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Crafting Your Summer Literary Escape for Mature Readers

Crafting Your Summer Literary Escape for Mature Readers

Crafting Your Summer Literary Escape for Mature Readers

Your Summertime Escape: Books for Mature Readers

While many readers love curling up with a good book in front of a cozy fire during the winter months, the lazy days of summer are great for grabbing a cold drink, a paperback, and soaking up story after story.

If summer reading is on your itinerary, we’ve got some engaging books for your page-flipping journey. A good place to start is Goodreads, an online community of book lovers. It’s free to join, and you can find ratings (one to five stars) of books listed. 

Here are a few of the 200-plus books Goodreads lists as popular reading for seniors:

  • Remarkably Bright Creatures
  • The Boys in the Boat
  • The First Ladies
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  • The Kitchen Front
  • The Personal Librarian

Goodreads also lists the most anticipated new titles, billed as “The Big Books of Summer,” including:

  • By Any Other Name by Jodi Picoult (release date Aug. 20)
  • Long Island Compromise by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, author of Fleishman Is in Trouble (release date July 9)
  • Shelterwood by Lisa Wingate, author of Before We Were Yours (release date June 4)
  • The Next Mrs. Parrish, sequel to The Last Mrs. Parris, by Liv Constantine (release date June 18)
  • The Widow’s Guide to Dead Bastards by Jessica Waite (release date July 30)

Another popular online resource, for those with a Facebook account, is Renee’s Reading Club. With over 54,000 members, this group is filled with book recommendations and reviews. 

Love historical fiction? Check out The Women by Kristin Hannah, author of The Nightingale and The Four Winds. This novel tells the untold story of the women who served as nurses in the Vietnam War. 

A fan of fiction? Swan Song by Elin Hilderbrand has all the makings of a perfect beach read: drama and romance. Demon Copperfield by Barbara Kingsolver is a coming-of-age story set in Appalachia.

Summertime is a good opportunity for you to lighten things up a bit when it comes to books — both in terms of content and length. If you typically turn the pages of massive historical tomes, allow yourself the “guilty pleasure” of reading a work of fiction. There’s no judgment here. If you never read 50 Shades of Grey, go for it!

Do you enjoy sharing your love of books with others? If so, the Meadowood Book Club is for you. Bonnie MacDonald has been leading the book club for two years. The book club, with about two dozen members and 15 “regulars,” meets the second Monday of the month, October through June, from 11 a.m. to noon in the Club Room. Because all books are borrowed from the Montgomery County Library Bookmobile, Bonnie acknowledges it’s sometimes difficult to get enough copies of extremely popular selections.

A reading list, with a synopsis of each book, is compiled based on titles members have read or are interested in reading. Members then vote on the books to be read. Bonnie noted that a few members read their books on Kindle and several of the senior readers prefer larger-print books.

“It’s pretty informal,” Bonnie says of the meetings. Members rotate who leads the discussion, usually starting with a brief background on the author. Like many book clubs, members often take turns saying whether they liked the book and why. 

Bonnie has found book club notes dating back to 1995. Some of the club’s first books include The Scarlet Letter and The Shipping News. More recent selections have included A Gentleman in Moscow and Killers of the Flower Moon. She says the club reads books of all genres: fiction, nonfiction, historical fiction. If you’re a lover of mysteries, though, you’ll have to read those on your own. Some of her favorite authors are Alice Hoffman, Isabelle Allende, Erik Larsen, and David Grann (author of Killers of the Flower Moon).

She notes that Meadowood has its own library, and the first week of every month there’s a table with books for the taking. The library’s checkout system, like the book club, is rather informal. “It’s on the honor system,” Bonnie says. “You can keep the book out for as long as you want.”

So whether you enjoy discussing books with others who share your passion for reading or prefer to go at your own pace, summer is the perfect time to go on a literary adventure and get lost in the pages of a good book. Remember, active aging involves both the body and the mind — and reading is a wonderful way to keep the mind sharp. So go ahead and stick your toes in the sand and your nose in a novel.