Reading is a wonderful way to keep your mind sharp as you age and has many mental health benefits, including reducing stress and improving sleep quality. It's also a great way to stay up-to-date and knowledgeable when it comes to pop culture, the latest research, and modern thought leaders. But with endless books to choose from, finding a book that is current, in your preferred genre, and relevant to your stage of life can be daunting.
Related Blog: 4 Benefits of Reading for the Aging Brain
This blog features the most recent, popular, and thought-provoking books across various genres – fiction, history, philosophy, and self-help – handpicked for you. Whether it’s fiction books with older main characters or philosophical writings about the beauty of being alive, you’re sure to find something on this list that resonates with your journey through your golden years.
There’s only a handful of books that follow main characters over the age of 60, and if you’re an avid reader, you’ve probably already read most of them. Here are a few recently published novels that have relatable main characters and are perfect for reflecting on themes of aging in your next senior book club.
- Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout (2019): Olive Again follows Olive, a woman in her 70s and 80s, through a collection of interconnected stories after the death of her first husband. This is the perfect book for seniors who want to read about a relatable main character and unique senior experiences.
- The God of Endings by Jacqueline Holland (2023): This dark fantasy novel follows Collette LeSange, a reluctantly immortal vampire. She struggles with loneliness, the dangers of her condition, and the questions that arise as a result of living a long life. This book is perfect for exploring existential themes through the lens of escapism.
- A Death at the Party by Amy Stuart (2023): One of the best-published fiction novels of 2023, this mystery/thriller follows Nadine as she hosts a huge dinner party for her mother’s birthday. Inspired by the works of Agatha Christie, the author grips the readers with Nadine’s haunting memories and the secret anniversary that this special day shares.
Whether you’re interested in diving into social, political, or war themes, these non-fiction historical stories are sure to equip you with keen insight into both the past and the present.
- Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom by Ilyon Woo (2023): Set in 1848, and based on a true story, an enslaved couple escapes the American South by disguising themselves as master and slave on their journey North.
- The Sisterhood: The Secret History of Women at the CIA by Liza Mundy(2023): Since its founding, the CIA has overlooked many of its female workers’ significant contributions. Mundy tells the untold stories of the greatest female minds in the Central Intelligence Agency. If you liked Hidden Figures, this could be the perfect book for you.
- Revolutionary Spring: Europe Aflame and the Fight for a New World, 1848-1849 by Christopher Clark (2023): Learn about Europe’s year of revolutions Clark draws parallels between the political unrest of the era and today's global political landscape.
Explore today’s most prevalent philosophical theories. These philosophical discussions cover modern humanist thoughts and discussions about living life to the fullest.
- Humanly Possible: Seven Hundred Years of Humanist Freethinking, Inquiry, and Hope by Sarah Bakewell (2023): This book covers seven centuries of humanistic thought, showcasing the evolution and impact of humanist ideas over time.
- This Beauty: A Philosophy of Being Alive by Nick Riggle (2022): This Beauty discusses the inspiration and gratitude that springs forth from the understanding that our lives are fleeting and explores theories of how to harness that mindset. Riggle uses philosophical theories of aesthetics to ponder our perception of beauty and how to expand our appreciation for being alive.
Learn the latest about healthy aging and living long happy lives. Written by older authors, these books offer practical advice and wisdom specifically geared toward the later stages of life.
- Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity by Peter Attia MD with Bill Gifford (2023): This book offers an accessible overview of the latest science-backed ways to maintain your body and mind for longevity.
- The Well-Lived Life: A 102-Year-Old Doctor’s Six Secrets to Health and Happiness at Every Age by Gladys McGarey M.D. (2023): Written by the 102-year-old doctor herself, Gladys McGarey tells us her six actionable secrets to living a happier and healthier life, mentally, spiritually and physically.
- Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life by Arnold Schwarzenegger (2023): Written by the legend, and now 76-year-old, Arnold Schwarzenegger shares seven rules that guide readers toward discovering their true purpose in life.
Hopefully, you’ve found at least one book, if not more, that inspired you to start reading! Whether you’re running out of interesting books or don’t know where to start, this list is perfect for keeping your mind sharp as you age.
At Sarasota Bay Club, our resident book club is a community that understands the joy of reading and the value it brings to our lives. If you’re curious about our luxury senior living community that discusses and enjoys literature together, visit our lifestyle page.