These new books deal with death in ways fictional, historical and practical.
Being Esther (Milkweed Editions) by Miriam Karmel is a slim but vivid novel about the last days of an 85-year-old woman, filled with humor, sorrow and insight into its characters.
Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses (Simon & Schuster) by Bess Lovejoy is a cheerfully macabre compendium of stories about the travels of Einstein's brain and Napoleon's penis, the dizzying number of possible destinations of D.H. Lawrence's ashes and more.
When Someone Dies: The Practical Guide to the Logistics of Death (Simon & Schuster) by Scott Taylor Smith and Michael Castleman offers sensible advice for a difficult time about topics like funeral arrangements, finances and obituaries as well as handling the deceased's online footprint.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor