Books For Seniors and Older Adults

Posted by Enlivant support center on April 8, 2022

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. Books also make great gifts for the elderly reader in your life.

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

List of Books for Elderly Readers

  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 or 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 older adults who have young spirits.

  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 you or your senior loved one is finished reading, the movie awaits.
  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 is also in her senior years. Elderly readers will enjoy one mystery after another.
  6. Prime of Life by P.D. Bekendam. This book is for anyone who likes unexpected storylines, and is about a doctor who leaves his luxurious career behind to become a janitor at a retirement community. It’s filled with tons of humor and quirky characters!
  7. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. Set in the English countryside, this novel 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 will keep elderly readers 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 — tissues may be needed.

Reading is a wonderful way to improve the quality of life for seniors. We hope you or your senior loved one will add one of these books to your reading list, and maybe even feel inspired to start a senior citizen book club!

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