Top 10 Novels Every Senior Must Read by the End of 2022

Scientific studies indicate that reading benefits older adults in more than one way, from relaxing to improving memory circuits, improving decision-making, and perhaps even delaying dementia and Alzheimer‘s Disease symptoms. Reading can also help seniors with sleeping disorders get to sleep easier. Here are the top ten must-read novels for seniors to help you find the books you’ll enjoy reading, plus their reader reviews from Goodreads.

Additionally, you can read about the best podcasts for seniors in our previous articles.

1. A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman

must-read Novels for Seniors

Genre: fiction

This book is definitely among the top ten chosen novels by seniors. A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary life turned upside down when a boisterous young family moves in next door.
The story focuses on a 59-year-old man by the name of Ove. Throughout the book, we see love, friendship, compassion, grief, and the importance of community and friends in coping with loss. However, habits, routines, and an explosive temper make him an unrelenting creature of habit. A man who does not care about political correctness or tolerance is the bitter neighbour from hell in his community. Unless you start looking closer, it is easy to mistake him for that.

Elyse Walters has said:

” This is a tale that makes you appreciate life! I vote *OVE* as ‘character of the year’! The author has created the most memorable character to be found in a novel -in years.”

2. The Mirror & the Light, Hilary Mantel 

must-read Novels for Seniors

Genre: Historical Fiction, Biographical Fiction

The story began in May 1536. A French executioner in a heartbeat decapitates queen Anne Boleyn. While her remains fall into oblivion, Cromwell takes breakfast with her enemies. The blacksmith’s son from Putney rises to power and wealth from the bloodbath of the spring, while his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen, Jane Seymour.

 

Gumble’s Yard has said:

“Simply magnificent – in my view, the strongest of a Trilogy whose first two volumes were among the most deserving winners in Booker history.”

3. Invisible, Lorena McCourtney

must-read Novels for Seniors

Genre: Mystery, Christian fiction

As a well-written first-person mystery, Invisible is on the list of top ten novels chosen by seniors. However, having a curious mind sometimes gets Ivy Malone into trouble, and her discovery confirms that she can easily escape the public’s eye. Using her newfound anonymity and its unexpected advantages, she launches an unofficial investigation into vandalism at the local cemetery.

 

Cheryl has said:

“This is a new favourite author! I will be reading the entire series, and she is a Christian author who makes me feel good about recommending her books. Ivy Malone is a great character and a complete crack-up! I laughed out loud on numerous occasions.”

4. The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway

must-read Novels for Seniors

Genre: Novel, Allegory, Nautical fiction

It is the wonderfully told story of a Cuban fisherman in the Gulf Stream. He kills and loses a giant marlin – specifically mentioned in the citation accompanying the author’s 1954 Nobel Prize nomination.

 

Reading- Tam- Ashley has said:

” I enjoyed reading about this character who’s symbolic of resilience, loneliness, adventurous spirit, and the writing is thoroughly engaging till the end.”

5. Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell

must-read Novels for Seniors

Genre: Historical Fiction, Biographical Fiction

  • New York Times Notable Book (2020)
  • Best Book of 2020: GuardianFinancial TimesLiterary Hub, and NPR
  • On the list of top ten must-read novels for seniors.

HAMNET drama is a poignant portrait of a marriage, with the loss of a beloved child at its center. It reflects Maggie O’Farrell’s fascination with Shakespeare’s most enthralling play.
The 1580s in Warwickshire. As a result of her unique gifts, Angel is feared and sought after. Judith resides in Henley Street, Stratford, with her husband and three children. Hamnet, the 11-year-old son, died in 1596. About four years later, the husband writes a play called Hamlet.

 

Elyse Walters has said:

“Hamnet was wonderful. My favourite Maggie O’Farrell novel so far! It grabbed me from the start….and I wasn’t expecting it to.”

6. Dear Edward, Ann Napolitano

must-read Novels for Seniors

Genre: coming-of-age story, Bildungsroman

In the summer of 1937, twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his beloved brother, his parents, and 183 others boarded a flight from Newark to Los Angeles. There’s a Wall Street wunderkind, a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured veteran returning from Afghanistan, and a tycoon trying to get away from his controlling wife. The plane crashed tragically. There is only one survivor, Edward.

 

Christine has said:

“What a wonderful book this is! I just came off a DNF read, so this novel was especially welcome. Ann Napolitano is a new author for me, but she is definitely on my radar now.”

7. The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules, Catharina Ingelman

must-read Novels for Seniors

Genre: Novel, Fiction, Humour

79-year-old Martha Anderson dreams of escaping her care home and robbing a bank. It’s not in her plans to live in an armchair, and she plans to snatch money from an investment bank to buy a new house. With the help of her four oldest friends, Martha and the League of Pensioners decide to rebel against everyone and everything. In protest against early bedtimes and plastic meals, they cause an uproar together.

 

Margaret McCulloch-Keeble has said:

” If anyone’s looking for a little, light-hearted, good-natured, warm fuzzy book that has the power to make you titter out loud, then I heartily recommend this yarn. I loved every syllable. 5 stars doesn’t come near to its true worth, in my opinion.”

8. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Helen Simonson

must-read Novels for Seniors

Genre: Fiction, Romance novel

The adventure begins in Edgecombe St. Mary, a charming English village filled with hills and thatched cottages and a set of characters that are as comedic and as familiar as family members. Throughout Helen Simonson’s debut novel, Ernest Pettigrew (retired) proves to be an unexpected hero. This charming, witty, courtly, and always witty Major Pettigrew will ultimately win you over from the very beginning.

 

Kate Quinn has said:

“There has not been so perfectly English a read in its deadpan humour in a very long time.”

9. The Thursday Murder Club, Richard Osman

must-read Novels for Seniors

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Crime novel

The Thursday Murder Club comprises four unlikely friends who meet weekly in a quiet retirement village to talk about unsolved crimes. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim, and Ron are well into their eighties, but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

 

Michael David has said:

“This fun book gave off tons of joy as I made myself an honorary member of The Thursday Murder Club while reading it.”

10. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell

must-read Novels for Seniors

Genre: Science Fiction, Biography, Dystopian Fiction

Nineteen Eighty-Four is dystopian social science fiction, therefore warning readers of the dangers of totalitarianism.
The book’s focus is to convey the extreme level of control and dominance possible under a truly totalitarian regime.

 

Matthew has said:

“This book is amazing, terrifying, brutal and prophetic”

 

Final Words

If you wonder how to spend time in your retirement, reading is considered one of the most beneficial habits a person could have due to its numerous blessings. As people age, they tend to read less and watch TV instead, typically top series for the elderly. However, the health benefits of reading may make you reconsider swapping the remote for a good book instead.

 

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Elrond
Elrond
11 months ago

After reading the Lord of the rings, I read the Silmarillion by the same author, J.R.R Tolkien. Just magnificent! I guess I can call myself a Ringer at the age of 52! and I can finally admit that I’m a fiction lover. From this list, the Mirror & the light seems interesting. Has anyone read it?

Sarah
Sarah
10 months ago

A Man Called Ove is so beautiful. In fact, I think it’s been a while since I’ve read anything this good. What Fredrik Backman writes affects the readers in an extremely heartwarming and emotional way, and I think that’s a very important quality in a writer.

Paul
Paul
10 months ago

Oh! I love Ove. I think he was a kind man. I am also a kind man, so when I read this book, I imagined myself as the first character of this book. Then I finished the book, my son showed me the movie edition of the book. It was brilliant. We need these kinds of movies to improve the relationship between elders and young people!

ana
ana
10 months ago

I read “A Man Called Ove” last year ago or so. It was brilliant! I also saw the movie, but I think the book was far better.   

Bravo
Bravo
5 months ago

The Game of Thrones series is the type of book you’d want as a company on a cold rainy night. I recommend gifting this fantastic collection to your loved ones; they’re going to love it.

Alicia
Alicia
5 months ago

Wow! such a great article! I took Bachelor’s degree in English literature 30 years ago, and somehow I have read all the books mentioned above except Dear Edward. They are all perfect and worthy. I also recommend The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. It’s about a boy named Santiago who is a shepherd. One day he sees a dream about a treasure, and …
Let’s not spoil it, but it holds the idea that each person has a personal legend, and it is up to us to pursue or ignore it.

Jake
Jake
4 months ago

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is the best book I have ever read. Bold statement, I know, but I’m not changing my opinion.

And while I agree with the “Read anything you like” theory, I highly recommend “60 things to do When You Turn 60”. It has 60 sections with ideas in multiple categories. I liked 15 of the suggestions very much, 25 more pretty well, and only felt four were wrong for me. 

This is part of a series, so if you like it, you might like 50 Things…and 70 Things…

But I haven’t read them.

john
john
4 months ago

Once I’ve read The Old Man and the sea novel, which is about a Cuban man named Santiago, a fisherman who struggles with a fish for three days, and after all, despite his many efforts, sharks came and ate the fish. I think this novel is excellent and worth reading because it’s about life lessons.

Nolan
Nolan
4 months ago

I’m happy to see A Man Called Ove on the top of the list. Reading it is indeed a must for all seniors. Go for My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises, and Britt-Marie Was Here by the same writer if you’ve already read A Man Called Ove and loved it.

Robin
Robin
3 months ago

I am a 68 years old woman, and I have read many books in my life, but my favourite one is Back When We Were Grownups by Anna Tyler. The book is about a fifty-three-year-old grandmother who is an impostor in her own life and wondering who was her true self. When you start reading, it is so hard to stop. Anne Tyler is best at writing, and she can capture moments in her novels. Reading this book was a valuable experience.

Liliane
Liliane
3 months ago

Oh, Come on. I don’t think “Old man and the sea” and “1984” are suitable novels for those above 60 because we all have heard and read about them; even their movies are shown many times on TV. So, though they’re great classic novels, I guess less known, new novels should be recommended for our age. I’m, however, very fond of the rest of the list in the article.

Adam
Adam
3 months ago

I remember when I finished reading “A Man Called Ove.” I was drowning in tears, and my grandkids were so concerned. They thought something terrible might have happened to me. :))
It is one of the best books I have ever read.

Ethan
Ethan
2 months ago

Thank you for this article. I love reading books myself, but I can’t say the same thing about my grandma. After her husband passed away, she’s become lonely, and now she doesn’t have much to do during her day except to watch TV. I’ve encouraged her to start reading books, but we have very different tastes. I don’t know much about her favourite genre but what I do know is that she dislikes fantasy books and movies, which are all I read and watch! Maybe the suggestions in this article will match better with her taste.