Death Positive Library Book List

Death Positive Library Book List

We have also put together a wider book list around the topic. Please be aware that not all of these titles will be available as eBooks through Newcastle Libraries.



Death Positive Library Favourites

Andrews, Gary Finding Joy (John Murray, 2020)
Godden, Salena Mrs Death Misses Death (Cannongate books, 2021)
Kasket, Elaine All the Ghosts in the Machine: The Digital Afterlife of your Personal Data (Robinson, 2019)
Mannix, Kathryn With the End in Mind (Harper Collins, 2017)
Mayfield, Kate The Undertaker's Daughter (Simon & Schuster, 2014)
Rothschild, Liz (editor) Outside the Box: Everyday Stories of Death, Bereavement and Life (PCCS Books, 2020)
Toolis, Kevin My Father's Wake: How the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love and Die (Orion, 2017)
Troyer, John Technologies of the Human Corpse (MIT Press, 2020)

Having Conversations About Death

Anastasios, Andrew Dying to Know: Bringing Death to Life (Hardie Grant Publishing, 2010)
Brayne, Sue The D Word: Talking about Dying: A Guide for Relatives, Friends and Carers (Continuum, 2010)
Fong, Jack The Death Cafe Movement (Palgrave, 2017)
Grollman, Earl A Talking about Death: A Dialogue Between Parent and Child (Beacon Press, 2011)
Hebb, Michael Let's Talk about Death (over Dinner): The Essential Guide to Life's Most Important Conversation (Orion Spring, 2018)

Writing Wills and Getting Things in Order

Aiyela, Remi Making a Will: An essential guide to creating the perfect will for your circumstances (Independently published, 2018)
Beckerman, Debbie (ed); Feinman, Jane; Peterson, Clive; & 3 more How to Have a Good Death (DK, 2006)
Byron, Patricia C Last Orders: The Essential Guide to Your Letter of Wishes (Stellar Books, 2010)
Bryon, Patricia C The Good Will Guide (Stellar Books Publishing, 2012)
Magnusson, Margareta The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter (Canongate Books, 2017)

Self-Help and Grief 'Coping with Bereavement: A practical guide to getting through grief' (, 2017)
Albom, Mitch The Five People You Meet in Heaven (Little, Brown Book Group, 2004)
Andrews, Gary Finding Joy (John Murray, 2020)
Bates, Sasha Languages of Loss: a psychotherapist's journey through grief (Yellow Kite, 2021)
Bonanno, George A The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us about Life After Loss (Basic Books, 2009)
Dass, Ram and Bush, Mirabai Walking Each Other Home: Conversations on Love and Dying )2018)
Devine, Megan It's OK that you're not OK: Meeting grief and loss in a culture that doesn't understand (Sounds True, 2017)
Dolny, Helena Before forever after: when conversations about living meet questions about dying (2018)
Edelman, Hope The AfterGrief: finding your way on the long path of grief (Michael Joseph, 2021)
Gehlek, Rimpoche Nawang Good Life, Good Death: Tibetan wisdom on reincarnation (Riverhead Hardcover, 2001)
Giddings, Philip; Down, Martin; Sugden, Elaine; Tuckwell, Gareth Talking about dying: help in facing death & dying (2016)
Glenn, Amy Wright Holding Space: on loving, dying and letting go (Parallax Press, 2017)
Halifax, Joan Being with dying: cultivating compassion and fearlessness in the presence of death (2008)
Hartley, Gill Aspects of loss: A companion for bereaved parents and their families (Moorley's Print & Publishing, 2011)
Holloway, Richard Waiting for the last bus: Reflections on life and death (Canongate Books, 2018)
Kessler, David Finding meaning: The sixth stage of grief (Ebury Publishing, 2019)
Khyentse, Dzongsar Jamyang Living is dying: How to prepare for death, dying and beyond (2020)
Kirkpatrick, Roger (ed) Fina chapters: writings about the end of life (Jessica Kingsley Pub, revised 2014)
Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth Questions and answers on death and dying (Simon & Schuster, 1997)
Leimbach, Claire, Trypheyna McShane and Zenith Virago The intimacy of death and dying: simple guidance to help you through (2009)
Mayer, Catherine and Bird, Anne Mayer Good Grief: Embracing life at a time of death (HarperCollins Publishers, 2020)
McKissock, Diane Coping with grief (HarperCollins Publishers, 4th edition, 2015)
Miller, BJ and Berger, Shoshana A Beginner's guide to the end: How to live life to the full and die a good death (2019)
Neuberger, Julia Dying Well: A guide to enabling a good death (CRC Press, 2016)
Nuland, Sherwin How we die (Vintage, 1997)
Petch, Sally Death Matters (Matador, 2013)
Rice, Margaret A good death (2019)
Robertson, Ray How to die: A book about being alive (Biblioasis, 2020)
Rolls, Antonia As mother lay dying: A tapestry woven of memories and insights from the beside (Antonia Rolls, 2021)
Rosenfeld, Juliet The state of disbelief: A story of death, love and forgetting (Short Books Ltd, 2020)
Rothschild, Liz (ed) Outside the box: Everyday stories of death, bereavement and life (PCCS Books, 2020)
Samuel, Julia Grief works: stories of life, death and surviving (2017)
Shepherd, Grace Living with dying (Darton, Longman and Todd, 2010)
Taee, Katrina and McNicoll, Wendelien Surviving the tsunami of grief: for the bereaved and those wanting to support them (New Act Publishing, 2019)
Tisdale, Sallie Advice for the dying (and those who love them): A practical perspective on death (2018)
Warner, Felicity A safe journey home: A simple guide to achieving a peaceful death (2011)
Wyatt, John Dying Well: Dying faithfully (2018)
Yalom, Irvin Staring at the sun: being at peace with your own mortality: overcoming the dread of death (Piatkus, 2011)

Funerals and Memorialisation

Francis, Jean Time to go: Practical celebrations for the final milestone - alternative British funerals (, 2004)
Franics, Jean Finishing touches: 60+ ways to enrich a funeral (The Milestone Publishing Company, 2011)
Gordon-Lennox, Jeltje Crafting meaningful funeral rituals: A practical guide (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2019)
Jones, Sarah Funerals your way: A person-centred approach to planning a funeral (independently published, 2018)
Martin Richard Celebrating the life of a loved one: what to do with their ashes (2015?)
Speyer, Josefine; Wienrich, Stephanie & The Natural Death Centre The Natural death handbook (Ebury Press; 3rd edition, 2003)

Behind the Scenes at the Funeral Directors

Doughty, Caitlin Smoke gets in your eyes (Canongate, 2015)
Doughty, Caitlin Will my cat eat my eyeballs?: And other questions about dead bodies (Orion Publishing Co, 2020)
Lynch, Thomas The undertaking (Vintage, 1998)
McKenzie, Kenneth & Harra, Todd Mortuary Confidential: undertakers spill the dirt (Citadel; Reissue edition, 2018)
Valentine, Carla Past Mortems: life and death behind mortuary doors (Sphere, 2017)
Wilde, Caleb Confessions of a funeral director: how the business of death saved my life (HarperCollins, 2018)


Awbery, Stephanie My daddy had cancer (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015)
Becker, Aaron A stone for Sascha (Walker Books, 2018)
Brown, Laurie Drasny and Brown, Marc When dinosaurs die: A guide to understanding death (Little, Brown & Company, 2004)
Bruna, Dick Dear Grandma Bunny: A Miffy book (Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2018)
Coelho, Joseph and Colpoys, Allison If all the world were...(Lincoln Children's Books, 2018)
Davies, Benji Grandad's Island (Simon & Schuster Children's UK, 2015)
Dieckmann, Sandra Waiting for wolf (Hachette Children's Group, 2020)
Doughty, Caitlin Will my cat eat my eyeballs?: And other questions about dead bodies (Orion Publishing Co, 2020)
Gaines, Arlen Grad and Polsky, Meredith Englander I have a question about death: A book for children with autism spectrum disorder or other special needs (2017)
Grollman, Earl A Talking about death: A dialogue between parent and child (Beacon Press, 2011)
Hewitt, Dawn When someone dies (questions and feelings about, 2018)
Jeffers, Oliver The heart and the bottle (Philomel Books, 2010)
Kerr, Judith Goodbye Mog (Harper Collins Children's Books, 2003)
Lee, Carol Remembering Hare: The great race (Southgate Publishers, 2014)
Hewitt, Dawn When someone dies (Questions and Feelings About)
Lee, Carol Saying Goodbye to Hare: a story about death and
dying for children aged 5-9 years (Southgate
Publishers, 2012)
Lee, Carol Remembering Hare: The Great Race (Southgate
Publishers, 2014)
Lemon, Mark The magical wood (Lemon Drop Books, 2018)
Moth 'Goodbye, Mr Jim', 
Perkin, Jayde Mum's Jumper (Book Island, 2019)
Potter, Molly Let's talk about when someone dies (2018)
Robinson, Hilary The Copper Tree: helping a child cope with death and loss (Strauss House Productions, 2012)
Rosen, Michael Michael Rosen's Sad book (Walker Books, 2011)
Teckentrup, Britta The Memory tree (2013)
Thomas, Isabel and Egneus, Daniel Fox: A circle of life story (Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2020)
Varley, Susan Badger's parting gifts (1984) plus online

Books for people with learning disabilities When I die: The choices that Tony has made for the end of his life 9free downloadable booklet)
Hollins, Sheila and Tuffrey-Wijne, Irene Am I going to die? (Beyond Words, 2009)
Marie Curie Feelings you might have when someone dies: a new booklet on grief for people with learning disabilities (2019)

Older Children

Callender, Kacen King and the dragonflies (Scholastic, 2020)
DiCamillo, Kate The tiger rising (Walker Books Ltd, 2014)
Newbery, Linda Lob (Penguin Random House Children's UK, 2014)
Welford, Ross The 1,000-year-old boy (Harper Collins, 2018)
White, E.B Charlotte's Web (Puffin, 2016)
Wilson, Jacqueline and Sharratt, Nick The cat mummy (Penguin Random House Children's UK, 2009)

Young Adult

Dellaira, Ava Love letters to the dead (Hot Key Books, 2014)
Erlbruch, Wolf Death, duck and the tulip (2007) plus video online
Gaiman, Neil The Graveyard book (2008)
Green, John The fault in our stars (Penguin Random House Children's UK, 2014)
Ness, Patrick and Dowd, Siobhan A monster calls (Walker Books Ltd, 2015)
Paterson, Katherine Bridge to Terabithia (1977)
Silvera, Adam History is all you left me (Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2017)
Silvera, Adam They both die at the end (Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2017)

Classic Literature

Anon Beowulf (10th - 11th c)
Bronte, Emily Wuthering Heights (1848)
Dickinson, Emily Complete poems (Faber, 2016)
Hill, Susan The woman in black (1998)
Le Fanu, Sheridan Carmilla (1872)
Lewis, C.S A grief observed (Reader's Edition) (Faber & Faber, 2015)
Poe, Edgar Allan The Portable Edgar Allan Poe (Penguin, 2006)
Shakespeare, William Hamlet: the revised edition ed. Neil Taylor and Ann Thompson (Arden, 2016)
Shelley, Mary Frankenstein (1818: Penguin, ed Maurice Hindle, 2003)
Stevenson, Robert Louis The body snatcher (1884)
Stevenson, Robert Louis The suicide club (1878)
Stoker, Bram Dracula (1897: Penguin, 2003)
Tennyson, Alfred Lord In memoriam ed. Erik Gray (Norton, 2020)
Thomas Ligotti Death poems (2014)
Walters, Julia Poems and readings for funerals (Penguin, 2004)

Modern Literature

Adam, Claire Golden child (2019)
Barnes, Julian Levels of life (Vintage Publishing, 2014)
Beecher, Anne Here  comes the miracle (2021)
Godden, Salena Mrs Death, misses death (Canongate Books, 2021)
Goode, Chris User not found (Oberon, 2018)
Haig, Matt The midnight library (2020)
Highsmith, Patricia The talented Mr Ripley (1955)
Hopkins, Cathy The kicking the bucket list (HarperCollins Publishers, 2017)
Hurley, Andrew Michael Starve Acre (John Murray Publishers Ltd, 2019)
Kis, Danilo The encyclopaedia of the dead (Penguin, 2015)
Kurkov, Andrey Death and the penguin (1996; trans: English 2001)
Kurkov, Andrey Penguin lost (2005; trans: English 2010)
Mackintosh, Clare After the end (Little, Brown Book Group, 2020)
Mantel, Hilary The Giant, O'Brien (1998)
McEvoy, Mel An emptied space (Mudfog, 2012) (poetry)
Morrison, Toni Beloved (Vintage Publishing, 2010)
O'Farrell, Maggie Hamnet (2020)
Plath, Sylvia Collected poems (Faber, 1981)
Plath, Sylvia The Bell Jar (1963)
Porter Max Grief is the thing with feathers (Faber & Faber, 2015)
Pratchett, Terry Hogfather (1996)
Pratchett, Terry Mort (1987)
Pratchett, Terry Reaper Man (1991)
Pratchett, Terry Soul Music (1994)
Pratchett, Terry Thief of Time (2001)
Rayner, Sarah One moment, one morning (Pan Macmillan, 2010)
Saunders, George Lincoln in the Bardo: a novel (Penguin Random House USA, 2017)
Spark, Muriel Memento Mori (Macmillan, 1959)
Zusak, Marcus The Book Thief (2005)


Banks, Iain M Surface Detail (2010)
Brockmeier, Kevin The Brief history of the dead (2006)
Dick, Philip K A maze of death (1970)
Dick, Philip K Ubik (1969)
Farmer, Philip Jose To your scattered bodies go (1971)
Gibson, William Neuromancer (1984)
Golding, William Lord of the flies (1954)
Ishiguro, Kazuo Never let me go (2005)
Ishiguro, Kazuo Klara and the sun (2021)
James, Marlon A brief history of seven killings (2014)
Le Guin, Ursula K The books of Earthsea: The complete illustrated edition (2018)
Lem, Stanislaw The Investigation (1959)
Morgan, Richard K Altered carbon (2002)
Morgan, Richard K Woken furies (2005)
Morgan, Richard K Broken angels (2003)
Sawyer, Robert J The terminal experiment (1995)
Squalia, Gabrielle Dead boys (2015)
Vesaas, Tarjei and Rokkan, Elizageth (transf) The Ice palace (Penguin, 2018)
Yolen, Jane Cards of grief (1984)


Barthes, Roland Mourning diary (2009)
Black, Sue All that remains: A life in death (Doubleday, 2018)
Black, Sue Written in bone: hidden stories in what we leave behind (Doubleday, 2020)
Clarke, Rachel Dear life: A doctor's story of love and loss (Little Brown, 2020)
Doughty, Caitlin From here to eternity (Norton, 2018)
Doughty, Caitlin Smoke gets in your eyes (Canongate, 2015)
Fitzpatrick, Niamh Tell me the truth about loss: A psychologist's personal story of loss, grief and finding hope (Gill, 2020)
Haig, Matt Reasons to stay alive (2015)
Lynch, Thomas The Undertaking (Vintage, 1998)
Lyons, Anna and Winters, Louise We all know how this ends: lessons about life and living from working with death and dying (Green Tree, 2021)
Macdonald, Helen H is for Hawk (Jonathan Cape, 2014)
Mannix, Kathryn With the end in mind (Harper Collins, 2017)
Mayfield, Kate The Undertaker's daughter (Simon & Schuster, 2014)
McKenzie, Kenneth & Harra, Todd Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers spill the dirt (Citadel; Reissue edition, 2018)
Melinek, Judy and Mitchell, T.J Working Stiff: Two years, 262 bodies and the making of a medical examiner (Scribner, 2014)
O'Mahony, Seamus The way we die now (Head of Zeus, 2017)
Praske and Nina Love in the present tense: A bereaved Mum's story (2020)
Riley, Denise Time lived, without its flow (Picador, 2019)
Roach, Mary Stiff (Penguin, 2003)
Rogers, Jane Duncan Gifted by grief (Wild Wisdom Ltd, 2015)
Taylor, Cory Dying: A memoir (Canongate, 2016)
Toolis, Kevin My father's wake: how the Irish teach us to live, love and die (Orion, 2017)
Valentine, Carla Past Mortems: Life and death behind mortuary doors (Sphere, 2017)
Wilde, Caleb Confessions of a funeral director: how the business of death saved my life (HarperCollins, 2018)

Death, History and Culture

Anon The Egyptian book of the dead, ed John Romer (Penguin Classics, 2008)
Appignanesi, Lisa Everyday madness: On grief, anger, loss and love (Fourth Estate, 2018)
Aries, Philippe The hour of our death (Vantage, 2008)
Baudrillard, Jean Symbolic exchange and death (Sage, 2017)
Becker, Ernest The denial of death (Free Press, 1973)
Bradbury, Jennie and Scarre, Chris Engaging with the dead (Oxbow, 2017)
Buist, Erica This Party's Dead: Grief, joy and spilled rum at the world's death festivals (Unbound, 2021)
Colquhoun, Matt Egress: On mourning, melancholy and Mark Fisher (Repeater, 2020)
Crowe, Dan (ed) Dead Interviews (Granta, 2013)
Davies, Douglas Mors Britannica: Lifestyle & death-style in Britain today (OUP, 2015)
Dickey, Colin Cranioklepty (Unbridled Books, 2000)
Fenwick, Peter and Fenwick, Elizabeth The art of dying (Continuum, 2008)
Fisher, Mark Ghosts of my life (Zero Books, 2013)
Fong, Jack The death of cafe movement (Palgrave, 2017)
Freud, Sigmund 'Mourning and Melancholia' (1918)
Fuss, Diana Dying Modern: A meditation on elegy (Duke UP, 2013)
Gawande, Atul Being Mortal: illness, medicine and what matters in the end (Profile Books Ltd, 2015)
Hallam, Elizabeth and Hockey, Jenny Death, memory and material culture (Berg, 2001)
Holmberg, Tora, Jonsson, Annika and Palm, Fredrik Death Matters: Cultural sociology of mortal life (Palgrave, 2019)
Jupp, Peter C and Gittings, Clare Death in England: An illustrated history (Manchester UP, 1999)
Kasket, Elaine All the ghosts in the machine: The digital afterlife of your personal data (Robinson, 2019)
Kellehear, Alan A social history of dying (CUP, 2007)
Klass, Dennis and Steffen, Edith Maria Continuing bonds in bereavement (Routledge, 2018)
Klass, Dennis, Silverman, Phyllis R and Nickman, Steven L Continuing Bonds: New understandings of grief (Routledge, 1996)
McIIwain, Charlton When death goes pop (Peter Lange, 2005)
Penfold-Mounce, Ruth Death, the dead and popular culture (Emerald, 2018)
Prodromou, Amy-Katerini Navigating loss in women's contemporary memoir (Palgrave, 2015)
Sheeran, Pat and Witoszek, Nina Talking to the dead: A study of Irish funerary traditions (Rodopi, 1998)
Sontag, Susan Regarding the pain of others (Penguin, 2003)
Stanford Peter How to read a graveyard (Bloomsbury, 2013)
Stokes, Patrick Digital Souls: a philosophy of online death (Bloombury Academic, 2021)
Strange, Julie-Marie Death, grief and poverty, 1870-1914 (CUP, 2005)
Teodorescu, Adriana and Jacobsen, Michael Death in contemporary popular culture (Routledge, 2020)
Troyer, John Technologies of the human corpse (MIT Press, 2020)


Grave talks Creating space to talk about death, dying and funerals
Karuna cards Creative ideas to transform grief and difficult like transitions


A Love that never dies Jane Harris & Jimmy Edmonds, The Good Grief Project
Beyond the mask The Good Grief Project


General end of life The art of dying well, Death in the afternoons, Dying matters, Let's talk death, When you die
Grief & loss Good grief, Grief cast, Terrible, thanks for asking, Bereavement room


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