In the world’s quest to understand what happens after death or whether we are reborn to live again, reincarnation has become a popular concept. Embraced by major religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, the idea has gained ground in western countries as well.
Overview: Our Top Picks
- My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares ($17)
- Her Past's Present by Michael Poeltl ($4)
- The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin ($14.05)
- Yes, My Darling Daughter by Margaret Leroy ($19)
- Say That Again by N. Gemini Sassoon ($11.49)
- The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer ($12.69)
- The Incarnations by Susan Barker ($14.12)
- A Dog’s Journey by W. Bruce Cameron ($17.71)
- Mariana by Susanna Kearsley ($10.70)
- The Red Lion by Maria Szepes ($12.99)
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Fiction Books About Reincarnation
- Non-Fiction Books About Reincarnation
- Young Adult Books About Reincarnation
- Comic Books About Reincarnation
If the idea intrigues you or you want to learn more about it, read books about life after death to learn about reincarnation thoughts, ideas, and philosophies. Check out several of the best reads that feature this concept to get you started.
Fiction Books About Reincarnation
The best fiction stories always contain enough of reality to make you feel like you’re living through each chapter right alongside the main characters. These stories will plunge you into a fictional narrative that centers around reincarnation as the main theme.
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1. My Name Is Memory by Ann Brashares
This book features a man who falls in love with the same woman multiple times — over numerous lives and centuries. From A.D. 500s in Asia to 1972 in Virginia and everywhere in between, the main characters continue meeting up and falling in love.
Though the hero of this story remembers past lives, it takes a special event for the heroine to break through her past and remember all her encounters.
2. Her Past’s Present by Michael Poeltl
In Her Past's Present, Poeltl tells a nearly tragic tale of a young girl swept up in the disappointments of life and nearly crushed by them.
But in a chance encounter with someone who claims to have known her from a previous life, she starts learning the type of lessons only time can teach.
3. The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
Sharon’s debut novel, The Forgetting Time has been hailed as an excellent first entry into the writing world. This page-turner attempts to answer the age-old question of what happens to your spirit when you die and what happens before you were even born.
The story centers on the life of a young boy who clearly knows more than his young age permits and his mother, who searches for answers.
4. Yes, My Darling Daughter by Margaret Leroy
Yes, My Darling Daughter tells the story of a single mother who seeks to understand why her young daughter knows about places and people half a world away.
At her wit’s end, Sylvie’s mother seeks out a well-known psychology professor, and together, all three travel to places formerly unknown to find answers to her daughter’s unexplained knowledge.
5. Say That Again by N. Gemini Sasson
If you ever wondered whether animals could talk to us, communicate, or have past lives of their own, you want to pick up this book.
A girl named Hannah and an Australian shepherd named Echo need one another to make it through life. The book features animal reincarnation.
6. The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer
After several traumatic experiences, Greta seeks psychiatric treatment in The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells. During each session, she learns more about herself and connects with circumstances she may have experienced during previous lifetimes.
Will she untangle the mystery and decide how to live before it’s too late?
7. The Incarnations by Susan Barker
Wang, a taxi driver in modern-day China, starts receiving mysterious letters from someone who claims to have known him from a previous life. The letters reveal details about former lives through the centuries and Wang becomes convinced someone is watching his every move.
This book combines Chinese folklore, history, and reincarnation to form a fascinating story that’s hard to put down.
8. A Dog’s Journey by W. Bruce Cameron
If you loved the book and movie A Dog’s Life, you’ll enjoy this read from the same author.
This story follows the life of a dog reborn to help his human get through life’s ups and downs. Ideal for dog lovers of all kinds, this book bears no direct connection to Cameron’s first book. You can pick this up without reading the other and enjoy this heartwarming book.
9. Mariana by Susanna Kearsley
Part mystery, part time travel, and part reincarnation story, this novel draws you in from the very first word. The main character knows more than she should as she grows up around a house that used to be her own in a past life.
When she becomes its owner in her modern-day life, she discovers its secrets and who she was before by going back in time. She soon gets sucked into her past life until she nearly forgets her modern-day life.
10. The Red Lion: The Elixir of Eternal Life by Maria Szepes
This book, once banished from communist Hungary, was secretly printed and reprinted and distributed to the underground. It eventually made its way outside of Hungary’s walls and was printed in Germany and eventually translated into English.
The story tells of an alchemist’s apprentice who murders his master to drink his fabled elixir of life. But far from gaining immortality, the apprentice is instead cursed to die and come back as a different person with all his memories intact. Will he ever learn the lessons required to break the endless cycle of death and life?
Nonfiction Books About Reincarnation
For those wanting personal experiences, eyewitness accounts, and true narratives of unexplained events that might be linked to reincarnation, the books in this list are ones you’re sure to enjoy.
11. 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 Weiss
This book provides an interesting look at how reincarnation might show itself in the world of psychiatry. If you want to glimpse into the unknown, this book is one you might not be able to put down.
Weiss presents his scientific case study and personal experience with a patient whose experience in therapy ultimately changed his life.
12. Our Ultimate Reality, Life, the Universe, and Destiny of Mankind by Adrian P. Cooper
If you want an easy-to-read explanation on major eastern and New Age philosophies, including topics such as which religions believe in reincarnation, this book should go on your reading list.
The author attempts to explain major philosophies in an understandable, approachable manner for readers who are more familiar with western philosophies about life and death.
13. Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect by Ian Stevenson
The author compiled this well-written book as a brief overview of the research he did. Stevenson has spent much of his career collecting case files that might contribute to evidence of past-life experiences.
This is not meant to be a book of proof as much as a book of possibilities presented by Stevenson’s years spent as a psychiatrist.
14. The Boy Who Knew Too Much by Cathy Byrd
If you want to dive into the memories of a child who shouldn’t have had them, pick up this page-turning memoir. A child baseball prodigy shares memories of playing baseball in the 1920s and 1930s with greats such as Babe Ruth.
This memoir is consistently well rated, especially by those with a love of baseball and a fascination with the paranormal.
15. Life Before Life by Jim Tucker
An intriguing read, this book explores the memories that children seem to have of past lives. While some memories match up, others don’t.
Tucker spends time exploring where these memories might come from and how children end up with them. Though scientific in nature, findings get presented in a straightforward and accessible manner for all readers to enjoy.
16. Born Aware by Diane Brandon
Based on personal experience and the experiences of those she interviewed, Brandon’s book asks how some people seem to be born “aware” of something beyond themselves, an existence that goes beyond time and place.
As one who claims to be “aware,” Brandon encourages her readers to seek awareness as an adult.
Young Adult Books About Reincarnation
Reincarnation as a plotline is a concept that makes for fantastic reading, and these YA books will have you on the edge of your seat.
17. My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares
Imagine if you had lived life after life, only to be reborn into another life, yet again. You also remembered everything that had previously happened. That is exactly what happens to David as he lives different lives and falls in love with the same girl over and over again.
Unfortunately, Sophia doesn’t have “the memory” and doesn’t understand why she keeps getting drawn to David time and time again. Will they ever unlock the key to living together forever instead of getting torn apart?
18. The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner
Sixteen-year-old Francesca Schnell is stuck in the past when her little brother tragically died in a swimming accident. She should have been watching him, and now she can’t forgive herself. Then she meets four-year-old Frankie Sky, a little boy with an uncanny resemblance to her younger brother.
As the little boy helps her see the world in a new light and helps her learn to forgive herself, she wonders if Frankie is more than he appears to be.
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19. The Next Together by Lauren James
In this fictional YA romance story, the main characters, Katherine and Matthew are destined to repeat their lives again and again. After meeting and falling hopelessly in love, they are reborn in another era and location. They change their world for the better each time they are reborn, but they’re always tragically separated.
Throughout the story, Katherine and Matthew try to understand what fate has in store for them and if they will ever get to stay together instead of getting reborn.
20. Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn
YA stories often contain an element of love, but this story puts that theme on center stage. In her story, Weyn features two people falling hopelessly in love through multiple lifetimes. They seem to always get separated just when they’re getting to know each other. Will they ever get to fall in love?
21. Endless by Amanda Gray
In this captivating story, the main characters Jenny, Ben, and Nikolai all realize that they share a history一a lot of history. While seeking to unravel the threads of their past lives that brought them together in the present day, they have to fight against an evil organization that seeks to tear them all apart before answers can be found.
Comic Books About Reincarnation
The world of comic books has long used the concept of reincarnation to form plot lines around interesting characters. These are a few stories that you or your teenage kids might find interesting.
22. The Beginning After the End by TurtleMe
This comic features the story of a powerful king who is plagued by loneliness and isolation. He is then reborn and has a chance to relive his life, change his fate, and make the world a better place. He soon comes to find out that there is an evil threatening the world, and he must take action to make sure the world remains safe and prosperous. But is that the only reason why he has been reborn?
23. Reincarnation Man by Arjun Raj Gaind
In this comic, you’ll find a normal 22-year-old with a normal job and a boring life. Then, one day, he decides to break out of the ordinary and do something heroic一stepping in the way of an attack on a young girl. Left on death’s doorstep, he comes to realize that death is just the beginning.
Brought back to life, Raman is given his memories back and can suddenly access the skills and abilities he learned in previous lives. This series is sure to leave any teen turning page after page as they relive life as a centurion in the Roman Empire, as a soldier during the crusades, and as a monk.
24. So, I’m A Spider by Okina Baba
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you were reborn, not as a human or animal, but as a bug? That’s exactly what happens to the main character in this comic novel. A normal teenage girl suddenly finds her life ended, and she’s reborn into the strange world of a spider.
She is plunged into a dungeon that looks like something straight out of her video games, and she wonders if there is any hope of getting out and into the land of humans. She may be a small spider, but perhaps even a spider can be a hero and make a difference.
25. I Shall Live as a Prince by Kakao Page
In this story, readers are introduced to Lee Hyun Ho, a regular guy searching for a job to keep his family afloat. Suddenly killed, he is reincarnated as the Grand Prince, brother to a tyrant king from the 15th century.
Though centuries away from his former life, he is tasked with transforming the tyrant into a great man in order to save the kingdom, his life, and his own family hundreds of years later.
Explore the Unknown
The concepts of life after death and life before birth are by no means new ones. Every culture has a philosophy as to what happens to our beings, our souls, and our consciousnesses before we are born and after we die.
Though none of these books offer a proof-positive answer to the question of life after death, each sheds some light on possible answers.