Death Literacy Reading Room

Getting comfortable with our own mortality can come from exploring and learning from the experiences of others. Here are some of the books I’ve made room for on my (figurative and literal) bookshelf. They’re all linked to their GoodReads reviews. I hope you find something here that will help you on your Death Literacy journey. 

Mortality in the Sciences

I’ve chosen these books because they provide easy access to various medical, scientific, anthropological, and psychological aspects of mortality. 

Existential Reading

Who doesn’t love books that explore the meaning of life…and death! You kinda can’t have one without the other. 

Death Themes in Fiction

Every death-themed list of fiction I looked at included the titles: Thirteen Reasons Why, The Fault in Our Stars, and The Lovely Bones, so I’ve left them out. Instead, I’ve added alternatives that I’ve read and enjoyed. There are many more, but these are the ones that really stuck with me. 

Suitable for starting a conversation with kids about death & dying

Memoirs, Grief, and Loss

I like memoirs because they provide unique and individual perspectives. I especially like memoirs of people who work in the death industry. Go figure. Grief and loss are also something we experience uniquely. Here are some perspectives I found interesting. 

Grief Reading Lists

Here’s a list from New York Magazine (MAY 2019) of the 16 best books about dealing with grief, according to psychologists. 

This Washington Post article from Zibby Owens (OCT 2020) contains a list of 15 books that helped her cope with loss during COVID-19.