The end of summer means the season for reading is almost upon us. Spending time indoors is much easier with a good book, which is probably why about 70% of seniors cite reading as a favorite activity. For most readers, enjoying a good book is all about being able to project yourself into a character. While you can get absorbed in almost any well-written character, many people find it easier to relate to someone more like them, which is why this list is all about books for senior citizens… about senior citizens!
Here are a few books categorized by genre that may help steer you towards your favorite new read, or something to give the senior in your life who enjoys curling up with a good book.
Some people love to solve a mystery; the thrill of adventure, seeing the world, and ultimately witnessing justice prevail. Most people find that mysteries can enrapture our imaginations, no matter what age we are.
- The Miss Marple series of mystery novels follows the story of Jane Maple, the protagonist of Agatha Christie’s famous crime novels. As a spinster and amateur detective, Marple uses her keen intellect to solve a variety of mysteries over the course of a dozen books. Her wit and aged experience have made her a favorite for generations of readers.
- If you’re looking for something a little more contemporary, Nursing a Grudge is the first book of the Earl Walker series. Having lost his career and wife almost simultaneously, Earl Walker is an ornery old man living out his days at a retirement center. But when he’s dragged away from his home to join a chili party, Earl is forced to solve a murder before the real killer can escape.
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Whether you’ve fallen in love once or a dozen times, romance novels can help you explore those feelings all over again. Romance helps you relax and witness as two people come together, and almost always get their happily-ever-after in the end.
- What happens when a 62-year-old curmudgeon meets a free-spirited, yet sexually repressed 59-year-old? Apples Should be Red is all about is all about the collision between two unusual yet kindred souls, and how one family Thanksgiving brought them closer together.
- For something a little more serious, One Last Dance: It’s Never Too Late to Fall in Love is the story of two strangers forced together to become roommates, before an estranged enters their lives bent on seeking revenge for the past. His attempts at revenge only bring the two together, but will they ever reconcile?
Humorous & Heartwarming Fiction
Many people find that uplifting and heartwarming books are the perfect escape from everyday life. And with a dash of humor, these books can make anyone feel better on a rainy day.
- Lost & Found is the internationally acclaimed novel about a collision between the wisdom of youth, and the mischievousness of the elderly. Millie Bird struggles to find meaning in her life after losing a loved one. What she finds is that being old isn’t the same thing as being dead, and it’s okay to feel sad sometimes.
- The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules is a story of growing old disgracefully. Martha Andersson wants to escape the monotony of retirement. Securing the help of her oldest friends, she begins stirring unrest in her retirement community before their plans ultimately escalate into planning a bank robbery to fund their new lust for life. But can Martha outrun the law on her way to infamy?
Whether you want an adrenaline rush, a visceral reaction, or just a good scare, horror is the genre for you. If you don’t mind losing some sleep at night, a good horror novel can test your courage, give you something to think about, and scare your pants off.
- For those newer to the genre, a good place to start is Ray Bradbury’s masterpiece, Something Wicked This Way Comes. The story follows two kids, their haunting experience around a traveling carnival, and one aging father’s insistence on getting back stolen time from the malevolent entity that has set its eyes on the boys.
- For veteran horror fans, Peter Straub’s Ghost Story is about four men in upstate New York swapping ghost stories of their past. But as their tales slowly unwinds, demons from their past come to seek supernatural revenge. Straub’s work is best compared to Stephen King in both excellence and terror, which is why anyone looking for a good scare should start here.
These are just a few of our picks for reads for seniors. Do you have any favorite books that might fit the bill? If you’re a senior, what’s the last great book you read that you’d recommend to a friend?