Suggested Reading
Looking over the shoulder at a person's hand on the pages of a book

Suggested Reading

Choosing a book to read can be a little daunting. Select a book that relates to your situation or relevant topic, such as dying, grief, hospice, or remembering a loved one. You may also find our book reviews helpful in choosing the right book to start your journey.


1,000 Mitzvahs: How Small Acts of Kindness Can Heal, Inspire, and Change Your Life (Linda Cohen)
Topics: Honoring a loved one's memory through acts of kindness, legacy

Black Widow (Leslie Gray Streeter)
Topics: Partner loss
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The Dying Art of Leadership: How Leaders Can Help Grieving Employees Excel at Work (Guy Casablanca and Anthony Casablanca)
Reading Notes: For business leaders

Elegy for Iris (John Bayley) 
Topics: Dementia, partner loss 

Ethical Wills: Putting Your Values on Paper (Barry K. Baines, M.D.)
Topic: Ethical Wills

Expected Loss: Coping With Anticipatory Grief (Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.)
Topics: Anticipatory grief (grief in advance of an expected death or other loss)
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First Aid for Broken Hearts (Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.)
Topics: Strategies for coping with grief, loss exercises
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Grief & God (Terry Daniel)
Topics: Faith and grief, questions about faith after a loss
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Grief Connects Us (Dr. Joseph Stern)
Topics: Grief and loss

A Grief Observed (C.S. Lewis) 
Topics: Partner loss, meaning-making

The Grief of Infertility (Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.)
Topics: The grief of fertility loss

Grief One Day at a Time: 365 Meditations to Help You Heal After Loss (Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.)
Topics: Daily meditations, grief
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Grief Reimagined: 50 Creative Strategies to Build Resilience (Christine Kortbein and Catherine Tyink)
Topics: Creative grief strategies for death and other losses

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If You’re Lonely: Finding Your Way (Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.)
Topics: Loneliss

It’s OK that You’re Not OK (Megan Devine)
Reading Notes: Suitable for the beginning of grief journey
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Look for Me There (Luke Russert)
Topics: Parent loss, grief, honoring a loved one

Loving from the Outside In, Mourning from the Inside Out (Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.)
Topics: Grief strategies
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More Beautiful Than Before (Rabbi Steve Leder)
Reading Notes: Not for beginning of grief journey

On Death and Dying (Elizabeth Kubler-Ross)
Topics: Death, dying, grief stages

The In Between (Hadley Vlahos)
Topics: Death, hospice, the afterlife

The Paradoxes of Mourning: Healing Your Grief With Three Forgotten Truths (Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.)
Topics: Grief strategies
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The Sixth Stage of Grief (David Kessler)
Topics: Grief stages

So Grows the Tree: Creating an Ethical Will (Jo Kline Cebuhar, J.D.)
Topic: Ethical wills

Stiff (Mary Roach)
Topic: What happens to our body when we die

The Year of Magical Thinking (Joan Didion) 
Topics: Partner loss, child loss, grief work

You Can't Do It Alone (Maria Quiban Whitesell)
Topics: Partner loss
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A note for suicide loss survivors: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has an extensive suggested reading list for suicide loss survivors: AFSP Reading List


The Astonishing Color of After (Emily X.R. Pan)
Topics: Suicide, death of a parent

Death Wins a Goldfish (Brian Rea)
Lighthearted but meaningful look at life and death
Listen to Brian Rea on the Remembering A Life Podcast

The Friend (Sigrid Nunez) 
Topics: Suicide

The Hour I First Believed (Wally Lamb)
Topics: Mass death, familial grief, addiction 

The Last Time They Met (Anita Shreve)
Topics: Child loss, meaning-making 

The Pull of the Stars (Emma Donoghue)
Topics: 1918 pandemic, hope

One True Thing (Anna Quindlen) 
Topics: Parent-child relationship, cancer, aid in dying issues 

The Virgin Suicides (Jeffrey Eugenides) 
Topics: Suicide, meaning-making 

We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lionel Shriver)
Topics: Parent-child relationship, mass death, school shooting

A Widow for One Year (John Irving) 
Topics: Many types of loss, focus on sudden child loss 


  • How to Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons) (Barbara Kingsolver)
  • Time of Grief: Mourning Poems (Edited by Jeffrey Yang)
  • The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief & Healing (Edited by Kevin Young)

You may want to also explore anthologies of poems by Mary Oliver, Pablo Neruda, Rumi, and Emily Dickinson.

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