elderly woman reading

10 Recommended Books for Seniors to Enjoy

March 19, 2018

Reading continues to be one of America’s favorite pastimes, and for good reason. Relaxing with a good book is beneficial for people of all ages, but especially seniors, as it can reduce stress, provide mental simulation, and even improve memory. Listening to a book is more convenient and enjoyable for some, and eBooks allow you to enlarge the text, a perfect option for seniors who may have a hard time reading small print.

Here’s our list of 10 books for older adults. With a mix of genres, from mystery to poetry, there’s sure to be something that strikes your loved one’s fancy.

  1. The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 by John Bishop. Told in the style of 1940s melodramas, this book is an excellent mystery with a touch of comedy. It’s a great read-out-loud book, as you and your loved one will share lots of laughs.
  2. I’m Too Young To Be Seventy by Judy Viorst. This is a wonderful collection of poems that are witty, wise and touching. It’s the perfect book for any older adults who don’t feel their age.
  3. A Man Called Ove by Frederick Backman. This best-selling fiction novel features a cranky, bitter, 59-year-old widower, whom you can’t help falling in love with. It’s also a film, so when your parent is done reading, you can both watch the movie. 
  4. Disrupt Aging: A Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Stage by Jo Ann Jenkins. Written by AARP CEO, Jo Ann Jenkins, this book changes the conversation about age. Jenkins focuses on three areas: health, wealth and self, and inspires people to live each year to the fullest.
  5. Ivy Malone Mystery series by Lorena McCourtney. This series of mysteries is popular for its likable characters, including detective Ivy Malone — who’s also in her senior years. Your loved one will enjoy reading one mystery after another. 
  6. Prime of Life by P.D. Bekendam. This book is for anyone who likes unexpected storylines. This one is about a doctor who leaves his luxurious career behind to become a janitor at a retirement community. It’s filled with humor and quirky characters. 
  7. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. Set in England’s countryside, this book features a retired British army officer and a Pakistani shopkeeper. They’re drawn together and overtime, fall in love. However, the challenges from culture and tradition, akin to Romeo and Juliet, make it a compelling read. 
  8. The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg. This book is about a group of seniors who are fed up with early bedtimes and soft foods and decide to reclaim their independence by committing a robbery. It’s a comedy of errors that keeps you turning pages until the very end.
  9. Rules for Aging: A Wry and Witty Guide to Life by Roger Rosenblatt. Commentator on PBS’s NewsHour, Roger Rosenblatt gives practical advice through a wry sense of humor for those wishing to live longer, fuller lives. 
  10. Call It a Gift by Valerie Hobbs. This novel is about two people who meet each other late in life and fall in love, even though they are an unlikely pair. It’s a heartwarming, sentimental read — your loved one may need tissues.  
Reading is a wonderful way to improve the quality of life for seniors. We hope you can add at least one of these books to your loved one’s reading list; maybe you can even start a senior citizen book club! If you read one, be sure to let us know what you thought of the book in the comments.

senior reading a book