Books Every Older Adult Should Read

Reading a new book is more than a fun pastime. Regular reading has been shown to improve memory retention, sharpen decision-making skills, and even reduce stress. It’s fantastic brain exercise for seniors that doesn’t feel like exercise.

If you’re not much of a reader but want to start, it can feel daunting to find the right book. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by it, however. Consider picking up one of these books every older adult should read.

Books Every Older Adult Should Read

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Historical fiction is popular among seniors due to the fish-eye look at a time period they may have experienced. For a recent piece of historical fiction, read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. The story follows two sisters in France during the height of World War II whose paths take them in wildly different directions.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder

You may recognize its title due to its recent film adaptation and Oscar win. Reading Jessica Bruder’s non-fiction novel Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century is just as worth reading. This piece shares the stories of thousands of older adults who built a community of “nomads” in RVs and vans following the Great Recession. It’s equal parts a reflection of the dark nature of America’s economy and a celebration of these individuals’ resilience.

I’m Too Young to be Seventy by Judith Viorist

Aging is a difficult part of life to navigate. Some days you may still feel like a young adult looking to party, and other days you feel twice your age. I’m Too Young to be Seventy by Judith Viorist explores this phenomena, and the other stages of aging in a series of poems. If you’re not quite 70, you could pick up her mother collections—Forever Fifty and Suddenly Sixty.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman follows the grumpy titular character who is forced to contest with the friendly young family who move in next door. The amusing, heartwarming story shows the importance of friendship and connection, which may resonate with many older adults who feel isolated in their older years.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

For a fun, romantic story, seniors should try Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. Retired Major Pettigrew forms a new friendship with Mrs. Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper. Despite their village’s respective views on them, they find they’re more similar than they ever realized. The novel shows the challenges of facing tradition, and that it’s possible to find love again later in life.

1984 by George Orwell

1984 by George Orwell is one of the most popular novels of the 20th century. Lovers of drama, suspense, and betrayal will find themselves fully entrenched by Orwell’s dystopian novel. Set in “futuristic” London, a young man’s life is changed forever by two separate individuals and the events that follow. It is an interesting look into what people of the 1950s thought that the world would look like in the coming decades.

Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

In this quirky murder mystery, four friends and residents of a retirement village meet up weekly to discuss their unorthodox interests: unsolved mysteries. They find themselves wrapped up in an unsolved murder case of their own when a killing occurs on village property. The four friends make it their mission to catch the killer themselves. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman is the first book in the series, so you have plenty to enjoy.

For additional fun, start a book club

Reading doesn’t have to be a solitary activity if you don’t want it to be. More likely than not, your community is home to a number of book clubs. Some are specific to age groups, while others might be specific to genre. You can find more information about them at your local community center or library.

If you want something more tailored to you and your interests, start a book club on your own! Ask friends and family if they are interested, set a meeting time, and select a book. This gives you a great opportunity to interact with your loved ones—something many seniors find they struggle with.

Rest easy with the help of an at-home caregiver

If you’re hosting a book club, your at-home caregiver can help you look and feel your best, prepare a quality meal, and even help with light housekeeping. They can also be a listening ear when you need a companion or to discuss one of these great books for seniors

If you think you may benefit from the help of an at-home caregiver, call us at 773-274-9262. We would be happy to help.

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