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Life After Death: If I could keep only 30 books

Posted on 05 December 2016, 9:34

After reading my last blog post about the mediumship and psychical research of yesteryear and why I value it so highly, a friend suggested that I recommend books from that era.  I started to make a list of my “Top 10” books before 1950 once before, but never quite finished it because I quickly realized that the books vary so much that I had to categorize them and come up with several lists.  There are those that offer evidence, those that offer afterlife experiences and some that provide a combination of both.  The most informative books are not always the most interesting books and the most interesting or entertaining book are not necessarily the most informative.  As I started making my lists, I realized that there was much overlap in the categories and wasn’t sure which list a particular book belonged on.  So I abandoned my attempt to come up with several lists.

Recently, however, my wife and I were thinking about downsizing from a house to a condominium.  It became obvious that storage in the condo would be a problem and that there would be no space for my thousand or more books.  That got me to thinking if I had to get rid of all my old books, maybe keeping just 30 of them from before 1950, enough to fill two shelves, which ones I would keep. For what it’s worth, here is my list in order of preference.  Many of these books are still available at such places as, and reproductions of several are available right here at White Crow, as indicated with an asterisk. 

1.  Glimpses of the Next State: The Education of an Agnostic, by William Usborne Moore (1911)*  – Moore a retired British Navy admiral, explores the world of mediumship in both Great Britain and the United States, witnessing some of the best mediums of his time.  He comes to understand why the non-believers don’t get it. 

2. Forty Years of Psychic Research by Hamlin Garland (1936) – It’s really a toss-up between this book and Moore’s book for number one. Garland, a Pulitzer Prize winner, witnessed mediums of all types, physical and mental, and a combination of both, and presents it all in a manner that is quite convincing.

3. The Voices by William Usborne Moore (1913)* – This is a sequel to number one above, focusing on the direct-voice mediumship of Etta Wriedt, possibly the best medium on record.  The person who can’t accept Moore’s accounts of Wriedt will never accept anything.

4.  The Mystery of the Buried Crosses by Hamlin Garland (1939)* – A mind-boggling search, as directed by spirits through a medium, for artifacts buried in California by Indians. 

5.  Psychic Adventures in New York by Neville Whymant (1931)* – The author, a skeptical professor of linguistics who speaks 30 languages, communicates with spirits in 14 different languages, including Chinese.  Short but powerful! 

6. The Case of Patience Worth by Walter Franklin Prince (1927) – This is a comprehensive report on the investigation of medium Pearl Curran and the entity calling herself Patience Worth, who dictated many books, poems, and aphorisms through Curran.

7.  On the Cosmic Relations by Henry Holt (1914)  – Two volumes with 988 pages covering the early research of the Society for Psychical Research, including the American branch, with much focus on the research involving Leonora Piper and the research of Richard Hodgson.

8. Raymond or Life and Death by Sir Oliver Lodge (1916) – A distinguished physicist tells of his many contacts with his son Raymond, who died on the WWI battlefield, through several mediums.  This was a best-seller in its day.

9. There is No Death by Florence Marryat (1891) – A renowned British author reports on her investigation of mediums, mostly physical mediums with many materializations of deceased loved ones. 

10.  Spiritualism by John Edmonds and George T. Dexter, M.D. (1853) – A New York Supreme Court judge and a physician investigate mediumship and become mediums themselves.  Much wisdom comes from the spirits of Emanuel Swedenborg and Francis Bacon in two volumes and more than a thousand pages.

11.  Life After Death: Problems of the Future Life and Its Nature, by James H. Hyslop, Ph.D., LL.D.  (1918) – Professor Hyslop was probably the most knowledgeable psychical researcher ever.  He discusses evidence and the obstacles to understanding and accepting the evidence.

12. The Spirits’ Book, by Allan Kardec (1857) – Much communication from the spirit world as to how things work on their side and how spirits interact with us.

13. Spirit Teachings, by William Stainton Moses (1883) and More Spirit Teachings (1892) – An Anglican priest reluctantly becomes a medium and gives us even more clues as to how things work on the Other Side.

14. The Widow’s Mite and Other Psychic Phenomena, by Isaac Funk (1904) – A famous publisher investigates mediumistic phenomena and turns up some startling evidence. 

15. Dawn of the Awakened Mind, by John S. King, M.D. (1920) – A Canadian physician witnesses some amazing phenomena. 

16. The Road to Immortality, by Geraldine Cummins (1932) – Frederic W. H. Myers, a pioneer of psychical research, communicates via automatic writing as to what he has experienced since his death in 1901.

17.  Experiments in Psychical Science, by W. J. Crawford, D.Sc. (1919) – This book and three others by Crawford explain what physical mediumship is all about. 

18. Science and a Future Life, by James H. Hyslop, Ph.D., LL.D. (1905) – Professor Hyslop’s first book tells of his earliest experiences in psychical research as well as those of Richard Hodgson.

19. Personality Survives Death, by Florence Barrett, M.D. (1937) – Sir William Barrett, one of the pioneers of psychical research communicates with his widow through the mediumship of Gladys Osborne Leonard, explaining the difficulties he has in communicating and what life on his side is like. 

20. The Betty Book, by Stewart Edward White (1937) – Betty White tells of her development as a medium between 1919 and 1936 and takes excursions into the world of other-consciousness. 

21.  The Unobstructed Universe, by Stewart Edward White (1940) – Betty White transitions and begins communicating from the Other Side. 

22.  Thirty Years of Psychical Research, by Charles Richet, Ph.D. (1923) – A Nobel Prize winner reports on his investigation of various mediums, including Eusapia Paladino.

23. Letters from a Living Dead Man, by Elsa Barker (1915)* – A deceased California judge reports on his new life on the Other Side.

24.  On the Edge of the Etheric, by Arthur Findlay (1931) – A British businessman investigates mediumship and discovers the key to what awaits all after physical death.

25.  From Matter to Spirit: The Result of Ten Years’ Experience in Spirit Manifestations by Sophia Elizabeth De Morgan (1863)  – The author and her husband, Augustus De Morgan, a world famous mathematician and logician, report on their investigation of mediumship and other psychic phenomena.

26.  The Book on Mediums, by Allan Kardec (1874) – Kardec provides much detail on how mediumship works.

27. Experimental Investigation of the Spirit Manifestations, by Robert Hare (1855) – A University of Pennsylvania chemistry professor sets out to debunk mediums, only to discover many genuine mediums and become a medium himself.

28.  Perspectives in Psychical Research, by Alfred Russel Wallace (1875) – Wallace, co-originator with Charles Darwin of the natural selection theory of evolution, investigates mediumship and discovers it is real.

29.  Towards the Stars, by H. Dennis Bradley (1924) – A popular British playwright investigates mediums and communicates with his deceased sister and many others.

30.  The Boy Who Saw True, by Cyril Scott (1953) – This one exceeds the 1950 cutoff date by three years, but it is close enough that I have to list it, since it is the most entertaining of them all. 

All that said, we decided against downsizing for now and so I get to keep all my books.

Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife and Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I.


I don’t think anyone “intervenes” in a way that would change our life plan — if a life plan exists. Given that an estimated 100 million people were killed in the 20th century, being killed has been a common theme in our recent history, and continues to be. 

Maybe a so-called guide, guides a person in this life and after the death of their physical body. We regularly hear from afterlife communicators about people who have physically died and are “stuck” in a low vibration, who are surrounded by guides or people/beings who are trying to help them. But even after death they will not “intervene” and interfere with their free will. That seems to be a law. 

If this is school earth, as many of them say it is; when the day comes that there is no war here, and we have learned to love all unconditionally, maybe that’s the day the grand plan is complete. Heaven on earth, so-to-speak.

Jon, Mon 19 Dec, 10:13


I find it beyond my comprehension that a Jewish family could be torn from their beds at three in the morning, loaded into cattle trucks, driven to the other side of Europe and slaughtered because they hadn’t given the “guardians” permission to intervene!!

All six million of them??  No way!!


Leslie Harris, Mon 19 Dec, 01:39

I think that the rest of Victor Zammit’s comment about guardian spirits should be considered. “But never forget, we have free will, and they [guardians] cannot intervene unless given permission; so remember to ask for help, for protection, for guidance and for inspiration.”

It is unlikely that Stalin or Hitler ever asked their guardians for guidance or inspiration of any kind.  Then again, maybe their guardians had other motives.  Perhaps we assume too much when we think of all guardian spirits as benevolent.  It could be that there are malevolent ‘guardian’ spirits who are up to no good. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 16 Dec, 21:56

Maybe you said it all in your April 2011 blog.  Very well done.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 16 Dec, 14:42

In the 1970’s, Michael Cocks, an Anglican Vicar in New Zealand, entered into a 7-year dialogue with an entity claiming to be Stephen the Martyr. He wrote a book about the communication called, “The Afterlife Teaching of Stephen the Martyr”. In it there is a page on reincarnation, from “Stephen’s” perspective. I can be found here.

Jon, Fri 16 Dec, 12:39

Whenever the matter of reincarnation comes up, I always find myself asking ‘why?’.  Who or what mandates reincarnation? Is it voluntary or enforced?  In such a massively imperfect world,  what contribution does it make?

There is much that bothers me deeply; most of all, it is the anomalies. One big one came up in Victor Zammit’s newsletter today - the matter of guardian spirits.  Whenever I see mention of this, I have to ask where the guardian spirits were when Hitler and Stalin murdered around 20 million between them?  One can only conclude that such concepts are pure bullshit, particularly when no supporting evidence is ever presented!

So many questions, so few answers!


Leslie Harris, Fri 16 Dec, 12:13

Michael, I haven’t given a lot of thought to the mechanics of reincarnation.  I first read about it in Morey Bernstein’s book about Bridey Murphy when it came out in the 70s.  I agree that I think that it may be beyond human comprehension.  I know that I don’t necessarily believe in the ‘orthodox’ version that some oriental philosophies propose.  It may be a ‘neat’ idea to think that we reap what we sow, that is, that Karma is a part of reincarnation but I have never given much weight to that idea.  That is not to say that souls experience in multiple incarnations things which balance-out other lives thereby providing a better learning experience for the spirit but I think that Karma may not be a factor or a reason for all reincarnations or is as important as some people believe.  I don’t think it is a form of punishment.

Psychiatrist Dr. Brian Weiss M.D. has written several books of his experiences hypnotizing his patients and helping them to experience past lives thereby ‘curing’ their psychological illnesses.  His first book about his experience with Catherine’ was “Many Lives Many Masters” published in 1988 I think.  Other psychologists have come along since then to continue the past life regression therapies.  Many hypnotists today include age regression as part of their therapy, taking people back before birth to address psychological ills in the present life.

Edgar Cayce also spoke of reincarnations when he diagnosed illnesses in people he read for during the first half of the 20th century.  Early on I had read all of those books and I think that that helped to develop my thoughts about reincarnation for the past 50 years.  Ian Stevenson’s books including his book about Xenoglossy or unlearned language just topped it off.

Reincarnation makes a lot of sense to me (which doesn’t make it true) although I perhaps tend to think in terms of transmigration of consciousness from one form to another and would tend not to call it reincarnation but it means the same thing really.  I allow that consciousness exists in many forms from the lowest living animal to the highest animal (which may be humans but not necessarily)  I also allow that there probably are other planets on which consciousness exists in other forms and that a lifetime on planet earth does not preclude other lifetimes on other planets.  Experiencing life in many forms in my view provides a learning experience that allows consciousness to expand or grow toward a god-like existence. 

I think that reincarnation could explain the ‘Patience Worth’ of Pearl Curran and the very different characters, all female, and the differing English dialects in Curran’s books and maybe helps to explain people with a confusion about their gender identity; maybe explains in part homosexuality.  Maybe feelings of Déjà Vu could be explained by reincarnation and well as child prodigies.

Perhaps many incarnations go to make up the Group Soul propounded by Silver Birch and Myers.  Ian Stevenson was a cautious man I believe and he knew the academic community would direct heavy criticism his way especially during his tenure as Director of the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.  To preserve his position at the University he tip-toed around definitively presenting reincarnation as a rule of life perhaps.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 16 Dec, 00:09

Dear Mike,

    Thanks for adding Rev. Greber’s “Communication with the Spirit World of God” to your Top 30 list.  An invaluable resource for understanding how the spirit world communicates with us.  So, I’m happy to see that his book made such a positive impression on you.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Robert Landro, Thu 15 Dec, 17:12

Suzanne, thank you for your kind comments and the promotion. I should mention, however, that I really don’t use Facebook. I joined several years ago and have a few hundred “friends,” but I prefer to use email and this blog.  I rarely post anything at Facebook.

Amos, I agree on the Ian Stevenson books. As you may know, however, I am not totally sold on reincarnation and therefore don’t write much about it. I should say that I believe in reincarnation, but I just don’t think it plays out in the way that most people who believe in it think it does.  I subscribe to the Group Soul idea as propounded by Silver Birch and the discarnate Frederic Myers.  This was discussed in my blog of April 4, 2011, which is available in the archives at the left. I realize Stevenson wasn’t sure about which way to run with it, but I more or less stay away from it because I think it is beyond human comprehension.

Michael Tymn, Wed 14 Dec, 22:47

It is not my intent to start a ‘My Favorite Book’ thread here but since you mentioned Morey Bernstein’s book “The Search for Bridey Murphy” , a popular book about one supposed reincarnation case, I think The scientific research of Ian Stevenson in the classic “Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation”(1974)should be mentioned.  Stevenson did not consider reincarnation cases obtained through hypnosis, as was Bridey Murphy, to be of as much value as those cases spontaneously reported by children. Dr. Stevenson devoted much of his life to investigating reported cases of reincarnation and even though he published his book a couple of years after 1971 I think that those not familiar with his work might want to read some of his studies.    - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 14 Dec, 14:48

Thanks so much, Michael! This week I read 4 of the books on your top 30 list as well as your own book The Afterlife Revealed. You have been doing such fine work, republishing priceless material that probably would have been lost.  We at are all about preserving any quality material providing evidence for the afterlife.  I certainly want to call attention to your website on our website and Facebook page since it’s existence was a revelation to me.

Suzanne Carter, Wed 14 Dec, 02:29

A fascinating and valuable resource. I am smiling to have recognized three of the works in President Francisco I. Madero’s personal library: the two by Kardec and SPIRIT TEACHINGS by William Stainton Moses. I also recall seeing one thing or another by Richet and Lodge. I am quite that Madero would have collected many of these works had he not been assassinated in 1913. Many kind regards from Mexico City,

C.M. Mayo, Tue 13 Dec, 23:32

Thanks to all for the comments.  I might mention that I forgot to include one book in my list—“Communication with The Spirit World of God,” by Johannes Greber (1932).  It should have been listed around number 13.

As for Suzanne’s question about a list from 1950 to 1971, it would take me some time to search my books and come up with a list, but those that immediately come to mind are:

“The Supreme Adventure” by Robert Crookall (1961) as well as other books by Crookall

“Swan on a Black Sea” by Geraldine Cummins (1965) as well as other books by Cummins

“This is Spiritualism” by Maurice Barbanell (1959)

“Is Survival a Fact?” by Margaret Lillian Hamilton (1969)

“The Search for Bridey Murphy” by Morey Bernstein (1956)

There are many others from that era, but those are the ones that first come to mind.

Thanks for asking.

Michael Tymn, Sun 11 Dec, 08:08

Hi, Rob,

I’m hoping you don’t find those errors in more recent books. We did have problems with certain older titles, particularly, old books that we’d scanned and re-typeset.

We use different proofreaders these days and they should be better.

Jon, Sat 10 Dec, 15:31

Michael -

Thank you so much for this wonderful post!

With your permission, I would like to link to your list on our website  We are also compiling a list of best books for evidence of the afterlife.  Unfortunately, I have a gap in our list (when combined with your list) between 1950 and 1971.  Do you have a “top 5/10” list for those years?  If you do, I will include them!

Best wishes for all your endeavors,


Suzanne Carter, Fri 9 Dec, 21:56

Hey Mike, thanks for this list. Sadly most of these are not in print but I did purchase Nos. 1 and 3 by William Moore. Both are really great reads. Just one suggestion since you undoubtedly have connections with White Crow Books. They need to proof read their ebook versions. Not sure if the printed versions have the same mistakes or not, but there are several places where some words are left out and others that have spelling and punctuation errors. This doesn’t mean that they are not terrific books, just makes it a little more difficult to read.  Thanks, Rob

Rob Hanks, Fri 9 Dec, 18:45

Did you know that Cyril Scott (no. 50) not only wrote books on the occult and psychic phenomena, but was also a serious music composer? He’s never quite made it into the mainstream, but Chandos—a major classical label—produced recordings of his music, released about 2004 (see

I have the disc that includes Symphony 3, Piano Concerto 2, and Neptune. Worth a listen, although at least in these pieces (I haven’t heard the others) there’s an element of pastiche; he doesn’t seem to have found his own “voice” like a few other 20th century composers such as Ravel and Shostakovich did.

Rick Darby, Wed 7 Dec, 18:24

Michael, having followed your blog(s) for many years now and purchased almost all of your books, I feel that I have read all of the books on your list although I have actually only read some of them.  Thank you for sharing the information contained in those books.  I agree that it is difficult to place these books in any priority order but I find “Glimpses of the Next State” by Moore very well written and convincing.  I think it is a good resource.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 6 Dec, 15:32


There are a number of titles that I didn’t know about; this will keep me reading for some time.

Many thanks

Leslie Harris

Leslie Harris, Tue 6 Dec, 03:09

Mike,a worthwhile list and extremely useful.            I was a little disappointed though that I have
only one from a over one hundred,and that one was listed by you at number 24.                For instant I have the complete 14 books of Silver Birch,and 3more of Arthur Findlay,who I might add is my favourite author.Keep up your good work.I look forward to your blogs.Regards David Hall, Adelaide,Australia.

david hall, Tue 6 Dec, 01:08

Boy that’s a neat exercise - to try to think of what 30 books I would consider my most beneficial for what I believe?  I have an office and a house full of books Maybe my list would be 100?  Thanks for sending It’s much appreciated Karen

Karen Herrick PhD, Mon 5 Dec, 23:00

An invaluable resource, Mike.  Thanks!

Safford Betty, Mon 5 Dec, 18:46

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