Dream of Ding Village by YAN Lianke

A powerful look at the AIDS scandal in Henan Province during the 1990s, when many people became infected with HIV after selling their blood at private collection centers, the novel focuses on one family at the heart of the tragedy in a place called Ding Village.

The Dead Roam the Earth: True Stories of the Paranormal from Around the World by Alasdair Wickham

Do you believe in ghosts? From incubi in Sumatra to exorcism in Sudan to spirits in our own backyard, The Dead Roam the Earth explores the fascinating variety—and uncanny similarity—of supernatural encounters in every corner of the planet, providing chilling accounts of real-life ghost sightings, haunted places, poltergeists, possessions, Mothmen, demons, witchcraft, ritualistic killings, and much more.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act…different. She’s moody. She’s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she’s nearby. Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries—and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?

It’s OK that You’re Not OK by Megan Devine

When a painful loss or life-shattering event upends your world, here is the first thing to know: there is nothing wrong with grief. “Grief is simply love in its most wild and painful form,” says Megan Devine. “It is a natural and sane response to loss.”
 
So, why does our culture treat grief like a disease to be cured as quickly as possible?
 
In It’s OK That You’re Not OK, Megan Devine offers a profound new approach to both the experience of grief and the way we try to help others who have endured tragedy. Having experienced grief from both sides—as both a therapist and as a woman who witnessed the accidental drowning of her beloved partner—Megan writes with deep insight about the unspoken truths of loss, love, and healing. She debunks the culturally prescribed goal of returning to a normal, “happy” life, replacing it with a far healthier middle path, one that invites us to build a life alongside grief rather than seeking to overcome it.

Black Cats and Evil Eyes: A Book of Old-Fashioned Superstitions by Chloe Rhodes

Hundreds of beliefs passed down through the generations have their foundations in our ancestors’ efforts to ward off evil, which they blamed for hardship, illness, and injustice in times when life was, as often as not, “nasty, brutish and short.” Black Cats & Evil Eyes sets these superstitions in their historical and social context, explaining how fear of the Devil, demons, evil spirits, and witchcraft drove people to arm themselves with rituals and talismans to repel dark forces and allow them to live long and healthy lives. In examining many of our common superstitions, this book illuminates the customs, beliefs, and practices that link us to an ancient, and often darker, human past.

From Here to Eternity [Traveling the World to Find the Good Death] by Caitlyn Doughty

Fascinated by our pervasive fear of dead bodies, mortician Caitlin Doughty set out to discover how other cultures care for the dead. From Here to Eternity is an immersive global journey that introduces compelling, powerful rituals almost entirely unknown in America. Doughty contends that the American funeral industry sells a particular―and, upon close inspection, peculiar ―set of “respectful” rites: bodies are whisked to a mortuary, pumped full of chemicals, and entombed in concrete. She argues that our expensive, impersonal system fosters a corrosive fear of death that hinders our ability to cope and mourn. By comparing customs, she demonstrates that mourners everywhere respond best when they help care for the deceased, and have space to participate in the process.