Read All About It! Five Page-Turning Reads For Summer


What is the last book you read?

If the last book you read had Seuss in the title, it’s time to discover the joys of reading.

Reading every day helps build vocabulary, relieve stress, and increase knowledge. It also improves memory. “When you read a book, you have to remember an assortment of characters, their backgrounds, ambitions, history, and nuances, as well as the various arcs and subplots that weave their way through every story,” says health writer Lana Winter-Hebert. “Every new memory you create forges new synapses (brain pathways)and strengthens existing ones, which assists in short-term memory recall as well as stabilizing moods.”

Let’s face it. Americans rarely venture reading beyond a tweet or an Instagram post. But studies show seniors aren’t cuddling up with a good book as much as they could. “Older Americans are a bit more likely than their younger counterparts not to have read a book. Some 28% of adults ages 50 and older have not read a book in the past year, compared with 20% of adults under 50,” says Andrew Perrin from Pew Research Center.

Related link: 5 Creative Ways Older Couples Keep Romance Alive

It’s time to open yourself up to the world of books. And by participating in the PBS Great American Read, for example, summer can be the perfect time to dabble in the classics or find a new author to love.  

Here are five book suggestions to get you started:

1. The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson.

“The book should please the fans of both men and then some,” says AARP contributor William W. Horne. “Packed with action and the usual Pattersonian red herrings and blind alleys, it also retains a certain dignity, with a presidential voice of Clintonian timbre, no matter how much the two men deny that their fictional President Duncan resembles our 42nd commander in chief.”

Related link: 5 Fun Activities To Share With A Loved One In A Nursing Home

2. Multipliers by Liz Wiseman.

“If anyone has a desire to help others succeed in a non-threatening manner, this is a must read,” said Rose Rios, director of marketing at Legend Oaks Healthcare and Rehab of Northwest Houston.

3. The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware.

“Harriet Westaway, a young Englishwoman who makes her living reading tarot cards on Brighton Pier and owes a loan shark big bucks. After she learns that a Mrs. Westaway has died and left lots of money to Harriet, whom she claims is her granddaughter, Harriet is desperate enough to play along,” says AARP contributor Christina Ianzito. “She goes to meets her new family in their decrepit mansion and the situation grows increasingly complicated and creepy, Agatha Christie-style.”

4. The Time Between by Karen White.

Eleanor Murray just wants to escape from the guilt she carries from an accident that paralyzed her sister. Her break came when her boss offers her a job caring for his aunt Helena. What ensues is an unforgettable relationship.

5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Often listed as one of America’s most beloved classics, this book reminds us that we need more people like Atticus Finch to stand up for love, respect, and justice.

You deserve some quality time to yourself. Why not spend it reading a good book?


About Author

J’Nel Wright is a freelance writer and editor who contributes to 39forLife on topics of health and wellness, aging, caregiving, and business. Her work has appeared in a variety of regional and national publications. She earned a bachelors degree in English from the University of Utah. Before getting a “real job” facilitating government health, employment, and other supportive services policies, she traveled throughout Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, French Polynesia, Mexico, and much of the United States. Now as a full-time writer and editor, she doesn’t feel old, but her kids constantly ask that she stop kidding herself.

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