Reading is a great hobby. It's a form of entertainment as well as a source of knowledge and learning for people all over the world. There are countless benefits to reading, such as improving vocabulary, keeping your mind sharp, boosting memory and reducing stress. For these reasons and many more, we think that everyone should take up reading as an hobby Therefore, we're here today to recommend some of the best books for elderly readers... that is, if you haven't read them already!
Books for Elderly Readers: Upcoming Releases of 2022
We may still be early in the year, but there are some fantastic books on their way. If you're thinking ahead, here are some much anticipated titles due for release in 2022.
The Last White Man, Mohsin Hamid
This upcoming novel follows a white man who one day wakes up to discover his ethnicity has changed overnight...and the same is true for people across the country. Intentionally provocative, Hamid explores the link between identity and bigotry, and seeks to promote empathy in readers.
This book explores questions of racial justice, offering apt social commentary whilst also telling a powerful and engaging story. Don't let the subject deter you; reviewers say Hamid is "one of the 21st century’s most essential writers".
The House Across the Lake, Riley Sager
Riley Sager's latest offering provides suspense and mysteries for the reader. Whilst seeking some peace and quiet at a lake house, a widowed actress finds herself watching her neighbours and the drama of their life. Things soon take a dark turn however, and our protagonist feels compelled to investigate. What dark secrets will she uncover?
Early reviews suggest elements of Hitchcock as well as The Great Gatsby, promising engaging characters and a twist you won't soon forget.
Fairy Tale, Stephen King
The master of horror isn't showing any signs of slowing down, with not one but two novels on their way to release this year. "Fairy Tale" takes us deep into the author's spellbinding imagination, featuring a seventeen-year-old boy who inherits the key to a parallel world. It is a classical tale with a modern twist, exploring grief and fantasy in equal measure.
A story born from a question - "What could you write that would make you happy?" - "Fairy Tale" explores a world of good and evil with King's customary macabre tone. Whether you've never read a King book before or are a lifelong fan, this is a great book to pick up this year.
Books for Elderly Readers: Bestsellers of 2021
The last year saw some fantastic books unleashed on shelves. In case you missed them, here are a few of the bestsellers of last year.
The Man Who Died Twice, Richard Osman
The sequel to the hit 2020 book "The Thursday Murder Club", Richard Osman's second novel has been a hit with crime fiction fans across the country. Reuniting readers with the eponymous Thursday Murder Club, "The Man Who Died Twice" follows the four septuagenarians as they hunt down a murderer and, in the process, try to track down some stolen diamonds.
Reviewers describe "The Man Who Died Twice" as being even better than the first book. Certainly they seem to know what they're talking about, as the book made it to Number 4 on The Guardian's Top 10 Bestsellers list.
Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens
An intriguing combination of murder mystery and romance, Delia Owens' "Where the Crawdads Sing" made it to Number 10 on the 2021 Bestsellers List. Following a young woman who has lived in isolation amongst the marshes of Barkley Cove, this novel is an exploration of our relationship with the natural world and with one another. It challenges how we view people from outside of our group, and the human need to be accepted.
According to reviews, the story is one of sadness, carried by breath-taking prose. It has received many glowing testimonies from readers, making it a worthy addition to your reading list.
Windswept & Interesting, Billy Connolly
If you're looking for something non-fiction with a humourous edge, you can't go wrong with Billy Connolly's autobiography. Released in 2021, it rose to Number 9 on the Bestsellers List. As one of the nation's most famous comedians, Billy Connolly brings his sharp wit to this memoir of his life. From rough beginnings to the heights of fame, and everything in between, this is the story of Billy Connolly as told by the man himself.
Full to the brim with wisdom and joy, this is a book that will touch your emotions and make you smile from the first page to the last.
Books for Elderly Readers: Our Top Picks of All-Time
Some books have established themselves as classics, leaving their mark on the world of literature. Some might even call them "must-reads". If the latest releases don't appeal to you, diving into a novel from times gone by may be just the ticket. Whilst you may read about outdated ideas, their legacy remains, and some even have a few things to say about the world we live in today.
1984, George Orwell
It doesn't get much more dystopian than 1984. George Orwell wrote his masterpiece in the late 1940s, imagining a future of totalitarian government, endless war, and 24/7 surveillance. This novel constantly tops must-read lists around the world. Lots of the words and phrases Orwell coins in 1984 have also become commonplace in our everyday speech. Big Brother, doublethink, Room 101, the list goes on. The novel follows Winston Smith, an employee of the Ministry of Truth, who spends his days 'correcting' historical records so they align with what The Party says is true. However, Winston dreams of rebellion against The Party and its leader, Big Brother. Will he be able to evade the ruthless Thought Police and find freedom?
1984 has several media adaptations. The British film adaptation (released in 1984) stars John Hurt as Winston Smith and Richard Burton in his last screen appearance as fellow Party member, O'Brien.
The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy epic has reached millions around the world, in both book and film form. While Tolkien originally set out to publish the story in one volume, publishers divided the saga into three books:
- The Fellowship of the Ring.
- The Two Towers.
- The Return of the King.
As you may know, The Lord of the Rings follows Frodo Baggins, a Hobbit of the Shire, as he sets out to recover a magic ring, in order to stop it falling into the hands of the dark lord Sauron.
The world of Middle Earth is one of the most rich, detailed fantasy settings of all time, so it's no wonder that Tolkien's trilogy is so beloved. However, you'll need to find some serious reading time in order to get through all three books, since they contain more than 1,000 pages altogether.
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
The next of our books for elderly readers is To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the most widely-read and beloved books around the world. The novel was released in 1960 and challenges the insidious racism of 20th century America.
Mockingbird's narrator is Jean Louise Finch, a six year old white girl who goes by her nickname, Scout. She lives in Maycomb, Alabama with her older brother Jem and father Atticus, a lawyer. The story focuses on the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man who is accused of raping a young white woman. Atticus agrees to defend Tom, the only lawyer in town willing to take his case.
Since its publication in 1960, Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel has never gone out of print. In fact, in 2006, British librarians ranked it ahead of the Bible as a book 'every adult should read before they die.'
To Kill A Mockingbird's philosophy can perhaps be summarised in this quote fromAtticus Finch: "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
Another Pulitzer Prize winner, The Grapes of Wrath is next on our list of books for elderly readers. It follows the Joad family as they set out on the road to California, seeking to escape the drought and poverty that has forced them off their Oklahoma farm. Grapes takes place during the Great Depression of the 1930s and sees the Joads struggle to find work, food, and dignity in the face of corporate greed.
Steinbeck travelled to the dust bowl camps where migrant workers sought shelter and was horrified by what he saw. He wrote this novel as a furious call for justice and sold half a million copies in its first year of publication. The 1940 film adaptation starred Henry Fonda as Tom Joad and won two Oscars. Steinbeck's original novel, meanwhile, is enormously broad in scope yet startlingly precise in its human details. The Grapes of Wrath is a must-read for readers of all ages.
Elderly Readers - Stay Safe at Home
As we get older, we become more prone to falls and medical conditions, which is why a personal alarm is so useful. With a Lifeline alarm, you can simply press your pendant button if you require assistance and our TSA accredited Response Team will respond immediately. Our platinum service has saved lives and given peace of mind to thousands of families across the UK.
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Was your favourite book featured here? Of course, we can only scratch the surface of the world's greatest novels in this article. Share your top picks in the comments section below.
If you liked this article, why not read about our other hobby ideas for older people?
Editor's Note: This article was updated on 17th June 2022 to reflect current information.