Reading is not only a wonderful, relaxing way for older adults to pass time, it’s also good for their health. Studies have shown that people who read for just half an hour day live two years longer than non-readers on average. And, if their choice of reading material is a book rather than a magazine or newspaper, live even longer.
That’s great news for senior readers. Since Paperback Book Day is coming up on July 30th, it’s a great time for family caregivers to encourage their aging relatives to read more by helping them pick their next great read.
It’s also a great excuse for caregivers and seniors to take a trip together to the library. Below are 5 fantastic books (available in paperback, of course!) for older adult readers and their caregivers to read and share.
#1 The Martian by Andy Weir
For science fiction lovers or people who enjoy a good adventure, this book is the story of an astronaut, Mark Watney, who gets stranded on Mars and must figure out how to stay alive until he can be rescued. He’s completely alone and without enough food to last through the time it will take for rescuers to reach him. Watney must use his determination and ingenuity to make use of the items he has to keep him alive.
#2 The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
Li-Yan and her family live in an isolated mountain village farming tea to make a living. Their lives and traditions are impacted by the arrival of a stranger who wants to purchase the tea they harvest. His modern ways, including the first car the village has seen, influence Li-Yan. Li-Yan refuses to give up a baby born out of wedlock to be killed and instead leaves it at an orphanage, so it can be raised in America. Later, she moves away from the village to pursue an education and a career, still longing for the daughter she gave away.
#3 Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming
Fans of PBS’s Masterpiece Mystery might enjoy reading the story of the host’s life before he was famous. Cumming infuses his inspiring story of coming to grips with the affect his abusive father had on his life with heart and humor. The story shifts in between his young life and the mystery of his missing grandfather, drawing parallels and revealing the lessons he learned.
#4 Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Equal parts romance, historical fiction, and adventure, Outlander is the first book in Gabaldon’s epic series about a woman, Claire, who is thrust back in time to 1743 in Scotland. Though already married in her own time, Claire finds herself with no choice but to marry a dashing young Scotsman so different from her other husband. Yet, Claire finds herself torn between the two.
#5 Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Ifemelu grew up in Nigeria, so when her pursuit of education takes her to an American university, she must cope with being identified as “black” for the first time in her life. When her love tries to join her in the United States, post-9/11 rules bar him entry and leave him stranded in London where he meets his own challenges as an undocumented individual. A year later, the two find themselves back in their homeland where they reunite not only with one another but with Nigeria.
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