When you find a book you enjoy, it’s easy to recommend it to others. And that’s why we’re always on the lookout for the best books for seniors, especially ones featuring senior characters. Here are our five favorites for your summertime reading: from detective novels to tales of transcendence, there’s something here for every mood. Even if you’re an ardent reader, we hope you find one among these popular books to add to your summertime reading list.
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
Dreading his 100th birthday party, Allan Karlsson makes a quiet getaway through a window in his bedroom slippers. He heads to the bus station, intending to travel as far as his money will go, but ends up on a strange journey where he encounters murders, a suitcase full of cash, criminals, and incompetent police. We learn of Allan’s colorful past and how he’s affected much of 20th-century history, including the Spanish Civil War and the Manhattan Project. It’s a satirical tale of world events through the eyes of someone living life to its fullest.
The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old by Peter de Smet
“Another year, and I still don’t like old people,” is how Hendrik starts the story of his life in a senior living community. He and his rebellious friends start the invitation-only “Old but Not Dead Club,” inciting jealousy and creating chaos as they play pranks on the other residents and the community’s obnoxious director. As Hendrik struggles with his health and woos a woman he’s always longed for, he shares insights into the importance of friendship, and his fight to age with dignity.
Driving Miss Norma by Tim Bauerschmidt
“I’m 90 years old. I’m hitting the road,” replies Miss Norma to her doctor when told she has cancer and needs to endure surgery, chemo and radiation. She begins an unforgettable around-the-country journey in a huge motor home, with her son; daughter-in-law; and dog, Ringo. With each passing mile, her health improves, and she befriends countless people from all walks of life. As this 5-foot-tall, once timid woman embraces adventure, she shows it’s never too late to live life on your own terms.
The Ivy Malone Mysteries by Lorena McCourtney
Ivy Malone may look like an anonymous gray-haired senior, but she isn’t. Curious to a fault, Ivy has a quirky nature and a nose for trouble. She discovers a talent for sleuthing, and she uses her knack for blending into the background to pry out information and launch unofficial investigations of crimes she witnesses. This spunky, funny heroine is a likeable character who makes the series an addictive read. Start with the first book, “Invisible.”
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood
Every Saturday, an 11-year-old boy shows up at Ona Vitkus’ home to refill bird feeders and tidy the garden. Lithuanian immigrant Ona is 104 years old, and she forges a strong bond of friendship with him, sharing stories she’s kept hidden for decades. When he doesn’t turn up one Saturday, Ona learns he has died. She’s surprised by his family members arriving on her doorstep to finish his work. What happens next is testimony that sharing loss can help us heal, and the world holds surprises for us at any age.
Why not combine your love of reading with the health benefits of socialization? Joining a book club is a wonderful way to meet like-minded book worms and discover new authors. Book clubs are just one of the many activities that happen at The Buckingham. You’ll find ways to express your creative side with year-long opportunities for arts, culture and recreation. Call us at 713-979-3090 to find out more about our lively community in Houston, TX.