11 Must-Read Books About Heaven for Adults or Families

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For many, talking about death can be challenging and even frightening. Such people typically also prefer to avoid reading about death, watching films about the subject, and basically addressing their own eventual deaths in any way.

This is entirely understandable. However, not everyone feels this way. For example, some people with religious or spiritual beliefs (or at least an attraction to spirituality) find that focusing on the topic of Heaven allows them to discuss death in an empowering and hopeful way.

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If you think this approach could help you better cope with a scary subject, consider reading books about Heaven to start exploring the idea. You can also share these books with family and friends if you believe they’d benefit from reading them.

The following are a few options to keep in mind. From tales of near-death experiences to fictional accounts of fantastic journeys through the afterlife, they’re some of the best books about Heaven worth checking out.

New Books About Heaven for Adults

Questions about death and what happens after it have fascinated humans for millennia. Thus, it comes as no surprise that many continue to write books on the subject to this day. Examples of new books about Heaven for adults include:

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

Life After Death isn’t a book about Heaven that focuses on any one particular religion’s description of the afterlife. Instead, author Deepak Chopra cites both ancient teachings and modern scientific findings to make the case that human lives continue in some form after death. It’s a book that may appeal to those who want to learn about the topic in a general way instead of from the perspective of a single religion.

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2. Heaven by Randy Alcorn

If you’d specifically like to learn more about what the Christian Bible says about Heaven, consider trying this book. It’s essentially a heavily researched, comprehensive guide to everything we can learn about Heaven from the Bible. Author Randy Alcorn offers a hopeful message, stating that based on Biblical descriptions, Heaven is likely to be an abundant and joyful place.

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3. The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: How My Bad-Boy Brother Proved to Me There's Life After Death by Annie Kagan

The Afterlife of Billy Fingers isn’t necessarily a book that’s only about Heaven. It tackles many topics related to death.

The book’s author, Annie Kagan, states her brother began communicating with her from the afterlife just weeks after his passing. Many others have shared such stories, but Kagan’s is unique because of how thoroughly documented it is.

Kagan believes her brother’s communications have provided her with greater insights into death, the meaning of life, and what the experience of being in Heaven involves.

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4. One Minute After You Die: A Preview of Your Final Destination by Erwin W. Lutzer

Some people who believe in Heaven still fear death. They may believe something happens after they die, but not knowing what they may experience in specific terms frightens them.

Someone with this fear may appreciate what author Erwin W. Lutzer has done with One Minute After You Die. The book applies Jesus’ teachings and Biblical research to offer what’s essentially a “step-by-step” guide describing what may happen in the immediate aftermath of your own passing.

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Older Books About Heaven for Adults

Again, authors have been writing about Heaven for ages. Along with the newer titles above, you might also want to read such older books about Heaven as:

5. What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson

Although What Dreams May Come is a work of fiction, it earns a spot on this list due to the way author Richard Matheson describes a unique fantasy version of the afterlife that takes inspiration from several religious and spiritual belief systems. The novel earned renewed attention after years of relative obscurity when the film adaptation starring Robin Williams arrived in 1998.

However, while the novel’s overall message is comforting, it’s worth noting that a large part of the story involves a journey to Hell. Some readers expecting a book that exclusively describes a happy afterlife may find these chapters upsetting.

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6. (Almost) All of C.S. Lewis’ Nonfiction works

This may be cheating, but C.S. Lewis, author of the popular Chronicles of Narnia series, also published so many books about Christianity and Heaven that it would be impossible to choose just one. As someone who struggled with his Christian faith before finally returning to it, Lewis spent much of his career writing academic works exploring the topic of Heaven and how our beliefs about the afterlife may shape how we live our lives here.

7. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

Another work of fiction, Divine Comedy is an epic poem broken up into three main sections. The most well-known may be Inferno, which tells the tale of Dante’s descent into Hell, but the third section, Paradiso, explores Heaven. It’s one of the most enduring works on the subject ever written.

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Books About Near-Death Experiences and Heaven

Some people believe in Heaven because they’re religious. However, there are others who believe in Heaven because they claim to have been there.

Accounts of such people’s near-death experiences offer hope to many. It can be easier for some people to believe in Heaven when they hear stories of people who think they’ve visited the afterlife. If that type of story appeals to you, the following books about Heaven and near-death experiences might be just what you’re looking for.

8. Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent

Heaven Is for Real is among the most popular books about Heaven and near-death experiences ever published. It tells the story of co-author Todd Burpo’s son, who told his parents that when he was undergoing emergency surgery, he left his body and went to Heaven.

His story was particularly remarkable, as he returned from the experience with knowledge he shouldn’t have had. For instance, he told his parents about his unborn sister who’d been lost in a miscarriage years earlier, a story the Burpos claim to have never shared with him.

Parents interested in children’s books about death and the afterlife should know that a version of the book for young readers, titled Heaven Is for Real for Kids, is also available. Filmmakers adapted the book into a 2014 movie, as well.

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9. Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey Into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander

Proof of Heaven’s very title makes what many would consider a fairly bold claim. While many books about near-death experiences approach the topic by indicating those who’ve had these experiences believe them to be real, while understanding that they can’t prove they are, Proof of Heaven attempts to convince the reader that the author’s experiences leave no room to doubt that Heaven must exist.

Author Eben Alexander wrote the book after contracting bacterial meningitis that left him in a coma for seven days. During a period when he claims he was braindead and thus should not have been able to have any conscious experiences, Alexander states he spent time in the afterlife.

His account is unique compared to many other stories of near-death experiences because he’s able to rely on his expertise as a neurosurgeon to explain why he couldn’t have imagined or dreamed the experience he apparently had, and therefore it must have been real.

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10. Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience by Pim van Lommel

Readers who appreciate a scientific approach to stories about near-death experiences might also want to try Consciousness Beyond Life. Its author, cardiologist Pim van Lommel, decided to rigorously study near-death experiences after many of his patients described having them.

After nearly two decades of research, van Lommel and several of his colleagues published a groundbreaking study reporting their findings in the esteemed medical journal The Lancet. This book expands on that study and presents the team’s findings in a way that appeals to the average reader instead of just appealing to medical professionals.

According to van Lommel, his almost 20 years of research leave him convinced that near-death experiences are real. He also leverages his scientific knowledge to present ideas explaining why it’s very possible consciousness continues to exist after the physical body dies.

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

In her memoir Dying to Be Me, author Anita Moorjani describes how, after struggling with cancer for four years, she nearly reached the end of her life. This triggered a near-death experience that provided her with not only the knowledge that Heaven exists but also the realization that all human lives are beautiful and valuable.

What some find most striking about her story is what came after her near-death experience. Moorjani is now a healthy woman. She states that her condition, which had no reason to improve, nevertheless did so very quickly after she returned from the afterlife. In this book, she shares some of the vital wisdom she took back with her.

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Books About Heaven: A Hopeful Approach to a Difficult Topic

Reading books about Heaven can offer many benefits, including comforting those who’ve lost loved ones, easing the fears of those who struggle with death anxiety, and even helping us learn more about world cultures. If such books interest you, these are merely some of the most noteworthy books on the subject.

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