s “Journey of Souls” and “Destiny of Souls”.
Messages From the Masters: Tapping into the Power of Love
By Brian Weiss M.D.
Review coming soon
A Lawyer Presents the Evidence for the Afterlife
By Victor Zammit and Wendy Zammit
Vistas of Infinity: How to Enjoy Life When You Are Dead
Out of Body Explorations Into Non-Local States of Consciousness and Post-Life Territories
By Jurgen Ziewe
Jurgen Ziewe is an expert in out-of-body travel, spending a long time learning the fine art of directing his consciousness away from his body and into the astral realms. These realms also happen to be where spirits reside; the afterlife. In a sense, Ziewe is crossing through the veil into the multidimensional afterlife in order to tell us what it’s like. In his travels, he meets his deceased mother, family, and friends and explores the various levels that spirits find themselves in after death. He wanders into a cartoon world created by two cartoon enthusiasts, meets women who make him a new outfit using their thoughts, and even learns the horrifying and gruesome hellish fate of suicide bombers. This is an amazing resource for afterlife discovery; a unique, interesting book filled with descriptive details that will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.
More book reviews coming soon….