Friday, December 5, 2014

G480 Glimpsing Heaven; The Stories and Science of Life After Death

Title of the book: Glimpsing Heaven; The Stories and Science of Life After Death

Author:  Judy Bachrach

Publisher: National Geographic

Publishing Date: 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4262-1514-8


If you caught a glimpse of heaven, would you choose to come back to life? Investigative journalist Judy Bachrach has collected accounts of those who died and then returned to life with lucid, vivid memories of what occurred while they were dead, and the conclusions are astonishing. Clinical death—the moment when the heart stops beating and brain stem activity ceases—is not necessarily the end of consciousness, as a number of doctors are now beginning to concede. Hundreds of thousands of fascinating post-death experiences have been documented, and for many who have died and returned, life is forever changed. These days, an increasing number of scientific researchers are turning their studies to people who have experienced what the author calls death travels -- putting stock and credence in the sights, encounters, and exciting experiences reported by those who return from the dead. Through interviews with scores of these “death travelers,” and with physicians, nurses, and scientists unraveling the mysteries of the afterlife, Bachrach redefines the meaning of both life and death. Glimpsing Heaven reveals both the uncertainty and the surprising joys of life after death.

Other Works:

The first book that she wrote was Tina and Harry Come to America

(From TLC)

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394175 02: Journalist and author Judy Bachrach poses for a portrait September 19, 2000 in Washington, DC. Bachrach published a book, "Tina and Harry Come To America," which chronicles the British power couple of publishing, Tina Brown and Harry Evans. (Photo by Dirck Halstead/Getty Images)About Judy Bachrach

JUDY BACHRACH is a veteran journalist, having worked at the Washington Post, the Washington Star, and Vanity Fair, for which she covered stories on Sylvio Berlusconi, Amanda Knox, and Stephen Hawking. She was educated at Chatham College, the University of Brussels, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. In the course of volunteering as a hospice worker, a path she initially chose to conquer her fear of death, she met numerous nurses, doctors, and scientists who have helped her with this book.
Follow Judy on Twitter.


"In other words, true or false, probable or improbable, their recollection of events they claim occurred while out tells us one important thing: the ability to perceive and think kept on going while they were dead. Death does not invariably signal the last act of the play." (19)

Problems addressed: 

"In any case, this book has nothing to do with belief. On this subject-the issue of recollection of incidents or images or encounters that could only have occurred or been seen during clinical death-there are simply, as some of the doctors and scientists I've interviewed point out, too many experiencers and too many experiences to discount." (18)

Summary of content:

Literally, there is more to life than death, and death does not equal finality but instead can open up a wider world no matter the belief.


"This book is not just for them. Its for all of us: we the future dead, and our extraordinary future journeys." (23)

Main Points:

* The Light is What Happens
*Struck by Lightning
*What are Death Experiences?
*Hell or Something Like It
*Those We Meet
*With or Without God
*Unasked-For Gifts The Knowing and the Powers
*Going Home

Why its interesting and informative:

Like everyone, we are constantly being bombarded by the idea of death and soul and the right path for the soul. Some of us, such as I, choose to believe that death equals eternal sleep, while others believe that if you don't follow a certain belief or creed, then the soul is destined for eternal flame. For me personally, its a fascinating and enlightening read to see that death is not something to fear and that if you don't subscribe to certain beliefs then you're not doomed to eternal hell. In fact I wonder why people choose to create the world as hell? Also, for some odd reason, while I was reading it, I couldn't help but recall Jade Lee's Tigress Series, which is a sort of different subject altogether.

Issues book raises:

"Why isn't more research money devoted to studying what happens then? [after-life] Given the mountains of anecdotal evidence, the probability that something fascinating does occur and that some of us can discuss what happened even after the brain and heart shut down, why not pour plenty of time and funding into the phenomenon and take it seriously? Especially since most of those who return to life do so with rewarding, blissful recollections." (21)


Its really hard for me to pick the side, and whether or not I disagree with the author. I do find the study and the book pretty fascinating and informative, but its a bit difficult for me to reconcile the idea of afterlife that's accessible to everyone, not just certain believers. For years I've been badgered by friends to abandon what I am, and I chose not to do it. In the process I grew a very thick skin against anything that sounds christian, which rather means that afterlife in the book, although I know its spiritual, still sounds christian for me.


If I'm not mistaken, most of the sources were primary/anecdotal or else the author has heard of them from researchers, doctors and so forth. The science is used in the book and the author does verify stories with relatives and friends of the death travelers.


If you are looking for a spiritual read or to not fear death so much, I would suggest reading the book and having thoughts and opinions being challenged. I also am fascinated by the reading and am glad and happy to have had a chance to read it.

Judy’s Tour Stops

Wednesday, October 29th: Booksie’s Blog
Monday, November 3rd: JulzReads
Thursday, November 13th: Book Nerd
Monday, November 17th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Tuesday, November 18th: Breezes at Dawn
Thursday, November 20th: A Catholic Mom Climbing the Pillars
Saturday, November 22nd: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, November 25th: Everyone Needs Therapy
Monday, December 1st: The Gods Are Bored
Tuesday, December 2nd: The Dubious Disciple
Wednesday, December 3rd: A Daring Adventure
Wednesday, December 3rd: My Online Faith Journal
Thursday, December 4th: Diamond Cut Life
Thursday, December 4th: nightlyreading
Thursday, December 4th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Friday, December 5th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views

This is for TLC Book Tour

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)


  1. I'm pleased to see how much you enjoyed this fascinating read! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  2. thanks for the review! Actually -- although the stories in the book were often anecdotal, I took special care to have as many as possible verified: by attending doctors, nurses or family members and friends. best Judy Bachrach, author of GLIMPSING HEAVEN


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