If you’re interested in near-death experiences but don’t have the time or inclination to read extensively about the subject, two excellent recent books sum up what 35 years of research have discovered so far.

One is Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences by Dr. Jeffrey Long and Paul Perry. Long, a radiation oncologist, is himself a prominent NDE researcher who has long been convinced (for good reasons) that NDEs are actual glimpses of the afterlife.

The other, which came out just last year, is Near-Death Experiences as Evidence for the Existence of God and Heaven: A Brief Introduction in Plain Language by J. Steve Miller. Unlike Long, Miller is a layman and a generalist who has written on various subjects. As he describes it, he has been both “obsessed” with the idea of God since he was 16 and subject to a “skeptical bent” that “led me to continually question religious claims”  and “plunged [me] into periods of doubt.”

Miller set out to explore the NDE literature and, as is very evident from his endnotes, has delved deeply into it. In this entertainingly written, sometimes very funny book, he sums up what he’s learned and what conclusions he’s drawn.